Helsby Running Club

Sandstone challenge details – 2021 cancelled

Ok let’s get this out of the way… you’re no doubt expecting this but sadly we’re having to cancel the 2021 version of this excellent event. We’ve been agonising within the club about the feasibility of running the event in May and we’ve come to realise that it’s not safe for you, not safe for us.

Hope you’re staying safe and well and remember we will be back. Running is one of the best ways you can protect your mental health and for me, trail running one of the very best versions. We have access to some excellent trails on our doorstep, you can still do that. We’ll be able to do it together again soon!

Thank you so much for everyone that donated their refunds for the 2020 event to our two chosen charities: Mind or the Trussell Trust. It really makes a difference and thanks for thinking of them.

The route

Start: Jubilee Park, Whitchurch, Shropshire, GR537415
End: Frodsham Community Centre, Fluin Lane, Frodsham, Cheshire, GR522779


Officially the Sandstone Trail is 34 miles long, but we make it just under 33 miles. There’s about 1,268m (4,160 feet) of climbing.

Route description

The Challenge route follows the way-marked trail throughout, apart from avoiding the final road section into the centre of Frodsham. The way-marking uses a yellow footprint and is of a standard comparable with National Trails (ie good but not perfect). The route is also marked on recent editions of the relevant OS Explorer maps. We will not be issuing a detailed route description ourselves, but will produce some brief notes covering a few particular points to look out for and hand these out at registration on the day. Note that it is perfectly possible to get lost when following the Trail, so you must be capable of navigation with map and compass, and be carrying both (see the conditions of entry).

The best places to find information about the route of the Sandstone Trail are the Cheshire West and Chester Council website and Tony Bowerman’s guidebook ‘Walking Cheshire’s Sandstone Trail’. See the Sandstone Trail Links page for more information. The route is also shown on recent editions of OS Explorer maps 257 and 267.

The best places to find information about the route of the Sandstone Trail are the Sandstone Trail website and Tony Bowerman’s guidebook. The route is also shown on recent editions of OS Explorer maps 257 and 267.


£25, including coach travel from Frodsham to the start in Whitchurch and drinks and hot food at the end. The pie and cake alone will probably be worth more than the entry fee at the end of your event! The race has featured in a list of ‘Best Value Ultras in the UK’. Note that you must enter in advance – there will be no entries on the day.


Entries will be limited to a maximum of 250, with a maximum of 125 of these being runners.  We reserve half the places for walkers. Runner places always go very quickly and so we recommend that you enter early to secure a place.


Registration will be from 06:30 to 07:00 at Frodsham Community Centre. At 07:15 sharp coaches will leave Frodsham to take everyone to the start in Whitchurch. The coaches will drop everyone off at Tesco in Whitchurch from where it is  a few minutes’ walk to the start. The event starts at 08:30 or thereabouts, depending on when everyone gets there. You then have to get back to Frodsham by 18:30, ie within the 10 hour time limit. We will be able to transport small bags back to Frodsham from the start, eg for runners who don’t want to change into their running shoes until the last moment. We can’t do this with big kitbags or sacks though, and we can’t carry valuables. Please label bags clearly with your name.


There will be five intermediate checkpoints, each of which will be manned by volunteer marshals. They will all provide drinks, snack food and also sympathy where necessary. Checkpoint locations are expected to be:

  1. CP1: Lay-by at Bickleywood near No Man’s Heath, GR 523480
  2. CP2: Bickerton, just before the A534, at a minor road junction, GR 514537.  Note that this CP has been relocated for 2016.
  3. CP3: Horsley Lane below Peckforton Castle, where the Trail emerges from the woods, GR 534583
  4. CP4: Roadside by Rock Farm, Willington, GR 537662
  5. CP5: Roadside at Manley Common, GR 520719

Any changes to these arrangements will be given out at registration on the day.

Frodsham Community Centre

The community centre’s postcode is WA6 7QN for satnav. Full details how to get there on the Community Centre website. Fluin Lane is the B5439: turn off the A56 a short distance east of the centre of Frodsham and the centre is signposted on your right in a few yards. There should be enough car parking space in the grounds, so please don’t park in the street outside unless directed by marshals. Please share lifts to the start. Registration will be inside the community centre in the Main Hall, and those without cars can leave bags in the hall, although this will be at your own risk: no valuables please. There are plenty of toilets at the centre so please make the most of them to reduce delay on arrival in Whitchurch.

When you eventually arrive back at Frodsham check in at the finish desk, and you should then be able to collapse in a chair while we print your certificate. Hot drinks, and a simple meal will be available as soon as you are up to facing them. And as much tea as you can drink.

Entry Options

Minimum age 14 on Saturday 6 June 2020.
Entries open on Saturday 1 Feb 2020 at 00:00
Runners and Walkers £25.00.

Have a great day.

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