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Sat 19 May 2018

In aid of JDRF



What to expect


What you will do


Ways to pay


All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Why book with Charity Challenge?


Clothing and Equipment






Responsible Tourism

Challenge Timings

Getting there


Food & Drink



How much of the River Thames do we follow?

How is this event managed?

Why book with Charity Challenge?

Everything included from the moment you arrive. Free car parking, breakfast buffet, lunch and snacks at checkpoints throughout the day and then a glass of champagne to celebrate at the end.

  • The very best trek leaders to support you every step of the way.
  • Safety checkpoints along the whole route. Food and drink will be available at each checkpoint, along with first aid assistance.
  • Support vehicle to assist you with any problems on the route.

The usual high quality Charity Challenge event experience!


The JDRF Thames Trail Challenge is graded as tough.

This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind.

Classic - 20km route

 For those people taking their first steps into the world of charity trekking events then the half marathon distance is the perfect entry level distance.

Extreme - 40km distance

For those people who have taken part in other trekking challenges and now wish to test themselves in a slightly more extreme environment then the full marathon distance is a great test of your endurance.

Whichever distance you choose you can tell your supporters that on your JDRF Thames Trail Challenge you will be:

  • Taking on the varied, undulating terrain of Oxfordshire and part of the Chiltern hills.
  • Ascending over 700m across the whole route (full marathon route).

Clothing and Equipment

Equipment of good quality and durability could make the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof and well-worn in boots or trail shoes will be indispensable. The terrain is uneven and can be very rough, so it is vital that you use either boots or trail shoes with good grip. Sports trainers are not suitable.

A full kit list for this challenge can be found here.

Once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoor Hire and Cotswold Outdoor.


The JDRF Thames Trail Challenge is a long, sustained event of up to 12 hours and covering uneven terrain with ssections of ascents and descents. Therefore it requires a good level of fitness.

The ideal training for this challenge is, naturally, walking along similar terrain. However, if you do not have the luxury of living near the great outdoors, then the gym or running/walking in your local area are good places to start. Most training should be part of an ongoing lifestyle, but if this is not the case then you should begin training 4-6 months prior to the challenge and gradually build up. Remember to use the clothes, equipment and especially the shoes that you will be wearing on the challenge in order to get them worn in.

The more you exercise before the challenge, the more you will get out of it. Also see your Charity Challenge Fitness Training notes.


During the challenge there are limited opportunities to spend any money. We would advise you should need no more than £20.00, excluding your travel cost


We don’t offer insurance for our UK trips, as any medical emergencies would naturally be covered through the NHS. If you wish, you could look into your own policy that covers cancellation for travel within the UK.


As you know, the weather in the UK can be highly unpredictable and at times erratic, so being prepared is the key! Although the early summer months of should be, in general, warmer, sunnier and more stable in terms of the weather conditions, we all know that this isn’t always the case. Please check the weather forecasts up to ensure that you bring clothing suitable for warm sunny walking weather and also sudden wind and downpours should they occur.


Despite its location in the UK, the difficulty of this trek should not be underestimated as it includes one long day of trekking, with a surprising number of gradual ascents and descents. The route is on good paths and quiet country roads, but it's the variation of terrain that makes this challenge a unique and fun experience.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism. On this challenge in particular, we always liaise with the rangers of the Thames footpath and The Ridgeway National Trail to make sure that we minimise our impact on the local environment.  

Our leaders care passionately for the environment and will be keen to talk to you about how you can do your bit to conserve the local area and enhance your experience. We believe that acting responsibly should add to your enjoyment of the challenge so we won’t lecture you about not dropping litter. Instead we’d like to encourage you to support the National Trail’s who maintain the excellent footpaths we will be walking on. Both the Thames footpath and The Ridgeway National Trail's have a excellent website that provides information on their fantastic work and allows you to donate to them directly. Their websites can be viewed here: 

Thames Path National Trail

The Ridgeway National Trail

We would also like to encourage all our participants to spend a little extra time in the local area. Why not consider booking an extra night in a local B&B, and go out for a meal in one of the excellent local pubs after the challenge? Charity Challenge can particularly recommend some of the watering holes of nearby Goring and Streatley! Not only will you be able to celebrate your achievements but you will also be putting more money back into the local area. Please visit the Experience Oxfordshire website for accommodation options and other ideas of places to visit in the local area.

Challenge Timings

Your challenge timings will depend upon which distance you select. Please also note that final event timings will be sent to you 1 month before the challenge date. the timings listed below should be used as guide.

Classic - Half marathon

Registration will take place at 8am, and the trek will begin at 8.30am.

We expect the final people to arrive back at the finish at around 3-5pm.

Extreme - Full marathon

Registration will take place at 7am, and the trek will begin at 7.30am.

We expect the final people to arrive back at the finish at around 4-6pm.


When you arrive you will be able to register and then enjoy a breakfast snack whilst meeting your support team and listening to the safety briefing.

Delays can happen, and the return time will all depend on the speed that you walk, so please do try and book flexible return arrangements. at each checkpoint we will be imposing cut-off times so that we can safely manage the event.

Getting there

The registration point will be in the village of Cholsey, about 30 minutes drive from Oxford. The start and finish point will be at the Cholsey Great Hall.

We will send across all driving details, plus the address of the registration point, at no later than 1 month prior to departure.

Cholsey also has a train station that is on the mainline from London Paddington.



No accommodation is provided for this challenge. We would like to encourage all participants whenever possible to book a few extra nights in the local area to fully enjoy their challenge and to put money back into the local communities.

The Experience Oxfordshire website has a full list of local accommodation options.

Food & Drink

A simple breakfast will be available at registration, however we would encourage you to see this as an added breakfast and to make sure that you have had a full breakfast before arriving.  Lunch will be available at each checkpoint in the form of a packed lunch. We would encourage to bring some of your own snacks to ensure that you can keep your energy levels up throughout the trek.

The drinking of alcohol the night before the challenge is strongly discouraged for your own health and safety during this tough challenge.


There will be toilet facilities both at the start and end of the trek; however during the challenge such facilities will be limited to the great outdoors!


Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

Here are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The terrain on the challenge is often rocky and in wet conditions can be extremely slippery. Please make sure that your shoes have good grip. Trainers are not appropriate as they lack grip.
  • The weather can change in the course of the day. Please make sure you carry an additional warm layer, waterproof jacket.
  • This event includes short sections along country roads. Please take care along these sections and keep to the sides of the roads in single file.
  • This is a long distance, endurance event. Ensure that you eat lots throughout the day and keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.

How much of the River Thames do we follow?

This event is being marketed as the 'JDRF Thames Trail Challenge' but please be aware that your trekking route does not exclusively follow the river. We follow the river between the towns of Wallingford and Streatley before turning away from the river to join the the Ridgeway footpath.


How is this event managed?

This event is an exclusive event for JDRF. We have recognised that JDRF are a unique charity and that many of their supporters have incredible stories to tell. The aim of this event is for it not only to be a fantastic physical and mental challenge, but for it to also be an opportunity for you to meet other supporters of JDRF and to share the experience together.

To facilitate this the challenge will be run as a led walk. When you registered you and your friends will be allocated a trek leader to begin the trek with. Each trek leader will have about 10 people walking with them. If you wish to walk a little bit faster or slower then that is abolsutely fine. The trek leaders will facilitate this throughout the day.

We would encourage everyone to help each other to complete this challenge together.

Please note that this is not a marshalled event. We will not be signposting the route.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:

Charity Challenge

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