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Frequently Asked Questions

costs & inclusions

fitness & training

on-event & support

joining as a team

charity & fundraising

If you have any further questions - not answered here you can contact us on info@thamespathchallenge.com or speak to a member of the team on 0207 609 6995!

costs & inclusions

How much does it cost?

There are two ways to sign up to the challenge either by paying an online registration fee and then fundraising for a chosen charity or self-funding and paying the total cost of your place on the challenge. 

Fundraise for a Charity Partner - recieve 20% off your registration fee!

Charity Fundraising  

  • Full Challenge- £70 Regsitration fee £395 fundraising pledge
  • Half Challenge - £50 Regsitration fee + £275 fundraising pledge
  • Quarter Challenge - £40 Regsitration fee + £150 fundraising pledge
  • Thames Bridges Trek  - £30 Regsitration fee + £150 fundraising pledge

Self-funding costs are:

  • Full island - £175
  • Half island - £125
  • Quarter island - £70
  • Thames Bridges Trek - £65

Please note: Your charity pay a fee of between £120-156 (100km), £80-108 (50km) or £40-60 (25km/Bridges) per particiapnt. However they do not have to pre-buy any places, nor pay any registration fees. Charities only pay for each person or team that raises the set amount of money.

What's included?

  • FREE food & drink at rest stops & finish 
  • Event pack - timing chip, hi-vis, energy products
  • Full event support - marshalls, support walkers, medics, masseuses
  • Fully signed & mapped route
  • A finish pack! 
  • Pre-event training guides, plans and much more
  • Fundraising advice & support from your charity
  • Much, much more!

I am signing up as an individual - how can I meet others on the challenge?

Once you have signed up to the challenge you will be invited to join our Thames Path Challenge Facebook group whereby we encourage individuals and teams of people to meet, converse and organise training walks. It is a great way to connect with other individuals on the challenge and there is always a discussion going on! If you then want to you can arrange to walk with the people you have met on the challenge. 

How old do I need to be?

On the date of the event (9th September2017) you must be:
Full Challenge – 16 years old (with an adult)
Half Challenge – 14 years old (With an adult)
Quarter Challenge/Bridges – 12 years old (with an adult)

All under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Can I cancel my place on the challenge?

You can cancel your place on the event however if you are fundraising for a charity your registration fee is non-refundable, and if you are self-funding then a portion of your cost is non-refundable (the amounts are Full Challenge £70, Half Challenge £50 and Quarter Challenge £40) however it will be between you and your chosen charity to deal with the refund of any sponsorship monies paid. No portion of the Thames Bridges Trek fee is refundable. We may be able to offer a transfer to another Ultra Challenge in the series or defer you to the 2018 event for a fee of £25.

fitness & training

How tough is the challenge?

There's no denying it - this is a tough challenge by anyone's standards. It will be physically and emotionally demanding! You will have to combat fatigue and tiring limbs as you battle through the challenge!

You will need to prepare - and should read the training advice issued carefully. The more comfortable you are with walking long distances for sustained periods the more comfortable you will be on the challenge.

We have a series of training walks to help you prepare for your challenge - you will also get the chance to meet the team and fellow challengers check the participants area for more information.

Am I fit enough to run the challenge?

To run 100km is a double marathon and 50km is a 'marathon plus' distance whilst 25km is just a little bit further than a half marathon - and off road. This is no road marathon and the running category of the challenge is classed for only those who are attempting the 100km challenge within under 15 hours and the 50km in under 7 hours - yet we welcome runners, joggers and anyone wishing to try a longer run than before onto our 25 km run! The 2nd and 4th Quarter Challenges and Thames Bridges Trek are a walk-only event.

The full support we provide on our challenges for runners means that if you have previously run other marathons and now looking to step up your distance to something longer - this is the perfect event to support your challenge!

If however you would like to run and jog (and perhaps walk too!) some of the challenge then you enter into the challenge as a walker and attempt the challenge in that category.

