Q: What is the event format?
A: This is easily summarised as follows;
22nd/23rd June 2013
Registration: Friday day-time and evening at Carlisle Castle. Drop baggage.
Challengers: Mass Start early Saturday. Run to the midway (overnight) location. Then a Staggered Start (2 hr window in which you can start) early Sunday. Run to finish. Rest, refuel, drink and be merry. Or sleep!
Team Relay: Saturday: As above, with 1 transition for team member change en route, then overnighting at the midway (overnight) location.. Sunday: As above, then 2 transitions for team member changes before Finish.
Experts: Mass start early Saturday. Continuous run to Newcastle.
Q: How old do I need to be to compete in the Wall?
A: Challenger and Expert
The Challenger and Expert categories of the Wall require participants to be 18 – 75 years old.
The Relay category for the event is 16 – 75 years old. PLEASE NOTE: Although under 18s can run a stage alone, there must be an adult to check-in with (or handover to) in the preceding or succeeding run stage.
Q: What are the timings
A: Challengers and Relay Teams:
Mass Start: Carlisle Castle. 0800hrs. Saturday 22nd June 2013.
Staggered Starts: Vindolanda. 0800-1000hrs. Sunday 23rd June 2013.
Finishes: 1200-1900hrs. Sunday 23rd June 2013.
Mass Start: Carlisle Castle. 0700hrs. Saturday 22nd June 2013.
Finishes: 1700hrs Saturday 22nd June 2013 until 0700hrs Sunday 23rd June 2013.
Q: How long does it take to complete?
A: Well, that is down to you: The event is offered as a 2 day trip or as a 1 day continuous journey. We expect that the leaders of the Challenger Category will be finishing each day within 5 hours. This will mean that the slowest runner will take over 10 hours each day, though there is scope to take up to 12 hours each day if you wish, so completing with sustained fast walking is also achievable. For the Expert continuous runners, then sub 12 hours would be the fastest target, and sub 24hrs for the slower runners will be their clear target. Finishing slower than this is still allowable however cut-offs are in place. More info can be found here.
Q: Can I enter a team?
A: Yes. The Relay Team category is the way in which to share the load, as the runners will be based out of a Team vehicle and will switch runners at 4 transitions along the route. However, this does mean that these individuals do not run the whole route individually. Your team can comprise 2, 3 or 4 runners and you will hand a baton (in effect) to each other along the way. The rules simply state that 1 of you must be running on each stage as a minimum. If more of you want to do more stages (e.g. run as a pair of team-members on some stages, for mutual support), then that is fine. You chose who does which stages and you chose who drives.
For those entering the Challenger Category who wish to complete as a group or team then this is something for you to informally organise and this is a good way to tackle the route, though entries are made as individuals using the online entry system.
Q: How hard is the course?
A: The course is in rural country, then open country, then rural country again, before a run-in beside the River Tyne into the built-up areas of Newcastle and Gateshead. You are never too far from shelter or assistance. You will need to be suitably dressed for exposure to the elements. The severity of this course is all in the distance, and that’s where you need to be trained-up and sure that your feet and body are ready. Other aspects of readiness and maintenance will relate to eating and drinking and managing sore points such as any blisters, chafing and abrasions. More information on the course can be found here.
Q: What are the statistics of the course?
A: Presently the course is about 69 miles long. This may change slightly right up until the day of the event. We are working with Hadrian’s Wall Heritage to ensure that a sustainable route is developed. Over the route as a whole, you will be running from sea level to about 750ft. There are lots of ups and downs along the way and these will be shown using some interactive mapping. The terrain will vary from grass paths, to tracks to roads with some rough ground and many gates and stiles to negotiate. A full stage by stage breakdown can be found here.
The stage distances are:
- Stage 1: 15 miles
- Stage 2: 17 miles
- Stage 3: 13 miles
- Stage 4: 17 miles
- Stage 5: 7 miles
- Total: 69 miles
Q: Will I have to navigate?
A: No, the course is fully waymarked with special guiding arrows. There will also be many marshalling locations to assist with route following and for contact with the event organisers should that be required. E.g. for pick-up or medical support should you require it.
Q: What facilities are available at the start, midway and finish?
A: Our start area will be based at Carlisle Castle and it will have toilets, registration materials and the Rat Race Store. This will be the location of the Start line itself, too.. Nearby and a very short walk away, Carlisle City Centre has everything on offer from accommodation, bars, restaurants and cafes, and various shops. On the eve of your run, there is everything you could possibly need from our Registration area and the City at large.
