The Severn Challenge

16th - 20th May 2024

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It’s Tough! But from 2024 it has become a little easier!

Gone is the camping – we now have accommodation with comfy beds.

The Severn Challenge is without doubt one of the toughest races in the UK. Over the last seven years the finisher rate is around 26%. Compare those statistics with other events that promote themselves as “the toughest” and then decide if this is for you.

  • Stage 1 (26 miles) – The Hafren (11:00 start from Rhyd-y-benwych picnic area)
  • Stage 2 (47 miles) – The Severn Plod Ultra (07:30 start)
  • Stage 3 (59 miles) – The Severn Path Ultra (07:30 start)
  • Stage 4 (57 miles) – The Severn Way Ultra (07:30 start)
  • Stage 5 (29 miles) – Bristol Severn (07:30 start)

Total race distance 218 miles

  • Distance in miles


  • Ascent in metres


  • Descent in metres


  • UTMB Points


  • Course Record




Race Overview:

Utilising the longest riverside path in Britain, the ‘Severn Challenge’ takes you along 210 miles of path, from the source of Afon Hafren (Welsh for River Severn) to the mouth of the River Severn. Added to this the four mile trek to reach the ‘source’, the ‘Severn Challenge’ commands an impressive distance of 218 miles. Conditions vary each year, and although the run mainly stays on the Severn Way Footpath, some paths / fields can be overgrown in places making the race even more of a challenge.

The ‘Severn Challenge’ is split into five stages, over a five day period. Within the five stages are five unique races in their own right, with each day having a bespoke finisher medal. Complete all five stages and you get all five medals, which are designed as a jigsaw and will replicate a precise miniature scale of the route. In addition any competitor completing the ‘Severn Challenge’ in less than thirty-six hours will receive the ‘soon to be coveted’ ‘Severn Challenge’ jacket.

You will be staying in booked accommodation at the Mid Wales Arts Centre, Maesmawr, Caesws, Newtown SY17 5SB at the end of day 1, The Premier Inn end of day 2, The Worcester Travelodge end of day 3, and The Stonehouse Travelodge end of Day 4.

The Severn Challenge is without doubt one of the toughest races in the UK. Over the last seven years the finisher rate is around 26%. Compare those statistics with other events that promote themselves as “the toughest” and then decide if this is for you.

New from 2023:

We used to camp - but no longer!

The end of Day 1 we will stay at The Wales Art Centre.

The end of Day 2 we will stay at Premier Inn Shrewsbury

The end of Day 3 we will stay at Travelodge Worcester

The end of Day 4 we will stay at Travelodge Stonehouse

N.B - rooms are on a shared basis. If you prefer your own room we will work out a cost for you.

Evening Meals:

  • End of Day 1 – Fish & Chips.
  • End of Day 2 – Eat at the hotel.
  • End of Day 3 – Eat at the hotel.
  • End of Day 4 – Chinese.


Porridge pot, yogurt, fruit, tea and coffee

Check-point food:

See the Check-Point Food tab

Kit Transfer:

Our support vehicle will assist in the transferring of one cabin sized kit bag per competitor to the following days hotel; Although this is only done with the acceptance by the competitor that they take sole responsibility for these items whilst in transit, and by requesting this service, automatically indemnify Ultra Running Ltd or any of its employees in liability for any loss or damage in transit whatsoever.

Check Points:

Vegan friendly & Gluten Free

When you register for the event, one of the entry boxes will allow you to select either Vegan or Gluten Free food.

We will then ensure that you have appropriate food choices at the check-points dependant on your selection.

Please do not request other food options. If you cannot eat everyday food, Vegan food or Gluten free food, you must provide your own nutrition for the check-points. Simply bag up your food for each check-point, and write your name on each bag with the corresponding check-point number and then give the bags to us at registration on the day. Will then ensure that when you arrive at a check-point your food bag is there available for you.

Example food items (which may change) are – Malt loaf, jam and peanut butter sandwiches, cake, nuts and fruit, squash, cola, and water.

All of our events are now cup-free so please bring your own re-useable cup. See our shop for some options.


‘Severn Challenge’ competitors are required to arrive at Rhyd-y-benwych for 10:30 to allow time for a race brief and photographs. Race start will be 11:00.

Competitors must be self sufficient in their travel arrangements to the race start location and also on completion of their race.

If you pull out of the race for any reason, you will be transferred by URL to the nearest train-station.

Entry Fees:

  • Solo Entry - £795.00
  • The 'Double' - £1,250 (includes the Thames Challenge race for 2024)

Six races in one!

The Severn Challenge is over five days, and each day is an individual race in its own right.

Day 1 - The Hafren
All finishers receive a bespoke medal and a technical t-shirt. The first male and female each receive a champions trophy.

Day 2 - The Severn Plod Ultra
All finishers receive a bespoke medal and a technical t-shirt. The first male and female each receive a champions trophy.

Day 3 - The Severn Path Ultra
All finishers receive a bespoke medal and a technical t-shirt. The first male and female each receive a champions trophy.

Day 4 - The Severn Way Ultra
All finishers receive a bespoke medal and a technical t-shirt. The first male and female each receive a champions trophy.

Day 5 - The Bristol Severn
All finishers receive a bespoke medal and a technical t-shirt. The first male and female each receive a champions trophy.

Complete all 5 days - The Severn Challenge
Each finisher receives a large finisher trophy.

