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Isle of Wight Challenge

04-May-2019 Chale Recreation Ground, Military Road, Chale, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight, PO38 2JF, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
106KM / 66Miles
2 Days

Alternate Distances: 53KM 25KM

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

The Challenge

Great challenges need great settings, and there's none better than this stunning coastal path. Over 2,000 adventurers take on the Island in May - most walking but many jogging or running - past the famous Needles and up to Cowes at half way, then around clockwise back to our base camp in Chale after a spectacular 106km journey with full support and hospitality.

Whether you're an occasional marathon runner, a regular Ultra competitor, or just up for a real challenge - join one of the UK's premier Ultra Run events and push yourself! It's a fantastic challenging route, and when combined with our full support, tailored runners food, baggage transfers and first class signage - it sets it above other events in the market!

All runners receive ...

  • Hot food at main Rest Stops (except 1st 25km)

  • Hot meal at the finish line

  • Snacks & drinks at all Rest Stops

  • Action Challenge experienced trekkers en route

  • Medics & doctors on hand at all stops

  • Massages available at 53, 80 and 106km

  • Specialised runner's warm up at the start line

  • Finishers medal, t-shirt & glass of bubbly

  • Shuttle service from the finish to Cowes ferry

  • Support vehicles on hand throughout

  • Timing chips & live timing website

  • Baggage transfer to finsh (+ halfway for 100km runners)


You pay an initial registration fee to sign up to the challenge - the fee is paid per person for individuals and members of a team, the fee secures your place on the challenge & is non-refundable.


  • Full Challenge - £185 / person 

  • Half Challenge - £125 / person

  • Quarter Challenge - £75 / person

Fundraise for charity

By registering & signing up you are committing to a minimum fundraising target for the charity of your choice, which depends upon the distance that you've selected.

  • Full Challenge - From £60 Reg Fee  (normally £80) + £425 minimum fundraising (

  • Half Challenge - £45 Reg Fee (normally £60) + £275 minimum fundraising 

  • Quarter Challenge - £30 Reg Fee (normally £40) + £175 minimum fundraising

It's your challenge your way!

We also organise:

  • Thames Path Challenge
  • South Coast Challenge
  • Thames Bridge Trek
  • London to Brighton Challenge
  • Henley 10K Challenge
  • Jurassic Coast Challenge
  • Wye Valley Challenge
  • Cotswold Way Challenge 

Event Organiser
Nicola Smith



Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Isle of Wight Challenge

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07:50 14-07-18

2018 - my first ultra! Very well sign-posted, almost impossible to go wrong; every time you think 'I haven't seen a sign for a while', you spot the next one. Very good rest stations - well spaced and with a fine selection of snacks and hot food at some of them, plus energy drinks and water. Vast majority of the route has lovely views, was a mixture of road and path, some of it very muddy, despite the unseasonably warm weather for May. Ended up with sunburnt legs apart from the bits with mud on them.
Most people walk it, some run it and a few, including me, try and run some and walk some.
A good experience for my first - would recommend this and Action Challenge events generally

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09:31 11-06-18

Loved this race. Always well supported and the aid stations are great. Course is fab and very well signed. A very expensive company to run with so can only get one of these races in this year but great anyways

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02:44 13-05-18

I entered the Isle of Wight Challenge as my first Ultra. Given it was my first one I was happy to take advantage of the reduced entrance price in exchange for raising money for charity, though there is an option to pay entirely on your own it becomes extremely expensive this way, which may be offputting for more experienced runners. My impression of the field was certainly that it contained many first time ultra runners.

The course is for the most part lovely, starting and finishing on the southern tip of the island at Chale. The first and last quarters take you along this particularly beautiful bit of the island, though there are some less interesting features. Leaving Cowes for the third quarter of the challenge involves significant amounts of running along busy roads, before heading back into the footpaths of the island. Underfoot I would estimate it is split evenly between hard surfaces such as road or beach promenade and grassy trails, however none of the terrain could be described as technical. There's plenty of ascent to make it challenging but it mostly arrives quite spread out.

The organisation was superb when we arrived on the Island, we camped at Chale the night before the start, the staff were friendly and helpful, the facilities were good and it was the perfect set up. The course is marked excellently, with no need to think about navigation other than following the arrows. The rest stops were full of friendly volunteers, and were well staffed by St Johns. Although I didn't take any food from the rest stops (preferring to stick to what I carried) they had a wide array and the meal at the finish was received gratefully.

The only downside I can really mention is the poor design of the website, making it more of a hassle than necessary to find out information.

Overall I'd say this is an excellent first ultra to undertake, though given the fund-raising commitment/cost I probably wouldn't run it twice. If you don't want to wait till next year then the other Action Challenge events might be for you.

