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The COW’s Big Challenge provides participants the opportunity to run, jog, walk or skip their chosen distance around the wonderful South Derbyshire countryside within the National Forest.
 

There will be a number of routes, each exploring different parts of the wonderful Calke estate and the surrounding countryside of the National Forest. Each will start and finish in the main COW arena on the, with the number you need to complete depending on the distance of the challenge you choose..

Before, after or even in-between completing your routes, there will be plenty of other things to get involved in back at Calke. These include yoga, natural movement workshops, inspirational talks, or just relaxing with some great food. Click HERE for more info.

As part of our environmental policy, t-shirts are an optional extra (so not produced for those that don't want one). And/or you have the option of joining the National Forest 'Plant a Tree' scheme as an alternative. 

40-Miles

£45

£25

 

Entry fees include general entry entrance to Calke Park and activities in the COW arena.

£5 Discount for National Trust Members. £2 supplement for unaffiliated. 

This is the COW's Biggest Challenge. You have 10 hours to complete six routes and achieve a total of 40-miles. You'll need to maintain an average of 4mph so suitable for ultra-runners and the strongest hikers. 

Start time:

08:00 participants

Time limit:

10 hours

Finish deadline:

18:00

No of Routes:

6

Age limt:

20+

Elevation:

2750ft

Entry fee:

£45 (+£2 unaffiliated)

£5 discount for NT members

Navigation:

Map, written directions and/or gps device. 

Included:

  • Memento for finishers

  • Well stocked aid station 

  • Comprehensive event handbook

  • Map, route description & gpx

  • Detailed results + split times

  • Professional medical support

  • Entry to Calke Park & Gardens

  • COW arena talkes & activities

  • Parking

Route

Profile

 

The COW's marathon distance challenge could be the most wonderful 26 miles you ever do on foot. Whether you want to go hard and get it done or go at a leisurely walking pace, werel sure you'l enjoy your day in the fantastic surroundings of the National Forest.  

Start time:

08:00 - 10:59

walkers/personal challenge

11:00 competitive

Time limit:

10 hours

7 hours

Finish deadline:

18:00

18:00

No of Routes:

4

Age limt:

18+

Elevation:

1800ft

Entry fee:

£35 (+£2 unaffiliated)

£5 discount for NT members

Navigation:

Map, written directions and/or gps device. 

Included:

  • Memento for finishers

  • Well stocked aid station 

  • Comprehensive event handbook

  • Map, route description & gpx

  • Detailed results + split times

  • Professional medical support

  • Entry to Calke Park & Gardens

  • COW arena talkes & activities

  • Parking

2750ft

Route

Profile

 

Our half marathon explores some of our favourite trails in the area. And, whether you're a runner or a walker, gives you ample time to join the talks and other activities going on in the COW arena throughout the day too.   

Start time:

12:00 - 12:59

walkers/personal challenge

13:00 competitive

Time limit:

6 hours

5 hours

Finish deadline:

18:00

18:00

No of Routes:

2

Age limt:

18+

Elevation:

900ft

Entry fee:

£25 (+£2 unaffiliated)

£5 discount for NT members

Navigation:

Map, written directions and/or gps device. Last 6-miles are waymarked.

Included:

  • Memento for finishers

  • Well stocked aid station 

  • Comprehensive event handbook

  • Map, route description & gpx

  • Detailed results + split times

  • Professional medical support

  • Entry to Calke Park & Gardens

  • COW arena talkes & activities

  • Parking

Route

Profile

 

The 'Calf 6' is 6 miles of pure unadulterated trail pleasure. A challenging but (for those that want to be) fast route, and waymarked throughout for those that don't want the stress of self-navigation.  Couple it with some talks and other activities in the COW arena, and it has the makings of a fantastic day out.

Start time:

14:00 - 15:59

walkers/personal challenge

16:00 competitive

Time limit:

4 hours

2 hours

Finish deadline:

18:00

18:00

No of Routes:

1

Elevation:

350ft

Navigation:

Waymarked and marashalled

Age limt:

16+

Entry fee:

£20 (+£2 unaffiliated)

£5 discount for NT members

Included:

  • Memento for finishers

  • Comprehensive event handbook

  • Results 

  • Professional medical support

  • Entry to Calke Park & Gardens

  • COW arena talkes & activities

  • Parking

Route

Profile

 

The 'Calf 3' provides a great option for walkers and runners of all abilities, with a beautiful waymarked routes that will show you the best bits bits of the wonderful Calke Park. You can take a leisurely approach and do it in your own time at any point during the day, or you can join the race at 17:00. Either way there will be plenty of time to get involved in the other COW activities.

