We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you if you’re planning on attending our event. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hard is the S.A.N.D. Ultra?

The trail is hard enough to be a significant challenge, but easy enough for mere mortals to have a very good chance of completing the event. So by cutting the trail into 4 sections over 4 days it should be achievable for anybody who is mentally strong and reasonably fit. However the trail is over 100 miles long, with some lung busting ascents and leg trembling descents so don’t underestimate it!

How old do I have to be to sign up?

You have to be at least 21 years old to sign up for our event. We are governed by UK athletics, and their rules state that under 21’s must not compete in events above 45km (27miles). Our S.A.N.D. Ultra is a really long and gruelling event which puts a lot of pressure on muscles and skeletal structures, runners under 21 who are still developing risk doing long term damage if they take part.  As such, we don’t allow anybody under 21 years of age to participate.

How fit do I need to be?

As fit as possible. At the end of the day you could technically walk the whole trail in daylight hours over 4 days, but we recommend that a minimum level of fitness of being able to run or jog at least 13 to 15 miles a day, back to back. This means you could spend half your day running and half your day walking and enjoying the sights and countryside.

What are your payment terms & conditions?

In terms of paying for the event, we ask for a non-refundable deposit at the time you sign up to secure your place (this cannot be refunded at any stage). After that, we will ask for the balance 12 weeks before the event. If you pull out of the event from that point onwards, you lose 100% of your money. We strongly recommend you buy personal insurance to cover this scenario. To see our full terms and conditions, please click here

Is this event a hard-core ultra marathon race?

No, if you are a hard-core ultra marathon runner you will probably find this a little too easy! We are more interested in organising a great fun, social event where the priority is finishing the event, rather than winning it! Running 100 miles in 4 days is still a really hard challenge, and for most participants this will be the most difficult run they ever attempt! Please remember this is not a race, there are no timings and no prizes for coming first or second.

What time is breakfast and dinner each day?

Generally, breakfast is between 7am and 8.30am. Dinner is between 6pm and 7.30pm. If you miss these meal times, no other food will be provided by the organisers.  You will be issued meal tickets on arrival at camp every day.

What time can I start running each day?

On day one the event starts at 10.30am in Minehead (registration is between 9 and 10am).However on days 2, 3 and 4 the run starts at between 7 and 9am depending on the terrain and distance, but again full info will be given for the following day when you arrive in camp. If you intend to walk the S.A.N.D. Ultra, you can leave before the runners “to get a head start”, but we must have the 1st checkpoint (approx 6 to 8 miles away) fully operational by the time you arrive at it. The 1st checkpoint is normally in place by 9.30am so you can roughly work out how early you could start if you did want to get away a little earlier.  You cannot set off on any morning until you have heard the days safety briefing from the Race Manager.

Are there any cut off times each day?

You must be at the next campsite by nightfall at the very latest. If you are slipping behind and it’s looking unlikely you will make the deadline, we may encourage you to jump in the hug bus and drive to the next checkpoint and you can continue running from there.

If I sign up, can my friends or family come along as well?

No, sorry we cannot allow friends or family to come along on the event. We don’t have the facilities to transport extra people and their luggage who are not part of the event. We also don’t have space at our campsites for extra people, and we cannot provide extra food. The only way a friend or family member can come along is if they volunteer to help run the event. This would involve sitting on checkpoints or water stations for up to 6 hours a day. For more information please visit our volunteering page by clicking here.

Do I have to navigate and map read the route?

Yes, it’s your responsibility to follow the trail and make sure you don’t get lost. You enter this run at your own risk, and it’s your responsibility to navigate the route. However this is a national trail, and incredibly well signposted. Almost every gate and corner has a signpost so once you are on the trail, it’s pretty hard to get lost. If you do get lost, we strongly recommend you go back to the point where you last saw a trail marker, and try again. To be clear, it’s your responsibility to navigate your way along the route.

Will there be checkpoints and water stops along the route?

Yes, there will be checkpoints approximately every 4-6 miles, with free water and free snacks available. There will also be somebody who is first-aid trained at each checkpoint. However you will also be passing through numerous small villages and towns with shops, restaurants and pubs available, so you will also be able to buy supplies along the route.

Can I stop and have a pint of beer at every pub I see along the way?

Yes, but you will pass a multitude of pubs on the route, so you may want to think about having half a pint at each pub, rather than a full pint!

Is the trail in good condition?

The South West Coast Path is an excellent National Trail! It’s in very good condition and well signposted throughout. However as with every trail, if there is a prolonged period of wet weather the trail could get very slippy and muddy. Depending on the time of year, there may be sections of the path which have weeds and stinging nettles overlapping the trail which can sting anybody with bare legs. Please remember, if you do participate, you participate at your own risk.

What happens once I book my place on the run?

Once you book your place on the run, and pay the deposit, we will confirm your entry via email. Then around 8 weeks before the event, we will send you our “S.A.N.D. Ultra Guide” as a PDF document to your email address with all the final information you need. This will include the exact meeting times, the exact location of the campsites and general information about what kit you need, what to do in an emergency etc. Please read the “S.A.N.D. Ultra Guide” PDF document when you receive it, and ask us any questions.

How much luggage can I bring?

We will send you details of your exact luggage allowance in our “S.A.N.D. Ultra Guide” which will be sent to your email in PDF form 8 weeks before the event. However you will be allowed one bag per person, and everything must be able to fit in this bag (must contain your sleeping bag and pillow). We will only transfer packed bags, we will not transfer loose items like pillows or shoes etc. The baggage allowance will be enough to travel in reasonable comfort, but please leave your kitchen sink at home! Please note, we will not be responsible for any of your luggage which is damaged in transport. Please leave your valuable laptops and jewellery at home!

Can we bring our own cooking stoves and calor gas bottles etc?

No, we will not transport cooking equipment and gas bottles around. None of the campsites allow open fires and you are not allowed to cook any of your own food at our runner’s villages.

Do I have to camp, can I stay in a hotel?

You are an adult, so you are welcome to stay somewhere else if you choose.. The seaside is littered with amazing B&BS and hotels so if you really want to spend your nights in a hotel, and will organise this yourself, you can. However we feel this kind of defeats the point of the event – we want participants to get to know each other, help each other out, and for a great camaraderie to grow amongst the entrants. Spending the day running yourself into exhaustion, followed by a night camping in a tent listening to the guy next door snore is part of the fun and the challenge. Remember this is meant to be hard, if it is really easy you won’t get a sense of satisfaction when you finish it!

Is this a proper event, are you insured?

Yes this is a well organised professional event. We are affiliated to England Athletics and have a race licence, including over £50 million of event insurance. We have contacted the National Trail officer and have permission to use the trail. We have full permission from all the landowners for our campsites. We are committed to running a professional event.

What are the facilities like at the start and finish lines?

At the start of the run in Minehead we have rented a function room in The Quay pub right opposite the start of the South West Coast Path. There will be toilets in which you can get changed should you need to. At the finish line in Hartland we have teamed up with a local campsite who is happy for our runners to leave their cars onsite during the event at no extra charge and collect them either on the Monday evening, or stay overnight for the wrap party and leave on the Tuesday morning.

What happens if I need to give up half way through a day?

Don’t worry, if you can’t finish a days running we will look after you! All of our checkpoints along the route will be next to a road, and you will have access to our “hug bus” as we call it, (as those who use it need a hug!) which will transfer you to that nights runners village where you can rest and carry on the next day!

If you have any further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help!