Many questions are answered in the PDF Pre-event information, but you might also want to know about…
How hard is the Peak District Challenge?
There are five levels of difficulty, to cater for all participants. You will need a basic level of fitness for all of the challenges, and the Silver and Gold challenges in particular should not be entered lightly. If entering the silver and gold challenges, you’ll be walking or running in darkness. For all five challenges, you’ll be walking unaccompanied, met only at checkpoints, and covering a large distance. The 25-100kms route are NOT flagged, so a minimum level of navigational skill is required. Here are some comparisons with other challenges:
- 2km fun run – most reasonably healthy people could walk this in under an hour with little difficulty.
- 5km Park Run or Colour Run – You’ll need to train a little to run the whole way.
- Back Before Dark 10km Peak District Challenge – With some training you’ll run the whole way, but a healthy person will be able to walk 10km if you have to! Don’t walk too slowly though, otherwise you won’t be Back Before Dark.
- Tough Muddy obstacle courses. Typically 20km, 4 hours, with physical wet / icy / electrified obstacles.
- Peak District Challenge Copper route: 25km, 9 hours, 700m of ascent. You will need to maintain a steady but not extremely fast walking pace throughout the day. We expect most reasonably fit people could manage this challenge in under this time i.e. you should have time for a break or two along the way.
- Yorkshire three peaks challenge – 39km, 12 hours, 1600m of ascent. The Yorkshire three peaks challenge can be completed by most reasonably fit and active people, but about 10% of those who attempt it do not complete it, and about a further 30% don’t achieve the 12 hour target.
- Peak District Challenge Bronze route. 50km, 12 hours, 1200m of ascent. You’ll need to maintain a fast walking pace for the entire 12 hours. We expect a reasonably fit, regular hillwalker can complete this challenge with enough perseverance.
- National three peaks challenge: 44km, 2900m of ascent, 14 hours of walking in total, broken up with ten hours of rest breaks.
- Welsh 3000ers. 48km in 24 continuous hours, about 3500m of ascent.
- Peak District Challenge Silver route. 75km, 24 continuous hours 2000m of ascent. You’ll need to be well trained, both physically and in navigation techniques to find your way around this course.
- Lake District 3000ers. 72km in 24 continuous hours, 3823m of ascent.
- Peak District Challenge Gold Ultra route. 100km, 24 continuous hours, 3000m of ascent. The ultimate challenge, for experienced walkers and runners with extensive reserves of perseverance.
How much does it cost?
We ask a modest entry fee (of between £19-61 depending on challenge chosen) to cover all the arrangements for this event. On top of this, your expenses are really minimised:
- You don’t have to travel over the whole of the UK to attempt a really difficult challenge. Why drive to three corners of the country for a challenging walk? That also means…
- Your fuel and vehicle costs are minimal, and you’re saving the planet!
- You don’t have to fundraise at all if you don’t want to (although we will ask for a one-off donation to our chosen charity for this event, SALVE International, if you decide not to seek sponsorship).
- We provide delicious vegetarian drinks and snacks. You won’t be buying all your food from motorway service stations over the weekend.
We can do all this, because we ask for supporters to volunteer for us over the weekend.
Is fundraising compulsory?
Fundraising is not obligatory, but we ask for a one-off donation (min £10) if you prefer not to commit to fundraising.
A discount on the entry fee is offered to those able to commit to fundraising a minimum of £100 for the Peak District Challenge’s chosen charity, SALVE International.
When must I enter by?
What are the age limits?
Participants under the age of 18 must be part of a team including their own parent. This means if the parent supervising an under-18 can’t complete the challenge, the young person would also have to drop out. We would suggest a recommended minimum age of 12 to take part in the Back Before Dark 10k or Copper Peak District challenge, 14 to take part in the Bronze Peak District challenge, and 18 to take part in the Silver Peak District challenge or Gold Ultra Peak District Challenge
Do I need to provide my own support team?
What kit do I need? What if it rains? Is there shelter on the way round?
The Peak District Challenge will go ahead come rain, wind or shine. You should expect to carry with you everything that you need to keep safe and comfortable during the event (with the exceptions of water, food, and for 50-100km challenges a “half way” bag). There are no indoor or undercover resting areas during the event, (only at the start and finish), so you need to prepare to be outdoors for the entire event with all the kit from the Compulsory Kit Checklist.
What level of navigation or map reading ability do I need?