Start time:

Time limit:

10:00 - 16:59

walkers/personal challenge

17:00 competitive

No limit

1 hour

Finish deadline:

18:00

18:00

No of Routes:

1

Age limt:

14+

Younger children may walk /run with parent or guardian in the personal challenge category

Elevation:

200ft

Entry fee:

£10 (+£2 unaffiliated)

£5 discount for NT members

Navigation:

Waymarked and marashalled

Included:

  • Memento for finishers

  • Results 

  • Professional medical support

  • Entry to Calke Park & Gardens

  • COW arena talkes & activities

  • Parking

Route

Profile

 
 

Event Information

Background


The COW's Big Challenge is part of the Calke Outdoor Weekender is organised by Peak Running, in partnership with the National Trust at Calke and the National Forest Company. Timed to coincide with the opening weekend of the annual National Forest Walking Festival and inspired by the great outdoors, the aim is to welcome people of all abilities to get active and reconnect with nature in the wonderful Calke estate and the surrounding countryside.




Entries


On-line entries will go on sale in February and close at midnight on 13th May 2020 or earlier if the capacity is reached. If there are any remaining places they will be availabe for sale on the day of the event, subject to a small supplement. Prices are as detailed above. The COW's Big Challenge has 100 places available in each distance. By purchasing an entry you agree to our general terms and conditions which can be found at the bottom of this page and the event specific terms in the 'taking part' section of this page.




Location


The event in based in the wonderful Calke Park in South Derbyshire.

The base for the race and event HQ is COW arena on the meadow next to the Abbey itself.

The address is:

Calke Abbey

Ticknall

Derbyshire

DE73 7LE




Car Parking


Car parking is available within Calke Park close to the event arena and is included with your event entry, as part of your general access to the park and gardens at Calke.




Camping


Camping is available to participants in the COW's Big Challenge and other COW events at Whistlewood Common. More details HERE





 

Taking Part

Experience Required


Although there is no formal qualifying criteria for taking part, we recommend that if you are taking part in the longer distances in the COW's Big Challenge (half marathon and above) you have some prior experience of long distance hiking or running over strenuous terrain. Also, that you have at least a basic level of map reading / navigation skills. See the 'Navigation' section below for more information on this.




Navigation


The 'Calf 6' & 'Calf 3' routes will be waymarked and marshalled, so you won't need to navigate for yourself.

The other routes that form part of the Half Marathon, Marathon and Ultra events have been designed to make them relatively straight forward to follow, using well-trodden trails so far as possible. However, other than signs provided by the authorities to highlight rights of way, there will be no way-marking on the course, until the final 6 miles (which is the same as the 'Calf 6' route. You are therefore responsible for your own route finding around the course.

Clear step by step route instructions will be made available to participants in each distance, together with gpx files that can be loaded into GPS enabled watches, smartphone apps or other devices. These will be provided well in advance of the race so you can familiarise yourself with them.

You will, however, be expected to carry a printed map of your route, which you will be provided with on the day. Or you can bring your own map, which should ideally be an Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale map, or equivalent.

Permissions for the event are based on participants using designated routes, which minimises the impact on the delicate landscapes in the area.

You must follow the designated route for your event throughout the event. Deliberate deviations from the route will result in disqualification and will also put the future editions of the event in jeopardy.




Kit Requirements


You should be dressed appropriately for the weather conditions and have sufficient kit with you to keep you safe in the event of you having to slow down or stop. This is particularly important in the longer distance events - half marathon and above.

Mandatory requirements for half marathon and above are:

  • Whistle

  • Magnetic compass

  • Map(s) covering the whole area of your route (Ordnance Survey or Harvey 1:25k scale preferred, 1:50k is the minimum requirement)

  • Appropriate clothing for the challenge and weather conditions

  • Appropriate footwear (trail shoes recommended, or walking boots for hikers)

  • Fully charged mobile phone

  • Emergency food (at least 400 calories) (Ultra/Marathon participants)

  • Drinks bottles and/or hydration pack to carry a minimum of 0.5 litres of fluid - (Ultra/Marathon participants)

Recommended:

  • Waterproof jacket, with hood and taped seams

  • Waterproof trousers with taped seams

  • Additional warm layer

  • Basic first aid kit, including foot care items

  • Hat and gloves

  • GPS device for backup navigation

  • Route description

  • Mug for hot drinks at checkpoints

  • Spare socks

  • Mobile charger/power-pack




Time Limits & Cut-Offs


Time limits for each distance are shown below.

