Poplar Challenge

Ibstock, Leicestershire.

How far is the race?

You decide! The 3.3-mile off-road loop means your race can be just over 5k or over 50 miles and anywhere in between. You decide how many laps you're going to do on the day within the 6-hour time limit. If you're looking to cover a marathon distance you'll need to complete 8 laps and a half marathon will be 4 laps. The course is predominately flat with a very definite up and down section! Each lap has around 240ft of elevation, making the marathon distance just over 1900ft of elevation.

Entry information

No entries on the day

There is a strict entry limit. Once the event gets down to the last places we'll endeavor to make people aware through social media and emails (join the mailing list here). Once the event is full a waiting list will be created. This will be available through the normal entry site.

Parking is free! There is a large parking area at the Forest Park. That said, be a hero and car share, save money and the world!

Course description

The course is mainly on a crushed stone pathway, with some sections on grass pathways and through a pine forest! There are 2 distinct climbs but of course that means 2 lovely downhills too! The rest of the course is relatively flat however allowing for some spectacular views across the lakes. The HQ and lap start and finish will be next to the toilet block.

Is the event cupless?

Yes. Please read our page on cupless events if you haven't experienced it before. It's obviously good for the environment to reduce plastic use and general waste. Yes, you wont break a world record having to stop to fill a bottle of water or carry a hydration pack but over a marathon distance it would probably add less than a minute to your time. We will have water, isotonic drinks, tea and coffee and real Coca Cola for you, but to be clear - we wont supply disposable cups for drinks. If you'd like to purchase a foldable cup you can buy one when you purchase your entry, from our merchandise page or at any of our events.

Why is it called the Poplar Challenge?

Why not!? Sence Valley has many poplar trees and is part of our Forest Series across the National Forest at varying Forestry Commission sites. If you'd like to take part in the Forest Series go to the Forest Series page.

Where is it?

Ibstock, Leicestershire. Sence Valley Forest Park is a basic (but beutiful!) country park with toilets and ample parking (free!!), there is no cafe. Use the postcode LE67 6NW for sat navs. It's 10 minutes from Junction 12 of the A42. The closest train station is Burton-on-Trent.


Permission for this event has been obtained from the Forestry Commission

TRA licence number


Frequently asked questions

Click here for our frequently asked questions.


If your question hasn't been answered or if you are still unsure of anything please contact us at racedirector@bigbearevents.net where we'll do our best to help.