How much will I need to train?

The Thames Path Challenge is a tough event and training is essential for everyone. Preparation is key and will aid your enjoyment of the challenge whilst ensuring that your body is up to the rigors of the event.

It is very important for all competitors to train properly and build up endurance and resilience thresholds, alongside your base fitness. This will enable you to cope with the distance and provide with ability to recover between stages during the challenge. However training for your challenge is one of the joys and pleasures of taking on a challenge of this nature - its a great excuse to get outside, enjoy the outdoors and get fit!

You will have access to an event specific training guide to aid with your training and preparation, it can be found in the participants area.

What sort of food is provided on the challenge?

All food and drink is fully included in your registration fee, except the first meal at the first major rest stop for 50 & 100 km challengers! Please bring your own packed lunch alternatively there will be the option to purchase food at the stop. Approximately every 12.5km there are manned checkpoints and replenishment stops where water, energy drinks, teas, coffee, cake, crisps, and many more energy snacks are provided! There is a snack/ater stop at the Thames Bridges Trek mid-point.

The first major rest-stop is a bring your own picnic lunch at 25km (unless you are taking on the 25km challenge then a celebratory hot meal is included when you finish) then main hot meals are served by our specialist catering team at 50km, 75km, and a celebratory hot meal as you cross the finish line! The on event catering will be mixed, varied, delicious and plentiful with calorific intake a priority - from soups, pastas, salads, jacket potatoes, a selection of hot and cold meats - and much more! 

For runners - there will be an extra supply of energy products available throughout the event.

on-event & support

What do I carry?

You are responsible for your personal items on the event and an equipment and clothing list will be available to download from the Participants Area. Some items are essential/compulsory, others recommended.

You will need a daypack (c30l) to carry the recommended personal items throughout the event including wet weather gear, warm clothing, water, snacks, sun protection, personal first aid kit, and personal items.

There will be a baggage transfer service at an additional cost from the start in London to the finish line (25, 50 or 100 depending on your challenge) for a single piece of baggage not exceeding 75l/20kg. Participants who retire from the challenge will be responsible for claiming their baggage at the finish line. 

25, 50 & 100 km runners will have a free baggage service to their finish- 100km runners will also be able to access their bags at 50km.

There is no baggage service on the Thames Bridges Trek.

What sort of shoes should I wear?

This very much depends on how you are taking on the challenge - if a runner then we recommend the shoes you usually train and run - bearing in mind the surface of the towpath can be uneven and not as flat as road. 

Walkers we recommend that you wear the shoes or boots you have been training in - so your feet are as comfortable as possible on the challenge - some people choose to wear sturdy trainers, whilst other opt for ankle height walking boots to give maximum support to your ankles and feet. It is a personal preference and we recommend that you experiment when going for training walks to ensure on the day you will be as comfortable as possible. 

How do we find our way along the route?

Each stage of the challenge will have its own map marked with rest-stops, hazards and distances. The route will also be clearly and fully signed with pink directional arrows and the night time stages will be supplemented with reflective tape and glow sticks - meaning you never have to worry about finding your way and you can just concentrate on the challenge!

What is the terrain of the route like?

The Thames Path towpath is generally a flat route as it follows the river - across bridges, locks, under bridges and along paths mainly concrete and trails. 

What happens if I or someone in my team has to pull out of the challenge along the route?

If you unfortunately have to drop out of the challenge, you will need to do so at the nearest check-point if possible, where you will need to alert the event organisers, who will 'log' you out of the event. 

From the half way stage onward there will be support vehicles, and shuttle services to the nearest train stations for you to safely and easily return home.

Can I bring my dog on the challenge?

No - unfortunately we do not allow dogs to take part in the challenge as we cannot cater for them along the route and can be difficult to manage on the challenge. We do however think dogs make for great training companions.

How do I get to the start and from the finish?