At the midway camp, we will build an event village of services, including catering, massage, medical tent, store, toilets and entertainment. For Challengers & Relays you will pick up your bag and tent from our transport and will simply need to pop your tent up, relax and recuperate in readiness for the next day. For Experts, your Midway point bag will be available for you to access before you carry on your journey. Pit Stop-style food of snacks & sandwiches as well as some hot food provision will also be on offer. You will be in the heart of “Wall Country,” so make sure you enjoy the views!
The finish will be set against the dramatic backdrop of the Bridges in Newcastle/Gateshead and this will be a stunning conclusion to your run. Here we will have further refreshments, massage, medical support, Toilets, bar & dwell area. The finish will be manned at all hours in order to service the needs of participants arriving throughout the day and the night. After you managed to grab you bag, there are showers available via a short shuttle bus before rewarding yourself with a meal and a night in Newcastle should you wish, or transfer back to Carlisle on the Saturday or Sunday night.
Q: Do I HAVE to camp at the midway camp?
A: No, you don’t have to camp, this is optional but is included in your entry fee. If you prefer, you could arrange a pick-up or a short walk to nearby accommodation, hostel, B&B, hotel etc, although all other accommodation options would need to be purchased by you and we would strongly recommend organising in advance. We will transport your baggage from the start to the midway camp, and in this baggage you would pack your tent and other camping equipment. We then move this on the next morning.
Q: Will there be feed/water stations on the route?
A: There will be some. You should not rely on these for your full sustenance however, as you are expected to carry certain supplies. As a minimum we will have water stations with some squash at the Pit Stops, at the end of each stage. In the event of very hot weather we will install more. We will also have some snacks at the Pit Stops, including sandwiches, cakes, fruit & sweets. In between the Pit Stops will be Checkpoints which will have some water to gulp down (please do not expect to fill large hydration bladders & bottles) and a chance to grab a handful of sweets. The Checkpoints are not full feed stations. The locations for both Pit Stops & Checkpoints can be found here. It is worth adding that the course has many touch points with local amenities which are used to seeing walkers, and that some of these may be accessible to purchase snacks and to request water.
Q: What gear will I need to carry?
A: We have a kit page HERE. It is important that you pack the mandatory kit and that you are sure that the items work well for you. Be practised. We also offer a list of recommended items.
Q: How will my baggage get to the finish?
A: For Challengers, we take your baggage in at Registration on the Friday night or Saturday morning before you start, and transfer this to the midway point. Experts will have the option to leave 2 bags with us; 1 small ‘day sack-sized bag to be transported to the Midway point, and; 1 general kit bag to be transported directly to the finish. Once the experts have passed the midway point, the bag which is there will be moved forward to the finish also. The Relay Teams will not require this service as their support car will carry the team equipment.
Q: How do I get back to the start after finishing?
A: There are excellent public bus & rail services which link Newcastle to Carlisle which will serve the needs of the majority of participants. We will provide a shuttle bus service linking the finish with the relevant bus & rail stations in Newcastle. To supplement this will be providing a limited bus transfer service from Newcastle back to Carlisle. This is subject to demand and requires advance booking. More info on all of this here. Many of you will undoubtedly be picked up by friends & family and whisked away for a well earned rest.
Q: What happens if I bail from the route and cannot complete?
A: We can collect you. If you make contact with the organisers or with a marshal on the route then we will arrange to have you picked-up and taken either back to Carlisle, the midway point, or the Finish. You might be asked to camp at Midway for transfer to the finish on the Sunday. In our experience very few people elect for this service – for example it might relate to a sprained ankle, sickness or complete tiredness – this is all very rare but it is something that we will cater for.
Q: Are there any cut-off times along the course?
A: Our intention is that we make these as accommodating as possible so that you can achieve this challenge even if you are moving slowly. However, for logistical support and safety reasons we have established some cut-offs. These can be found here. If any person is affected by these then they will be moved forrward to the midway point or the Finish as appropriate.
Q: Can I bring my dog on the Run?
A: No, Dogs will not be allowed on the Wall Run. The run will navigate through many fields and across land owned by many different owners. As event organisers we need to take the actions that suit the majority view in this matter.
Q: What sort of surfaces and terrain does the route cover?
A: This is a mixed-terrain event, which features both on and off-road running throughout the route. We have categorised these surfaces as public roads, tarmac paths and trails. The definitions can be viewed here.