The History

Aubrey Wade

Trailwalker UK will be 16 years old in 2014, but its history goes back well beyond that. Take on Trailwalker and you'll be following the in the footsteps of the Gurkhas, who began the 100km challenge in 1981 as a military training exercise for the elite Queen's Gurkha Signals Regiment. 

How it all began

In 1981, the Gurkhas took on the 100km challenge for the first time. Taking place in Hong Kong, it was an exercise to test endurance, team work and physical capability. It was run over the 100km MacLehose Trail, named after former Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Murray MacLehose.

Oxfam Hong Kong got involved in 1986 and, alongside the Gurkha Welfare Trust, grew the event into a world renowned team endurance challenge. When the Queen's Gurkha Signals returned to the UK in 1996, they developed the UK's first Trailwalker on the South Downs.

Trailwalker is now a worldwide phenomenon, with 16 events in 12 countries. Over 196,000 people have taken part worldwide, raising millions upon millions to transform lives of poor communities worldwide. 

Trailwalker UK is the only event in the world that is still organised by the Gurkhas and each year elite Gurkha teams compete in the event for the prestigious winning place. 

In 2009, Oxfam introduced Trailtrekker, taking the 100km challenge to the remote and rugged Yorkshire Dales. 


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