We've put together some answers to the Trailwalker questions that we hear the most.

If you can't find what you're looking for here, please contact us on:

Email : events@oxfam.org.uk

Phone : 0300 200 1244


What is the difference between Trailwalker and Trailtrekker?

Trailwalker takes place on the South Downs Way on 26 - 27 July 2014. It's a 100km linear route starting at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Petersfield and finishing at Brighton Racecourse.

The Gurkhas deliver the logistics of the Trailwalker route, and also participate in the event each year.

Trailtrekker takes place in the Yorkshire Dales on 31 May - 1 June 2014. It's a circular route, starting and finishing at Aireville School in Skipton. It's a tougher challenge than Trailwalker due to the rocky terrain and the remoteness of the location.

The route has three levels of challenge available: Bronze (40km), Silver (65km) or Gold (100km). There is also a Full Support Package available if you are unable to get a Support Crew together.

Find out more about Trailtrekker 

What's the average completion time?

Around 27 hours.

What's the course record?

An amazing 9 hours 50 minutes, set by the Queen's Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment in 2004. It's going to take some beating!

What's the drop out rate?

In 2013, 84% of the walkers participating finished the event.

Signing up

How old do I need to be to take part?

18 years or older on the day of the event.

How much does it cost?

The cost of entering a team into Trailwalker is £240 - so just £60 each! This includes your event entry and everything else provided.

Can we be a team of 2, 3 or 5?

No. You must have four people to a team. If you know more than four people wanting to enter, try to recruit another team. Alternatively, if you're short a team member or two check out the Trailwalker Facebook group, which can be a good team recruitment tool.

Trailwalker is a team endurance challenge, and all teams need to have four walkers. This is also for your own health and safety on the challenge.

What does a team leader do?

The team leader is the person that initially signs up to the event with Oxfam. Your team leader will act as the main point of contact between Oxfam and your team.

I haven't got complete details for all the team - can I still enter?

We don't recommend this. We need correct details for all team members to ensure they receive mailings and e-news which contain vital information that they will need to take part.

It is understandable that a handful of teams will enter with incomplete information for all team members in order to reach deadlines. If you do this then please enter your full team details as soon as possible by logging in to your team admin area.

I'm looking for a team to join. How can I find one?

Most teams are made up of friends, colleagues or family members. However, if you're having difficulty getting a team together then visit the Trailwalker Facebook groupand post what you're looking for, e.g. 'someone looking to complete the challenge in under 24 hours from the London area'.

Quite a few teams have come together using the Facebook group in the past and by the end of the challenge they've become lifelong friends.

Will you be holding any pre-event information sessions?

Yes. We hold several sessions prior to the event which are designed to give you all of the information that you will need to take part. These fall under several categories:

Info sessions (November & February): Run by the Trailwalker team, these sessions are aimed at people who are interested in entering the event but would like more information and to speak with us in person. It's also a good opportunity to meet other people who are looking to take part, if you're short a team member or two.

Preparation sessions (March & April): Designed to pass on expert knowledge from the Trailwalker team, to help you with your training and fundraising, and to provide a detailed overview of event weekend. We'll also answer any questions you might have. A 2013 Trailwalker team will also be on hand to share their experiences and offer advice.

Social media Q&As: In the build up to the event we will hold several Q&As on our social media channels where we will respond to your questions live. It's advisable to join the Trailwalker Facebook group  and follow Trailwalker UK on Twitter  to keep up to date on when we will be hosting these sessions. 

I haven't received any materials in the post. 

Team leaders will be sent all of the guides in the post - it is their responsibility to distribute this information to their teammates.

Please note that if you are living outside of the UK then it can take a little longer for your materials to arrive. In the meantime, why not check out our resources online.

Corporate teams

My organisation wants to sign up a few teams. Can we find out more?

If there are more than 20 people at your workplace that are interested in taking part then let us know - we would be happy to talk about your organisation's specific requirements.

We can also visit your office to give a presentation to all your colleagues, explaining the challenge in more detail and helping to encourage others to take part.

Can my team fundraise and take part alongside other teams from my company?

Yes. Many corporate teams choose to pool their resources and fundraise collaboratively. We do need to know if you are planning to fundraise jointly so that we can update our records, so please contact us on 0300 200 1244 or email events@oxfam.org.uk.

During the event itself, for safety reasons you will need to ensure that you walk with your team of four - you will need to arrive at and depart from each checkpoint together. However, if you would also like to walk with other teams from your company, we will endeavour to give you the same start time. Please contact us once start times have been allocated in order to request this.

Support crew

What does the support crew do?