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Facebook ID - 10205562225134299

12:52 06-12-17

Participei da edição de 2015, minha primeira ultra-maratona no Reino Unido.
Fiquei muito bem impressionado e feliz com a organização, atendimento e apoio fornecidos pelo evento. Muito acima das minhas expectativas, comparando com outras corridas que havia participado.
Corrida com grande variação de clima, muitos ventos e uma paisagem deslumbrante!
Recomendável para corredores que gostam de desafios e desfrutar de lugares surpreendentes.

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08:15 07-05-15

I entered the IOW challenge 02/05/15 as my first foray in to ultra running. I chose this event because of the excellent support on offer around the course. I was not disappointed. I found the course to be well marked and easy to follow and kept the map in my backpack for the duration.
The rest stops were well stocked with a variety of fayre on offer. I am not the fastest of runners and hit the road in to East Cowes at night in to oncoming traffic which was a little daunting and a good head torch is a must at this point. As mentioned in previous reviews the ferry crossing can be a bit of a wait. I was waiting approx 7 minutes for the ferry whereas two other runners turned up just as it was about to leave saving them time. I think there should be a timing point as you arrive at and leave the ferry to even it out.
The route was very challenging and the strong easterly winds certainly made it more so.
I enjoyed the challenge and felt a great sense of achievement at the end and would not hesitate in recommending this event.
There are also a lot of places to stay and make a long weekend of it with the family as I did.
Prepare well and enjoy, l learnt a lot of valuable lessons in preparation and kit choice.

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01:41 06-05-15

Just taken part in the 2015 event and have to say what a fantastically well organised challenge. From the initial paperwork and registration, right through the well earned meal at the finish point all the support and amenities went like clockwork. The challenge was brutal, mainly due to the adverse weather conditions (high winds and a near constant, driving rain) but that just makes it all the more satisfying when you cross the finish line. The staff across the whole route were absolutely great, especially at the rest stops - we even had one young lady get our food and a cup of tea whilst we were getting our feet checked out! The only slight gripe I have (and one that others have mentioned) is the chain link ferry from East to West Cowes. After walking all that distance it really is disheartening to see it pull out when you are nearly there and you know you have a wait where you're gonna get cold and seize up a bit. However, that is one small blip in an otherwise brilliant event. If you are going to do it then make sure you prepare well - this is not a challenge to take lightly or just "turn up on the day" for! The better you prep the more you'll enjoy it.

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09:06 05-05-15

I have never done anything like this before, but completed the full island challenge.
The Isle of Wight has such varied terrain which makes it difficult but keeps the mind occupied. Some really stunning places. The organisers were fantastic, each stop had great amenities although there was very little in the way of hot food for dinner which was badly needed. No rice/potato unless I waited 20 mins. The weather was very challenging with a lot of muddy slippery paths and steps. Just when you thought things would flatten out another hill or set of steps appears. It was both so hard core and exhilarating at the same time.
The last few km were tough along a grassy verge by a fast road and then waiting for the ferry as your legs seize up.
This is a massive challenge and I feel amazing for having achieved it. The day after it was over I said I would do it again!

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05:32 05-05-15

I completed the 2015 full island challenge which was held in May. The weather was terrible, high winds and pouring rain making covering some of the terrain at night time very treacherous. Due to this St. John's Ambulance and medics were overrun as people became injured in very difficult spots to access. However, I cannot praise the trek-masters enough, and the organisation of the main pit-stops was quite good. There are a wide variety of sweet food stuffs available should you require it including fruit, chocolate, energy tablets, glucose gels and sweets. The savoury food was a little limited, particularly at the 3/4 stop, as they had to shut the kitchen down due to high winds. I expect that of the challenge were to be be held on weekend with better weather, these issues would be resolved. The terrain is very hilly and goes through forests, fields, clifftops, towns, esplanades and sandy/pebble beaches.

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05:15 05-05-15

The Isle of Wight is a great natural course with the vast majority of the route on well marked coastal path, a few sections are on road however, but due to the relatively small population it never gets too dangerous. Food stations are incredibly well stocked and cater well for those walking. As a runner I tend to run mostly self-supported and only really take on isotonic drinks at the major rest stops, but there is hot food/drinks, massage and first aid available. Action Challenge events are well supported and run smoothly in my experience. The only negative would be the final chain link ferry crossing at East Cowes(104km point), if you're unfortunate and just miss one (as I did!) you lose approx 20mins waiting for it to load/unload and take you across the estuary to complete the last 2km.

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05:10 05-05-15

I registered as a full Island walker dropped out at the 77k point. The staff were excellent thoroughly professional and passionate about putting on a great event. They really looked after me despite the brutal conditions. The challeng is exceptionally tough but one of those things you look back on with enormous pride. A really great event organised brilliantly. Thank you.

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