About the Marlow Donkey

Marlow Donkey 2024 Challenge Event

Sunday 29th September 2024

Entries now open for LDWA members ONLY

Updated 03Jun2024 - Event open.


Information contained here is provisional and will be updated before entries open. Please check back here for updates before entering the event.

Please ensure you, and any others included in your entry, have read and fully understand the information below BEFORE you formally apply via SiEntries.

The Event

The aim is to complete, on foot, a route of either 16 miles or 25 miles within maximum time periods of 8 or 9.5 hours respectively. The 8-mile checkpoint will have cut-off times included in the route description; if later than this, you must return on the 16-mile route.

Route start times differ as set out in Registration and Start; For any start time all entrants MUST finish by 18.00.

Key dates

Event Date Sunday 29th September 2024
Entries Open Saturday 1st June 2024 (LDWA members only) or Tuesday 20th August 2024
Entries Close Friday 13th September 2024
Route description & gpx available At least 1 week before the event









Conditions of Entry

By entering via SiEntries you are considered to have read and agreed to all of the event rules. The event rules are the various conditions and requirements as laid out within this About the Marlow Donkey Page.

You are to provide the organisers with your mobile phone contact number and the phone must be carried, charged and switched on during the event.

You are to provide the organisers an emergency contact number that is available on the event day and must be different to your own mobile contact number.

Any person under 18 years of age must have the written consent of, and be accompanied on the event by, a parent or guardian (this is a legal requirement). At registration on the day the written consent is to be submitted and the organisers made aware of both the junior and the escorting parent or guardian.

The organisers reserve the right to vary the route for any reason, in which case you will be informed as appropriate.

The organisers reserve the right to carry out a kit check at any time during the event. Anyone failing to carry ALL the mandatory kit will be retired.

Cancellation of the event will be at the discretion of the organisers and your entry fee will be refunded less any unavoidable costs incurred. If the event is cancelled for any reason we will put a notice on the Thames Valley website (please check before you begin your journey); we will try to contact you using your email details provided.

There will be no refund if you cancel and/or withdraw from the event. Each entrant must:

  • Complete the event exclusively on foot.
  • Follow the route description provided, including any late changes notified at the start or en-route by marshals; get your time recorded at each checkpoint and at HQ on completion or HQ or CP if you retire.
  • Pass through the checkpoints in order. In the event that you deviate from the route you must get back on route by the shortest practical means without trespassing on private property. Deliberate deviation from the route to gain advantage will result in disqualification.
  • Obey directions given by marshals
  • Make yourself aware of, and comply with, the Countryside Code at all times and do nothing to bring the LDWA into disrepute.

Any person who is identified as marking the route will be disqualified.

No dogs except registered assistance dogs with appropriate third party insurance permitted by prior arrangement. They must be kept on leads at all times and dogs are not allowed in any of the indoor halls (a condition of our hire). Dogs are not covered by LDWA insurance and there may be excitable livestock on the route.

In all matters connected with the event the decision of the marshals is final.

Entry: Fees / Certificates / Results

Online application and payment is via SiEntries.

SiEntries. Entries will be acknowledged by email. NO postal entry, NO entry on the day, substitutions ONLY via SiEntries before entries close, NO substitution after entries close, NO refunds.

The number of entries will be limited to 150 on a ‘first-come first-served’ basis. The event will open to LDWA members ONLY on 1st June and to others on 20th August: membership numbers must be supplied and will be checked! You may join the LDWA at www.ldwa.org.uk and obtain an immediate membership number. Entries close on the closing date or when the limit is reached, whichever is sooner. Any subsequent requests for places once the entry limit / closing date is reached will be ignored. The entrant fee for either route is £10 for LDWA members, £15 for non-members.

Entry fee includes drinks and snacks at the start, at an outward checkpoint, and a simple meal at the finish, plus transport for retirees.

The food provided at checkpoints cannot be guaranteed free from contamination with allergens. This is not because of carelessness on the organisers’ part, but because of the practicality of taking over a kitchen within a short time scale.

Timed certificates will be awarded to those who tick a box at the start to ask for one and who complete their chosen route within the time limit. These will be emailed to the entrants.

Results will be published on the Thames Valley website after the event concludes at Past Results.

On the Day

HQ Venue and Car Parking

HQ Venue. Start and finish is at Liston Hall (Marlow Community Association), Marlow, Bucks GR SU850867, ///backyards.madder.scope. Please note muddy shoes or boots must not be worn inside the Hall. There are no changing rooms or showers available. Baggage may be left at the HQ at your own risk for the duration of the event or one of the loops. The organisers accept absolutely no responsibility for any baggage and contents left at HQ. All bags must be removed by 19.00 on the day of the event.