Your Support Crew are a vital part of team; you simply could not complete the event without them. Their role is to keep your team moving by being present at checkpoints along the route, providing additional food, topping up supplies of water and snacks, and most of all encouraging you. They also carry your extra kit like wet weather/warm clothing and make sure you get home safely after the event.

How many people should be in the Support Crew?

We recommend at least two: one to drive and one to navigate. Four is the ideal number, as you can form two pairs and work in shifts over the weekend. Having one shift during the day and one during the night works well.

Is it compulsory to have a Support Crew?

Yes. All teams attempting all challenges must have a Support Crew. Trailwalker is a serious challenge where you'll be experiencing some very tough conditions, you'll need their support. Please refer to our T&Cs (link to follow) to find out more about the Support Crew's role and responsibilities.

If you are unable to find a Support Crew, you might want to consider taking on the Trailtrekker challenge instead. The event has a limited number of Full Support Packages available, where Oxfam transports your kit around the course and provide food and snacks as you go. Find out more about the Trailtrekker Full Support Package.

What type of vehicles can the Support Crew use?

Just one Support Crew vehicle per-team is allowed at checkpoints. A vehicle pass will be issued at event registration which allows the Support Crew vehicle access to checkpoints. The vehicle must be no larger than a 12 seater minibus (2.5m x 5.5m)

We must enforce these rules as there is limited access to checkpoints, often via small country lanes - the event relies on the goodwill of local landowners and communities.

After signing up

Can you send information to all of us, not just the team leader?

The team leader will receive a few dedicated emails when a decision is needed on behalf of the team, e.g. picking a preparation session.

The team leader will also receive a Welcome Pack, and subsequently printed copies of our Training and Fundraising guides, the Map & Event guides and the Support Crew guides. They will then need to distribute these printed guides among their fellow team members.

Every team member will receive all-important emails, as long as we have the right email addresses, so please ensure that your team's details are up to date in your team login area. We will also host all resources online as soon as they are available, so all team members will have access to these electronically.

How do I change my team details?

Your team leader will need to go to the team leader login area to update a team's details.

It is important that your team details are up to date to ensure that all team members receive vital event information from us. If you are having trouble with this, please contact us directly on 0300 200 1244.

When is the deadline for making team changes?

You can make changes to your team up to 7 July 2014. It is extremely important that we have the most up to date information so that we can send vital event communications to all participants. After this date, all changes must be made at registration.

What happens if I pull out?

Unfortunately each year we have a few teams that need to pull out from Trailwalker prior to the event, often due to injury. To avoid risk of injury we strongly advise that you pace yourself in training and increase distances steadily. Further information is available in our training guides.

Please note that your entry fee is non-refundable or transferable.


How much do we need to raise?

All teams must have fundraised at least £1000 on the Friday before event weekend (18 July 2014) and that money must have been received by Oxfam to be eligible to participate. Teams that fail to do so will be unable to start the event without the prior approval of the event organisers, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

You will need to raise the amount that you have pledged by the fundraising deadline on 28 September 2014. The minimum fundraising pledge is £1500 - this works out at just £375 per team member.

What happens if we don't reach our pledge?

Teams who do not manage to reach their pledge by the fundraising deadline on 28/09/2014 may be refused entry into future Oxfam sponsored challenges.

Oxfam relies on fundraising events such as Trailwalker in order to continue fighting poverty worldwide. For this reason we do ask that participants reach the fundraising pledge that they commit to when they sign up. We know it can be tough, but if you break it down by team member and follow the tips and advice that we provide you with along the way it is more than possible to achieve. The vast majority of teams smash their fundraising target, year on year.

Can we increase our fundraising pledge?

Yes! If it looks like you're close to reaching your pledge then we do recommend increasing it - this will encourage sponsors to support you until you reach your goal. By increasing your pledge you will also be entitled to additional fundraising rewards from Oxfam.

You can increase your pledge by calling the team on 0300 200 1244. You can do this anytime up to the fundraising deadline, but look out for emails reminding you of key dates relating to certain rewards e.g. free t-shirts.

How do I set up an online fundraising page?

You can set up a fundraising page for Trailwalker 2014 on JustGiving. Please make sure that you set the page up in your name, rather than the team name, in order that the money you raise is allocated to your record.

See more advice on setting up a JustGiving page.

Can I use an online giving site other than JustGiving?

We recommend using JustGiving, but you can also set up an online giving page through Virgin Money Giving or BT MyDonate.

The simplest way to set up your Justgiving page is to use this link, which will take you to the appropriate event information. Alternatively, you can search for 'Trailwalker 2014' under 'Find a fundraising event' or 'Join an organised event' and then set up your page.

Can we fundraise jointly with another team?

Yes. We will be tracking the performance of each team, so if you plan on joint-fundraising it's vital we know so we can correctly allocate your fundraising to your team's record.