Within the Participants Area full information about transport links at the start and finish and approximate start times will be published. Then about 1 month prior to the challenge exact start times and specific joining information details will be sent to you. We also lay on shuttle buses to the nearest train stations from the 25km stop, and every stop onwards from the 50km point.

joining as a team

How can we sign up as a team?

Teams can be made of all sizes, either all fundraising for the same charity, or each choosing their own to fundraise for. A team will initially need to be set up by a 'Team Captain' and can then go forth and recruit more members into the team over time, each registering themselves separately.

Creating a new team

  • Pay for yourself and register to Create a New Team (as captain), then forward your team name to your potential team mates who then register themselves and pay their own fees. 

Joining an existing team

  • Your captain has already set up the team.
  • You will need the team captain's name, along with the team name.
  • You then register online selecting Join An Exisiting Team, and then enter in the team captains name and team name when asked.

One of our team mates has dropped out of the challenge, can someone else take his place?

All teams are made up of challengers who have paid a non-refundable registration fee. We can add, change and amend team sizes and names but any substitution of a team member is subject to a £25 admin fee - please email us at info@thamespathchallenge.com if you need to change a team member. 

I signed up as an individual - can I join a team?

If you have signed up to the challenge as an individual you can amend your registration form by logging back in to the forms and changing your registration to Create A New Team/Join An Exisitng Team. You then need to specify the Team Name you'd like to create or join.

charity & fundraising

Once signed up, how do I start my fundraising and set up my fundraising page?

Once you have signed up to the challenge and chosen your charity, you can set up your online fundraising page by logging on to Just Giving www.justgiving.com. Once you have set this up you can start sending out the online link to all your friends and family to start collecting donations!

Your charity will also send you a welcome pack which will give you advice and support on how to go about your fundraising plans.

What happens if I fail to raise the minimum sponsorship amount?

The Thames Path Challenge is a fundraising event for charity - and therefore by signing up you are committing to fund raise the minimum sponsorship for your chosen charity - with 50% of that fundraising total due in to your charity 6 weeks prior to the challenge.

Failure to meet the initial target could result in you being unable to take part in the challenge. However this is down to the discretion of the charity and will be decided on a case by case basis. The event is tough - but in many respects that makes it a bit easier to find willing sponsors, as it is no ordinary charity challenge. In 2013 the average fundraising total reached by our challengers was £600 - often once you get the ball rolling you will see the collections and sponsorship flood in!

However, if your charity cancels you - you will be sent a notification email of this offering your to pay off the costs of your challenge and upgrade to a "self funding" place to re-join the Challenge.

Who should I speak to regarding fundraising issues and my sponsorship pack?

Once you have signed up to the challenge your charity will send out a fundraising pack - if you still haven't received within two weeks of registering onto the challenge then please contact your charity. Non-Partner charities may take longer.

I would like to fundraise for a charity who aren't on the list or website?

If you wish to fundraise for a charity not listed, please email info@thamespathchallenge.com with the following information:
Charity Name:
Charity Contact Name:
Charity Contact Email:
Charity Cointact telephone:
Charity Wesbite address:

We will send them all the details of costs and the fundraising model, and they can confirm by completing our Charity Authorisation Form. Once completed, we'll then add the charity onto the dropdown list. Please note - only a charity representative can complete this form, not a participant. This process can take a few weeks and will delay your sign up process. Alternatively, you can choose to fundraise for one of the 300+ charities we already work with.

Can I fundraise for more than one charity?

No - you must one select one primary charity for whom all your fundraising will be in aid of - this is because your charity will pay for a portion of your place on the event, out of the fundraising generated. 

As a team can we pool our fundraising?

Yes - as long as you are all fundraising for the same charity - you can create a team fundraising page on Just Giving - we also recommend that you let your charity know this is how you will be fundraising. 

Ultra Challenge Series Partners

Thames Path Challenge Partners