Trailwalker Briefing

Notes from Gurkha briefing at Oxfam House.

Over 2000 people taking part.

Health & Safety

  • Red Cross – Emergency medical cover at all Check Points
    • But blister care is the team’s business
  • The equipment on the Essential list is mandatory
    • There will be a formal kit check at the beginning of the race
  • 2 mobile phones – a combination of Vodafone & O2 give trhe best coverage
  • Map and route – team needs to be able to give a grid reference in case of emergency
  • For minor injuries go to the nearest Check Point (CP) and be collected by your Support Crew (SC)
    • SC to let Race Control know if a member drops out
    • 3-member teams can carry on, 2-member teams must find another team to sponsor them
  • If there’s no phone signal leave at least 1 person with the casualty and report it to Race Control when you regain signal
  • Road crossings are marshalled by Gurkhas – you will need hi-vis vests
  • Drink frequently
    • You must leave each Check Point with at least 1 litre of water each
  • Take warm kit for heights and nights
  • If you contact Race Control in cases of difficulty they will need your race number
  • If you get lost go back to the last place where you knew where you were
  • Familiarise yourselves with the route, identify the bits you will be walking at night and try them out at night
  • Watch fellow teams members for hot and/or cold injuries

At Check Points

  • Access for walkers and vehicles
    • Walkers have priority
  • Mostly in grassy fields
  • Will be 400+ people at any given time
  • Rely on good will
    • Follow vehicle access rout marked on maps – of least disturbance to neighbours
    • All SCs should have at least two drivers

Start Point

  •  QE Country Park is the starting point
  • Will be marshalled to the Starting Point
  • In the camping area, watch the noise after 21:00
    • Layout of the site based on the start time
    • Use the correct area
  • If you are camping the night before then come for the festivities
    • In fact, come anyway
    • Tickets can be purchased at registration
  • Vehicles cannot be left at the start point, except in the public car park
  • The site must be cleared by 12.00 on Saturday
  • Upper Levels
    • Registration – Last minute info & vouchers
    • Kit check – mandatory
  • Lower level – main marquee = e-registration
    • Participants only
    • Get your tracking wristband
      • Must be worn at all times and swiped at each CP
  • Registration
    • up to 1 hr before start
    • if starting at 06.00/07.00 then register the night before (registration closes at 21.00)
    • team changes must be notified 45 mins before race
  • At CPs
    • Check in and swipe before meeting SC
    • Team must check in as a whole
    • water, tea and coffee are available
    • Toilets are available
    • There is a pasta meal for teams & SC at CP7
    • 1 vehicle per team at CPs
      • However can swap car pass between vehicles en route
      • And can have as many vehicles as you like at the start and finish
    • No SC at CP 10 (no access)
    • SCs don’t rush to CP1 or 2 – everyone does – try CP3
    • SCs aim to be at a CP 30 mins to an hour befor your RV time


  •  Your finish time is when your final member crosses the finish line.
  • Only teams of 4 that all finish are eligible for prizes
  • Collect certificates in the eating area
    • But they will be posted if you don’t collect them in person
  • SCs park in main car park and go to the Oxfam welcome point at the finish
    • Familiarise y/self with the layout for the benefit of your team
    • Curry in main hall
    • Campsite available until 16:00 on Sunday
  • Funds must be released to Oxfam by 30/9/08

Kit Notes

  • 1000-mile socks
  • Wear watches – watch the time
  • Trail boots for walking, trainers for daytime or running(!)
  • Supportive pants – ask Simon for recommended type



The top fundraisings on 30 April can choose their start times.

  • Messages on/with payslips
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Quiz nights
  • Gifts in kind for raffles
  • Join Facebook group
  • Collection boxes to go with maps
  • Guess our finish time
  • Hold a Gurkha curry night


  • Get training dates in diaries – about every 3 weeks
  • 15m – first walk
  • 20m – second walk
  • 25m – two or three times
  • 30m – 2 weeks before Trailwalker
    • Need 2-3 weeks to recover before the main event
  • Consider practicing on The Ridgeway – Avebury – Ivenhoe Beacon
    • Similar to South Downs – but flatter
  • Wear the boots you train in
    • Make sure they’re worn in
    • Consider sturdy cross trainer with walking boots as back up
  • Support Crew
    • Remind walkers of progress – the big picture
    • Get the SC to carry all your kit for you
  • Chaffing – wetwipes/ talcum powder/ supportive pants
  • Design a training plan
    • Follow it – even if it’s raining
  • Don’t underestimate the walk
    • Serious climbs after CP6 and 9
  • Try a night walk – night is prime drop out time, so be prepared
  • Walk as much of the route as possible in advance
    • Try CP 8 onwards, nice section
    • Try the bit you’re going to do at night – then you know how it works
  • Consider changing pants & socks at every CP (Under Armour)
  • Vaseline & kepis
  • Don’t rush off at the start – have a game plan
  • Don’t stop too long at CPs – will slow you down

Support Crew Advice

  • CP2 is very busy – only space for 40/50 cars
  • Parking might be a problem at some CPs – in which case park as close as you can and walk
  • Consider meeting at every CP from 2 onwards
  • Factor in queuing and access times when arriving at CPs
  • Take rubbish with you
  • A27 tunnel closed at night
  • Practice drive around routes and scout out local shops and amenities
  • Advantage in having more than one car

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