Challenge Instructions

What you need to know for the challenge itself!

The Courses

  1. Both the Marathon and the 16 are predominately off-road and physically challenging. As the courses are along public footpaths and across open countryside, you are likely to be sharing the paths with other walkers, cyclists, runners, dogs, horses and livestock. Please bear this in mind and treat everyone and everything with the utmost respect. All gates must be closed behind you, even if they were open when you got there. The courses include grass, stony surfaces, dirt tracks, are uneven in places and, in inclement weather, slippery.
  2. Both courses will be signed using black arrows on a yellow background and marshalled so that you should be able to complete the walk without having to refer to a map. However, you will be provided with a map showing the route of both courses, where there are water stations and where you can expect to find an event marshal. You will also be provided with nine detailed OS maps for use in the unlikely event of you straying off route.
  3. ViewRanger is a digital guide to the outdoors, with thousands of downloadable route guides and powerful GPS navigation features. Their mobile app runs on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Kindle Fire, Android smart phones, tablets, watches and other apps. The ViewRanger app will be available to track both courses. You should be able to activate Buddy Beacon which will enable you to track yourself.
  4. In the event of serious inclement weather e.g. fog the event authority reserves the right to alter the course. The area which will be used in the event of an emergency, is indicated on the course map. You will be informed of any changes.
  5. Both Challenges start at 8 am.


  1. At times you will be walking on public roads. In Corfe Castle you cross a busy major road (A351) and an unmanned railway crossing. Both these dangerous places will be marshalled. There will be other places, on public roads, where, for your own safety, you must obey the marshal.
  2. Part of the Marathon route transits military ranges, the beginning of which is clearly indicated. When on the ranges, do not leave the route for any reason and, at all times, pass between the yellow marker posts.
  3. You are required to carry a mobile telephone the number of which must be registered, before the start, with the Event Hub.
  4. Dogs, other than those registered as ‘medical’ dogs, are not permitted to accompany walkers.
  5. You must wear your event number on your front above your top garment so that it is visible at all times.
  6. iPods/MP3 Players are not permitted as they adversely effect a walkers hearing.
  7. You have a personal responsibility to ensure that you stay hydrated and have sufficient food to sustain you during the walk. There are 5 water stations on the marathon route and 3 on the 16 mile event (see course map).


  1. It is the responsibility of individual walkers to ensure you:
    • Are fit enough to complete the event for which you are entered
    • Have had a meal on the morning before the event
    • Are hydrated sufficiently before the start
    • Are prepared for extremes of heat, cold and wet weather
  2. First Aid will be available at regular points as indicated on the course map, including Kingston, Tyneham, Corfe Castle and Swanage, and an event doctor will be on-call. Event Sweepers, one of which will follow behind the last walker in both Challenges at all times, will be conversant with first aid practices. In the event that you are injured or feel unwell, you must let an event official know as soon as possible. Should an official not be available then ask a fellow walker to tell the next official they come to. In the unlikely event that you feel seriously unwell or sustain a serious injury you should inform the emergency services by phoning 999.
  3. You will be issued with one number to be worn on your front above the base garment. Numbers will have a different background colour for the Marathon and 16 and also for those who choose to Speed Hike. There will be a medical questionnaire, on the back of event numbers, which walkers are strongly advised to complete. This information will only be used only in the event of a medical emergency.

Water Stations

  1. There will be water stations before Worth Matravers, at Kingston, Tyneham, Cocknowle and Corfe Castle. If you prefer a particular drink you will be responsible for providing it. You should carry a refillable bottle or camelbak carrier if you want your own water supply or special drink.
  2. Each of the water stations will have a limited supply of light snacks.

Dropping Out

  1. Walkers will be expected to maintain a minimum pace of 30 mins per mile for the 16 and 25 mins per mile for the marathon. If you fall behind this pace and consequently fail to reach a check point within the target time you will be asked to retire from the Challenge on grounds of safety. An authorised event official will have the authority to withdraw walkers from the Challenge taking their official number from them. Walkers will be given the opportunity to get a lift back to the hub. In the unlikely event of refusal to accept a lift, walkers will be advised that, should they choose to remain en route without a number, they will no longer be the responsibility of the organisers.
  2. If you decide to retire of your own accord, you must inform an event official at the first opportunity. Alternatively, this can be done by telephoning the Event Hub the number of which will be on the back of event number. Failure to do this might well result in the Emergency Services being alerted unnecessarily. This could have serious consequences for the future of the event.
  3. You cannot opt to change from the Marathon to the 16 Challenge once you have set off. If you decide to do this then you will no longer be taking part in either Challenge. At the Kingston water station you will need to inform the Marshal that you are no longer taking part in the Marathon. The Marshal will put a cross through your Event Number. Should you choose to continue on the 16 event route you will do so at your own risk as you are no longer taking part in either Challenge.


  1. Participants must:
    • Attend the Challenge Briefing at 07.45hrs at the Start.
    • Use Nordic walking poles.
    • Indicate on their entry form, or at time of registration, if they wish to enter the Speed Hike or Nordic Walk.
    • Not leave the designated course. To do so will result in compulsory retirement.
    • Obey instructions from course marshals and other event officials.
    • Walk over timing mats.
    • Not run or bound and you must keep one foot in contact with the ground at all times, if they are Nordic Walking. If discovered, by spotters on the course, contravening this rule competitors are likely to be disqualified.
    • Once the Sweepers have been dispatched late comers cannot join the event.
  2. Those who select to Speed Hike can run or bound but must use poles at all times. Contravention of this rule is likely to result in disqualification.

Disputes etc.

  1. Any protest, objection or dispute, relating to either Challenge, should be made to Nordic Walking UK at the hub, whose decision will be final.