Interim cut-off times will also be applied at the main check-point at Calke at the end of each route on the half marathon distance and above.

Full details of these will be provided closer to the date of the event. However, they will be based on the average speed that will need to be maintained to complete each distance.




Safety


We have assessed the health and safety risks associated with the event and have put in place measures to manage these so far as reasonably practicable. However, the nature of long distance running or hiking on trails, means that participants have a higher level of responsibility for their own personal safety and that of others, than they would in a more controlled environment. In the most part this simply means applying common sense and good judgement. However, when fatigued, extra care must be taken to ensure you do not inadvertently put yourself in danger. Details of specific requirements relating to your safety and hazards to be mindful of will be provided in the Event Guide, which will issued to participants prior to the event.




Checkpoints and Aid Stations


All events will be based on the event area in Calke Park, which will serve as the sole aid station for the events.

The COW's Big Challenge and Calke Explorer will have checkpoints on the routes. Full details are currently being finalised.




Medical Support


Medical support will be available throughout the event. Their role will be to provide advice and deal with the more significant issues. Minor issues, such as general footcare, dealing with blisters etc., will be your own responsibility, utilising your own first aid kit.




Support Crews


You are allowed to have friends and family supporting you around the course.




Support Runners (Pacers)


Participants are not permitted to have anyone who is not a fellow participant run/walk with them to act as a support runner.




Drop Bags


Participants in the COW's Big Challenge may leave bags with spare kit, food etc. in the designated are in the event arena while they complete the course. Items are left at the owners risk though, as the areas may not be supervised at all times.




Prizes & Finishers Awards


Full details of prizes and finshers' awards are currently being finalised.




Permit & Rules


The feature events will operate in accordance with UK Athletics Rules under a permit issued by the Trail Running Association. Permit number 3525.




Terms and Conditions


When purchasing an entry to a Peak Running Ltd event you are agreeing to the general terms and conditions specified below, as well as any terms and conditions specific to the event. Our general terms and conditions for our events, can be found at the link at the bottom of this page. These are supplemented with event specific terms and conditions. COW's Big Challenge event specific terms and conditions are as follows: The refund available is 70% of the entry fee recevied by Peak Running. The deadline for cancelling your place and receiving a refund is 15th March 2020. The deadline for transferring your place to another participant is 13th May 2020. This must be done by the original entrant editing their entry on SiEntries.

In the COW's Big Challenge you are permitted to transfer your entry to a different distance at the same event, subject places being available and payment of any difference in entry fee. There will be no refund of the difference if moving to a shorter distance. The deadline for transferring to a longer distance is 13th May 2020. Transferring to a shorter distances are permitted until registration closes on the day of the event.





 
 

Frequency Asked Questions

Are there any age limits?


Age limits are as follow. COW's Big Challenge 20 for Ultra 18 for Marathon and Half Marathon 16 for Calf 6 14 for Calf 3 Younger children can run/walk with parent/guardian in Calf 3 but must be accompanied at all times.




Can I run/walk with a dog?


You are not allowed to take part in any of the competitive races with a dog as it's not permitted under UKA/TRA rules.




Can I use trekking pole?


Yes, no problem.




What happens if I retire?


If you decide to retire you must do so at the event arena in Calke Park if at all possible and inform the event crew of your decision. If you are forced to retire while out on one of the courses, you must contact the organisers immeidately. Details of the process for doing this will be provided in the Event Guide prior to the event.




Are ITRA / UTMB points available?


The ultra distance in the COW's Big Challenge is currently under evaluation for points.




What happens if I can't complete all my routes within the time allowed?


If you have entered as a competitive runners you will be categorised as a DNF (did not finish) if you do not complete the entire distance. If you have entered as a personal challenge, you will be credited for the routes you do complete, provided you complete at least one.




Can I take a break between routes or skip a route?


Yes you can take as many breaks as you like and for as long as you like, provided you remain on track to complete your event by 18:00. You are allowed to skip a route but see the previous question for how this will be treated.




Will I get lost?


If you are doing the "Calf 6' or 'Calf 3' your routes will be waymarked and marshalled to ensure you stay on course. Although other routes are not marked our aim is to make route finding as straightforward as possilbe. Well troden paths have been used and clear, step by step route instructions will be made available.





 

Results

Results will appear here shortly after the event.

 

Gallery

A selection of images from the event will be provided here once available. 

 

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