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How far is the race?

You decide! The 2.8-mile off-road loop means your race can be just under 5k or even over 50k 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 9 laps (+1 mini one!) and a half marathon will be 5 laps (14 miles). The course is predominately flat with a very definite up and down section! Each lap has around 170ft of elevation, making the marathon distance 1700ft 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. There is one notable climb to the top of the Forest Park, with a corresponding notable downhill! The rest of the course is relatively flat however allowing for some spectacular views across the lakes. There is even a section through the pine forest. The HQ and lap start and finish will be in the bottom car park.

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.


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 where we'll do our best to help.

Event Details

Organiser Details

Big Bear Events
Big Bear Events website
Contact Details
: 07378144671