Only the Back Before Dark 10k is flagged, on longer challenges (25-100km) you’ll be met by volunteers only at checkpoints. If taking on the Copper or Bronze Challenge, we would expect you to be honestly able to state: “I can make sense of a normal ordnance survey map to find my way around, even if I don’t use the compass”. This is the minimum level of navigational ability required to take part in the Copper or Bronze Challenge. If this isn’t you, we ask you to book a beginners (Level 1) navigation course with Wilderness Development or a different organisation, or join a led team around the Peak District Challenge. If taking on the Silver or Gold Ultra, the route involves some navigational challenge, including night time navigation, and we would expect you to:
- Have successfully completed comparable navigationally challenging walks or runs, including night-time navigation. These do not necessarily need to be part of an organised event. Or
- Have completed the NNAS Silver award and have experience navigating at night. Or
- Have completed a level 2 navigation course with Wilderness Development or a different organisation
Individuals and Duo Teams have higher navigational and experience requirements, see below…
Additional entry criteria for Solo and Duo teams
The Peak District Challenge is a team event, however Solo and duo entries on the 25-100km routes are permitted from runners with extensive comparable experience. This is not the place to try your hand at your first solo or duo Ultra Marathon. Solo entries are accepted on the Back Before Dark 10km.
To enter the 25-100km Peak District Challenges as a solo or duo team, you must have successfully completed a comparable “qualifying” walk or run in the 18 months prior to the Peak District Challenge. Your qualifying walk/run does not necessarily need to be part of an organised event. Qualifying events must be:
- completed as a solo or duo entrant (matching your entry to the Peak District Challenge!)
- of 50km or longer (25km or longer if entering the copper challenge)
- require navigation and not follow a way-marked route
- include a section at night, (for all levels except copper)
- not be all on paved roads.
We will ask for a brief description of your qualifying event on your registration form and will take your word – we do not require proof. A sentence along the lines of “In 2016 we completed the 56 miles Bullock Smithy challenge in 20 hours” or “In July 2016, we navigated the whole route of the Pennine way from Kirk Yetholme to Edale (270 miles) including sections at night” will suffice.
What is the route between checkpoints?
What are the grid references for the checkpoints?
These are emailed to participants 7 days before the event takes place. 7 days before the event has been chosen to make it long enough to copy it on to your own maps, but deliberately not long enough to give you time to recce the whole route in advance! Navigating yourself between checkpoints is a key part of the challenge. We do show you rough outlines of the Peak District Challenge routes here.
What is provided at checkpoints?
- Water bottle refills
- On 25-100km challenges, light snacks like
- savoury pastries
- cold pizza
- sweets, cake and flapjack
- cereal and energy bars
- pasta pots
- At many checkpoints, a member of the volunteering team to cheer you on and give you any help you need.
- At some checkpoints, hot squash to drink
There is no full meal provided on the way around, so if you have special dietary requirements or will want to eat more than “grazing” food it’s advisable to carry additional food yourself.
Can I have a bag meet me halfway around the challenge?
Yes, for Gold, Silver and Bronze challengers, we will bring a “halfway” bag to meet you approximately half way around the challenge. To take advantage of this, please label a suitably non-valuable and waterproof bag and drop it off in the “bag drop off” area at HQ. We will return your halfway bag to HQ for you after you have had a chance to go through it. Whilst we will do our best, please be aware this is a public event and your bag will be brought to meet you in a public car park which is not lockable. We advise against bringing valuables.
It is not possible for 10k and Copper Challengers to have a bag meet them half way.
Can I leave my bag in Hathersage HQ whilst I'm taking part?
Yes, we are happy to store labelled (non valuable!) bags in HQ for you whilst you are taking part in the Peak District Challenge. No valuables please, and whilst we will do our best, please be aware this is a public event and our storage facilities are not lockable.
What if I struggle to maintain the target pace?
Whilst we’ll do all we can to help you achieve your challenge, the volunteers crewing the checkpoints can’t stay in place indefinitely. If you are up to one hour behind the target pace we will warn you. If you are one hour or more behind target pace, we will leap-frog you forward on your route by car, allowing you to finish the route by foot within your challenge’s target time.
Can I bring my dog?
How do I get to Hathersage?
Is there any accommodation available?
Yes, there is lots of good B&B style accommodation in Hathersage. If your supporters volunteer to help organise the event, they will also be welcome to camp in the event base on the Friday night while the race is ongoing. You could check out the local Youth hostel. There is also camping at North Lees (about 1.5 miles away).
The LDWA listing for this event features a comprehensive list of accommodation near Hathersage at the bottom of the listing.