Trailblaze is an endurance challenge that takes you on some of the best long distance trails in the UK passing through some of the most inspiring landscapes the British Isles has to offer including the Cotswold Way and the Cotswolds AONB. Primarily aimed at runners although accessible to walkers it’s a challenge about distance rather than speed, one that hopes to encourage people to go that bit further and so see more of what’s on offer!
The scheme has been developed in partnership between Endurancelife, Natural England and the National Trails team, it allows participants to be part of a challenge or ‘event’ without having large numbers of people on the trail at any one time, thereby reducing the concentrated impact and disruption of large organised events. Currently in the pilot stage on 8 of the National Trails around the UK, the scheme helps to bring the trails to the attention of a wider audience who contribute to the local economy. National Trails also receive 20% of all participant entries, funds that can be spent helping to maintain the trails.
The challenge is to travel as far as you can under your own steam in one complete attempt. Starting in Bath the trail has been split into 5 difficulty levels that roughly equate to the following distances: 10km, Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra Marathon and the Whole Trail! To participate register online and you’ll receive a timing tag that you use to engage with the small electronic checkpoints that are out on the trail. There are 13 boxes along the whole of the 100 miles. The scheme offers plenty of flexibility, the timing tag remains ‘live’ for 3 months so you can choose to attempt the challenge at any time in that period. You can also do as much or as little as you like and don’t have to know how far you are going to go until you need to stop – so if the going is good, why not carry on to the end! A record of your achievement is then logged on the website for posterity and to inspire friends and rivals.