The Trophy presentations will take place at the finish of each race.

Complete both The Severn Challenge and The Thames Challenge in the same year and you are automatically awarded the "Severn and Thames" Buckle. The Buckle has been available since 2020 and as of 2023 no one has yet successfully completed both events in the same year. This double challenge is open for bookings for both 2024 and 2025.

You are now able to add a Personal Cancellation Insurance Policy at the time of your booking.

The policy is provided through Event Protect Limited.

Please review what is covered under the policy HERE.

If you choose not to take out the Personal Cancellation Insurance Policy:

You still have the option to defer your entry until the following year through the entry system for just £15.00. This option is available up to four weeks of the event date. After this time no transfers or deferrals are possible under any circumstances as URL commits financially to various race costs at this time.

Please visit our shop to see a wide range of race related products;

  • Personalised Hoodies
  • Personalised Shirts
  • Personalised Caps
  • Personalised Race mugs with your name and finishing time
  • Reusable race Cups

By signing up to one of Ultra Running Ltd events you agree to abide by our general race rules;

The following are the race rules that apply to all Ultra Running Ltd events and should be adhered to by all race participants.

Each participant will be given a race number which must be clearly attached by safety pins to the front chest. If this is not clearly visible you may be delayed at checkpoints.
Teams must have pre-registered before the day and consist of at least three competitors who will also count as individual competitors amongst the rankings. For a Team to successfully complete the race, a minimum of three members of that Team must finish.

Each participant must make sure he/she is carrying all items detailed in the mandatory kit list

You cannot change your race entry category or team once the race has started.

Relay team members: All originally designated members of a team must complete the leg they have chosen, and the following team member must not start the race until the person they are handing over from has arrived at that CP, otherwise automatic disqualification will apply. Changes to the team members and/or race order can only be made up until the team has signed in on the day of the race.

Competitors must go through all check points and it is their sole responsibility to ensure that the check point attendant has recorded their race number and entry/exit time along with any injuries; failure to do so at any check point will mean the competitor has failed to complete the race and will be disqualified.

All entrants must be 20 years or over on the start day of the race.

Mandatory Kit List

Competitors must carry the following items. Random bag checks will be made on registration. Anyone found not to have the correct kit will not be allowed to start the race

Backpack or equivalent
Head Torch with spare batteries
Ordnance Survey Map 150 (Our downloadable maps are ok)
Compass or GPS device
Mobile phone
Emergency food pack consisting of a two chocolate bars,
Basic first Aid Kit

Competitor Retirement

If any competitor has to retire for whatever reason they must contact the race organisers immediately, either by advising a checkpoint attendant or by telephoning the emergency number which will be written on the race numbers of each competitor.

Time Constraints

The organisers want to give every competitor the opportunity of completing the race and will, where reasonable practicable, allow generous opening times of CP Stations; the allowance should be within an average of 4.0 miles per hour. If you fall below the 4.0 miles per hour you will be pulled from the race without concession.


In the event of Ultra Running Ltd. having to cancel the event, an alternative date will be provided. If re-scheduling of the event isn’t possible, or a competitor cannot make the revised date. URL undertakes to refund payments received, less any out of pocket expenses which are determined at 25%.

For all other circumstances, including Competitor cancellations due to personal reasons, refunds are not allowed. But at the discretion of the organisers an entry may be transferred to the following years race providing the request is within four weeks of the event date.

Any ‘transferred races’ or ‘reduced rate races’ are not refundable or transferable in any respect.

Race Photography

Ultra Running Ltd. reserve all exclusive rights relating to photographic coverage of their races. By entering an event, participants agree that Ultra Running Ltd may exclusively use any photographic or textual content captured during the event for advertisement purposes.

It is imperative that entrants achieve a minimum of 4 mph (including stops etc). If you fall below this minimum requirement you will get pulled out of the race and not be allowed to continue any further with the Severn Challenge. This isn’t debatable.

Day 1 - The Hafren Ultra (assuming a 10:30 start)

Hafren CP1 will close at 12:30
Hafren CP2 will close at 14:10

Day 2 - The Severn Plod Ultra (assuming a 7:30 start)

Severn Plod CP1 will close at 09:15
Severn Plod CP2 will close at 11:45
Severn Plod CP3 will close at 14:15
Severn Plod CP4 will close at 16:15

Day 3 - The Severn Path Ultra (assuming a 7:30 start)

Severn Path CP1 will close at 11:00
Severn Path CP2 will close at 14:15
Severn Path CP3 will close at 17:30
Severn Path CP4 will close at 20:45

Day 4 - The Severn Way Ultra (assuming a 7:30 race start)

Severn Way CP1 will close at 09:15
Severn Way CP2 will close at 11:30
Severn Way CP3 will close at 13:45
Severn Way CP4 will close at 16:30
Severn Way CP5 will close at 20:00

Day 5 - The Bristol Severn (assuming a 7:30 start)

Bristol Severn CP1 will close at 9:30
Bristol Severn CP2 will close at 12:15

09/11/2021 11:20 AM

Full Severn Challenge route.gpx

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  • Distance Instructions
  • Distance 174 miles
  • Time 0 s
  • Speed 0.0 mph
  • Min altitude 13 ft
  • Peak 1900 ft
  • Climb 4728 ft
  • Descent 5804 ft

Previous Years Results

Previous Years Photos