Please contact us on 0300 200 1244 or email events@oxfam.org.uk to let us know if you are joint fundraisers.

How do I pay in offline sponsorship?

Please send cheques/Charities Aid Foundation vouchers to:

Oxfam GB
Supporter Relations
Oxfam House
John Smith Drive

Be sure to include a note with your name and your team name so we can allocate the funds to your team.

Can I also fundraise for another charity?

Unfortunately not. Oxfam, the Gurkhas and The Gurkha Welfare Trust put in a lot of time and hard work to ensure you have the best experience at Trailwalker so we require that all the money you raise goes to Oxfam. The grand event total is then split with The Gurkha Welfare Trust after the fundraising deadline.

Can I send my fundraising directly to the Gurkha Welfare Trust?

No - for administrative purposes please ensure that all donations go to Oxfam. Oxfam will then divide the total with The Gurkha Welfare Trust after the fundraising deadline.

The total shown on the fundraising leaderboard is wrong.

If this is the case, please get in touch and we'll investigate. However, remember that funds from your online giving page can take up to four weeks to arrive and totals displayed are based on sponsorship received by Oxfam.

Can I use the Oxfam logo to help with my fundraising?

Yes, you can find our logo here. Please read our Terms and Conditions before you use the logo.


How much training do I have to do?

The more you train the easier you will find the challenge, but you shouldn't be on your own. Get a team together and train with them. You need to build up endurance - we will send out training guides to help. You need to build up mental strength and stamina too. Everyone is different - you need to learn about yourself and your needs before the event. How often you need to drink, how tiredness affects you, which footwear you prefer, and so on.

Training with your team will help you to set your pace, and to work out your roles within the team, and how best to support each other. People often find they get loads out of the training - it can mean quality time spent with your team, as you all get fitter and prepare for the journey ahead.

We all work full time. Will we have time to train?

Most Trailwalkers work full-time and make it over the finish line - and so can you! Training is often quality not quantity, and you need good rest periods between long treks anyway.

Can I take part if I have a medical condition?

Trailwalker is a very physically demanding challenge that will require you to push your body (and mind!) to the limit.

Entering the event is at your own discretion. You are responsible for your own fitness to take part, and should consult a doctor regarding your participation if necessary.

What maps do we need?

OS Landranger 197 and 198

Event day

When is registration/when will I need to arrive?

Teams will need to register at the event on Friday 25 July at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Petersfield. All team members must be in attendance in order to register. There will also be a mandatory safety briefing held on the Friday which all members of your team will need to attend.

Further information about event registration will be released nearer the time.

Can friends and family meet us at the checkpoints?

Friends and family are welcome to cheer you over the start and finish line. However, only your Support Crew will be able to meet you at the checkpoints. They will need to display their Support Crew pass for their vehicle to gain access.

Do we have to bring all the kit on the kit list?

It is vital that you bring all of the essential items on the kit list. You will be required to sign a kit list disclaimer form at event registration and there will be kit checks on the course.

Do we need to carry all equipment with us?

The kit list in the Training guide details the essential items that you must carry at all times. There are certain items that you can leave with your Support Crew to collect when you meet them at a checkpoint.

Please think carefully about what you leave with the Support Crew - if the weather changes drastically you may regret leaving waterproofs in their car!

Can we make our own arrangements to meet up with our support crew en-route?

Please only meet your team at checkpoints. Trailwalker relies on the goodwill of the local community. Many of the roads around the route are small country lanes, so to deal with the volumes of traffic relating to the event we need support crew vehicles to stick to route and meet you only at checkpoints.

Can I sleep on the way round?

This is not recommended. Experience has taught us that people who stop to sleep, usually don't manage to get up again to complete the event.

Can I take my dog?

Trailwalker takes place on public rights of way so you're very welcome to take your dog - maybe not the whole 100km though. Check beforehand that your Support Crew are happy to transport your dog, and remember to always keep it on a lead when in a field with livestock.

Can we have another car pass?

As access to checkpoints is limited, we cannot provide any teams with more than one car pass. Support Crews with more than one vehicle will need to rendezvous away from the course to transfer the car pass.

Remember, the Support Crew vehicle must be no larger than a 12 seater minibus (2.5m x 5.5m).

What happens if someone has to retire from the event en-route?

If a team member or whole team decide to retire from the event on-route it is essential you inform an event co-ordinator. You can do this at checkpoints or by phoning Event Control whilst out on the course (the Event Control contact details will be on your Map and Event guide).

Teams of three may continue unassisted. Teams of just two members must find another team to formally accept responsibility for them for the remainder of the course. The checkpoint co-ordinator must be notified and approve this.