Sandstone challenge details

The route

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

Distance

Officially the Sandstone Trail is 34 miles long, but we make it more like 33 miles. There’s about 3700 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. See the Sandstone Trail Links page for more information. The route is also shown on recent editions of OS Explorer maps 257 and 267.

Cost

£25, including coach travel from Frodsham to the start in Whitchurch, drinks on the way and hot food at the end. The pie and cake aloe 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’. You must enter in advance – there will be no entries on the day.

Numbers

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. We recommend an early start to secure your place!

Timetable

Registration will be from 06:15 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 you off at public toilets in the middle of Whitchurch allowing you to make use of them if necessary, and it will then be a few minutes’ walk to the start. The walk starts for everyone at 08:30 or thereabouts, depending on when we all get there. You then have to get back to Frodsham by 21:00, ie while it’s still daylight. 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.

Checkpoints

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 those of you with satnav. Full details of how to get there are on their 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 there by marshals. If you can, 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.