FAQ

General

For Walkers, HQ opens at 7:00 am for them to start at 7:30 am. The last departure for those walking the full 25 miles is 9:00 am, but those walking a shorter route may leave up until 10:30 am. Please be aware that high tide may mean that late starters will be transported to an appropriate checkpoint.

For Marathon and Half Marathon Runners, HQ opens at 6.30 am for them to start at 7:00 am. All runners must leave HQ by 7:30 am, as these events will be chip-timed. There will be a strict cut off time for starting the run due to the tidal effect down on the estuary. No one will be allowed to start the full marathon run after 7.30am, so do arrive early!

The start and finish, as well as registration on the day. will be at the Gainsborough Sports Centre (Pipers Vale, Ipswich, IP3 0SP).  There will be ample free parking for participants and supporters.

Yes, but come along early at 6:30 am for runners and 7:00 am for walkers, and be prepared to wait for a few minutes. No medal or t-shirt can be guaranteed for runners registering on the day.

In June we would expect the off road sections to be well packed, but as we all know, the temperamental British weather can play tricks on us, so it could be a mud bath. If the forecast is fair the chances are you can go into these events in old road shoes, but suitable trail shoes are always preferred.

There are only a few short road sections and crossing. But these are very light with traffic and will be marshalled. They are also noted to road traffic with Police signage.

There are none on the route.

Please note that dogs are prohibited on either the walk or run, as the route is partially through private land and we do not have landowner’s permission for dogs.

There are 9 checkpoints along the full route (marathon runners will pass by all of them, half marathon runners will only see 5). We strongly recommend that you bring your own bottle/container which you can drink from between checkpoints. All checkpoints have water and squash available. Some will have snacks available and there will also be the opportunity to purchase hot drinks and more substantial food at the Levington Creek checkpoint.

Yes. There are hot drinks and biscuits available free of charge and there will also be a burger van available at the finish.

Yes, all profits from your entry fee go to the charities supported by the Rotary Club of Ipswich East, but you are welcome to raise funds separately for your own chosen charity. 

We will attempt to arrange this with the Gainsborough Sports Centre but, due to Covid-19, it cannot be guaranteed. Please ask on the day at the information point for details.

Rotary is a worldwide organisation which was founded in Chicago, USA in 1905. Club membership is by invitation and is made up of a cross-section of business and professional men and women.

Clubs exist to offer fellowship between business people and to serve the local community. Its motto is ‘Service above self’

Rotary members are enthusiastic, fun-loving and active volunteers who give their time and talents to serve communities both at home and overseas. These are dedicated people, men and women from business and professions, who share a common interest in helping others.

Our Club Ipswich East donates approximately £25,000 to deserving charities each year at home and abroad. The Orwell Challenge has enabled local organisations to raise £2m in its 40 year history.

If you wish to support the Ipswich East Rotary Club then please click here.

Runners

We have been granted permits by the Trail Running Association, which is affiliated to UK Athletics. The full marathon event will shortly also be listed by the 100 Marathon Club and complies with their requirements. Results are posted on RunBritain / Powerof10 so should automatically link to club runners’ profiles.

Yes – 18 years for the full marathon and 17 years for the half-marathon.

Forget the time. Trail marathons are unique. This one has some short road sections but otherwise runs in woodland trail, fields, gravel paths and the river shoreline. You will also probably stop for a few minutes at the checkpoints to drink and snack. Unless you really want it to be, this generally isn’t about time, but if you want a guide, we would suggest this will add 15-25% to your road marathon time.

Runners will set off ahead of the walkers. There is a short stage, mid-section near Levington, where outward (walkers) and inward (runners) paths meet but otherwise the route will be clear for runners.

Both routes are well marked, adn the checkpoints along the way can also be useful for this purpose. Additionally, if you have a GPS watch which supports gpx maps, feel free to download the routes from our website.

There will be dedicated medical support throughout the day; however, you should already be an experienced runner, capable of running your chosen distance. Obviously, accidents can happen, and help will be available or can be accessed at all checkpoints. Sometimes, if
you are between checkpoints, the quickest way of accessing qualified help could be to dial 999 – we require that all runners carry a mobile phone for this reason. We can assist with more minor issues (we do have a number of qualified first aiders and doctors positioned around the course). A lift back to base is available from every checkpoint when required. Please ask a marshal for assistance.

Clearly, we cannot guarantee an immediate response with the limited resources available, so the ability to phone a friend or a taxi in a less pressing crisis would still be really useful, but remember you must report back to registration whether you complete the course or not as we have to be able to track all competitors at all times.

Yes. For the run we expect all participants to be able to complete the marathon within a 7 hour period and no one will be allowed to start the marathon run after 7:30 am. 

Yes. This is for all marathon and half marathon competitors who have registered prior to the final day for online entries.

You can download a PDF file with the grid references HERE.

This is a short video of the Orwell Challenge Marathon