The 51st Year

New to Cotswold Marathon, here is some more information to help you with how the weekend goes!

The Cotswold Marathon is a winter night hike around Gloucester and over the Cotswold Hills. There are 3 routes:- Bronze 10miles, Silver 20miles and Gold 30miles. There is a maximum time limit of 6, 11 and 16 hours respectively. The Marathon is over varying terrain making it necessary for team members to have a good knowledge of mapping and orienteering. There are checkpoints every few miles around the route where drinks will be provided. 



The rules, classes and trophies can be found here



We have many participants who travel from far and wide to participate, if this is the case, we do offer onsite camping or many walkers choose to just sleep in the main hall after they have finished, others choose to immediately drive their minibus back to where they’re from.

Parking is not available at Murray Hall, please park sensibly on the adjacent roads.  Overnight parking will be available at the Secret Garden Nursery a few hundred yards from Murray Hall.



Late morning/ early afternoon the people camping arrive to pitch their tents and set up. At about 1500 onwards walkers arrive to go through the kit check tent and admin to get their wristbands, metal tags, walker cards and to have their team photo taken and just relax, etc. The bronze walkers will be filtered one way to their starting point and silver and gold teams get filtered to their starting point.


The Marathon is a team event for teams of 3 walkers. If more than 3 walkers are to walk together the actual team of 3 must be nominated at the start.  Only these 3 will qualify for a team prize. Please ensure that you decide who is in the team of three before you get to the start.


At 1700 or just before the first walkers will leave Murray Hall, so they will need to go to their designated start point to record teams, collect trackers and then be sent off on their night hike.



The cost of this year is £16 with an early entry discount if bookings are made before 19th January 2024. Payment is made via our online booking system where additional extras such as breakfast and badges can be made. 



When you get to a checkpoint, you will hand over your team’s walker cards to one of the checkpoint staff who will make sure that there are the same amount of walkers to walker cards, they will then stamp it with a clicker and write the time that you get to that checkpoint on the walker card.


Checkpoint 1 is the only one that is different! At checkpoint 1 there will be a bucket where you will put your metal tags, with your numbers on, that you were given in the admin tent. The majority of our checkpoints have toilets, they will also have squash and tea or coffee available and on a finishing checkpoint there is the option of soup.



If you have a medical condition, please ensure that it has been recorded on the booking system.  If you suffer from asthma don’t forget to pack your inhaler and ensure that it is easily accessible in your rucksack.


If you wish to retire form the event you must do so at a checkpoint.  Inform the checkpoint staff and hand in your walk card and tracker if you have one. The staff will then arrange transport back to Murray Hall, you may have to wait a while, but we will do our best to get you back as fast as we can.


All walkers will be issued with an Emergency Action Card detailing what to do if there is an incident.  The emergency telephone number is on this card and on your walkcard. Should you need any first aid treatment please ask the checkpoint staff.



You will check-in to the checkpoint normally and then your walker cards and team tracker will be collected from you, you will then sit and wait (go to the toilet, have some soup, etc) whilst we organise your transport back to Murray Hall where you can then depart, stay over, whatever you’ve chosen. Breakfast is available to walkers; they just need to have pre-ordered it and then when you want it go to the control room at Murray hall and ask for your breakfast voucher.



We hope to publish the results as soon as possible after the event and they will be published on the website. Certificates and badges will be available from the admin team at Murray Hall, we ask leaders to collect them before they leave.  Medals will be awarded to those that complete the route that they have entered.  Marathon boots will be posted to trophy winners a few weeks after the event.



Any last minute changes will be published on the homepage of this website, so please so please check this before you leave for the event.



During the event safety cover and supervision is provided, however, on practice walks it is the Leader’s responsibility to ensure that adequate supervision is provided.  The weather conditions on the route can change very quickly and become very hostile during the winter months. For your own safety it is important that reflective clothing is worn on practice hikes and the Country and Highway Codes are obeyed.



Participants in the virtual event can select a 10, 20, 30 or 50 mile target, activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming can be counted towards the selected distance and recorded online via our booking system. This year miles that are walked at our 2024 event can count towards the virtual challenge. 



The organisers and Gloucester District Scout Council accept no responsibility whatsoever for any loss incurred during the weekend of the event.  Walkers should make their own arrangements for insurance of possessions if they feel it necessary.