Sleeping at the HQ venue is not permitted.

Car parking for entrants is available nearby in the town’s car parks. One of these, in Liston Road, is opposite the hall (and Lidl). There is another 100m away at Dean Street. Both currently charge £1.10 per day on Sunday.

We encourage travel by train. Marlow Railway Station is about 10 minutes walk. Please check train times. At the time of writing the first train arrives at 08.50: if this is delayed, we will make allowance for you. The walk DOES NOT start at the Marlow Donkey pub next to the station.

Registration and Start

As the walk is for only 150 entrants, there will not be tally cards or entrant numbers. You will be checked off by your name.

There is no mass start. You may start any time between 08.15 and 09.30. You must register prior to starting. There will be no access to the hall before 08.00. Please DO NOT leave at the end of the walk without registering at the hall as we will then have to phone you.

Checkpoint opening times are based on these times and are stated on the Route Description so plan your day accordingly. You will not be allowed access to a checkpoint other than during the official opening times. You must finish by 18.00; the 8-mile checkpoint will have cut-off times included in the route description; if later than this, you must return on the 16-mile route.

Any entrant who expects to complete the event at an average pace greater than 6mph is to contact the organiser to discuss a potentially later start time. However you will still need to comply with the event checkpoint opening and closing times.

Route Description

You MUST bring along a paper copy of the route description, which can be downloaded from the Thames Valley website (available at least 1 week before the event). You are reminded the checkpoint opening times are strictly adhered to.

Entrants who wish to reconnoitre the route should note that the route may be subject to late alteration.


It is required that each entrant carry a minimum of the following equipment

  • A personal drinking container (at least 1 litre recommended, more if the weather is expected to be hot)
  • Plastic mug for drinks at checkpoints (none will be provided)
  • Paper copy of the Route Description
  • Mobile Phone, preferably with spare battery pack
  • Whistle
  • Basic First Aid kit including blister plasters
  • Suitable footwear in good condition
  • Waterproofs
  • Compass (Magnetic, GPS or Smartphone, providing fully charged batteries)
  • Map(s) as specified below:
    • OS Landranger 175 (Reading and Windsor) 1:50,000
    • OR OS Explorer 171 (Chiltern Hills West) 1:25,000 and Explorer 172 (Chiltern Hills East) 1:25,000
    • OR Computer-generated versions of these maps printed in colour at a scale of not less than 1:50,000 which must be within a waterproof covering and at least two kilometres either side of the route
    • OR Map(s) in electronic format (GPS) with an adequate power supply.

In addition your clothing, both worn and carried, should be suitable taking into account the prevailing weather conditions and the forecast for the day.

Event Disclaimer

When you entering via SiEntries you will be required to indicate your acceptance of the following disclaimer.

"I agree that I participate in the event at my own risk. I understand that I am responsible for ensuring that I have undertaken the necessary preparation and training to participate in the event, that I am sufficiently fit and healthy to participate and that I will comply with all relevant UK Government and local COVID laws and guidelines. I understand that if I have a medical condition that would cause me to doubt whether I can participate in the event, then I will not do so unless I have sought reassurance from the medical profession. I will abide by the Countryside Code. I understand that the Long Distance Walkers Association will not be held responsible or liable for any loss, damage, action, cost, expense, claim, injury, illness and in worst case scenario, death suffered as a result of my participation. On entering the event, I assume full and complete responsibility for any injury, accident, costs, expenses, damages, losses and any other liabilities which may occur while I am travelling to and from the event and during the event. I agree to accept the event organiser's decisions as final, and understand that they will be taken in the best interests of all participants and for the smooth running of the event."

Privacy, Data Protection and Personal Information

The organisers need to store entrant information on a computer for operational and safety reasons. This is a pre-condition of entry and by entering you agree to this temporary storage. The information will be held by the team for planning and event management.

"I understand that the personal information submitted on this entry form will be held by the event organisers and retained securely for up to seven years after the event and is held for the purposes of managing this event only.
I accept that photographs are likely to be taken at the event, which may be featured in Strider magazine, group newsletters, on LDWA websites and on LDWA social media.
I understand this will be held in perpetuity and I have the right to request deletion where it is physically possible for the LDWA to do so.
I understand that some parts of my personal data may be published immediately and may be held in perpetuity to the extent necessary for the purpose of providing a record of the event.
I have the right to request that all my personal data be anonymised or removed where it is possible for the LDWA to do so.
If I have any specific questions about who can see what parts of my personal data, I understand I can contact the event organiser, or the LDWA data protection officer at datamanager@ldwa.org.uk."


By entering via SiEntries, an entrant is considered to have agreed to the above statement and read and agreed to all of the event rules, conditions of entry, and conduct expected during the event.