Christmas Tree Challenge – Event Instructions

The Christmas Tree Challenge takes place at Portchester Castle on the 2nd December, starting at 10am.


Portchester Castle lies at the end of Castle Street, Portchester. It is owned and managed by English Heritage.

Parking in the FREE car park at the Castle is limited. We therefore request that all entrants use the main village car park, accessed via Ashetton Court, off Castle Street. The Castle is a short 5 minute walk from the car park.

Local runners should, wherever possible, walk to the Castle, so as not to cause inconvenience to local residents.

Number collection will take place from VILLAGE GYM, LAKESHORE CLOSE, NORTHARBOUR, PO6 3FR during the week preceding the race, Monday to Thursday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. There will be a number collection at the start, on the morning of the race from 8am. those of you in teams should collect their team members numbers wherever possible. Team numbers will be in the same envelope. Only non team runners who are Meon Valley Runners / Rural Running Club Members will have their numbers posted out.

Entrants should only start the challenge if they are well, and not suffering any ill health. If any runner feels unwell during the event, they should seek medical advice from the medical team, who will be stationed alongside the start pen.

A full explanation of the challenge and how it works is set out below


The christmas tree challenge is a unique event, never before run!

The aim of the entrant is to complete as many 3.7km laps as they can. For every complete lap, the runner will receive a ‘bespoke’ tree decoration, to dress their impressive christmas tree medal.

The decorations are individually printed with each of the 12 days of christmas.

Runners will start in waves of approximately 80, a few minutes apart. At the end of every complete lap, they will be handed a wristband. Once they have completed their challenge, they must take their wristbands to the ‘christmas shop’ to exchange them for their decorations.

There are three ways the challenge can be run.

1. Individuals can run each lap of the 12, or less, on their own, completing the challenge as an individual.
2. Teams of at least 4 can run the challenge as a team relay, with each runner running a minimum of 1 lap. Once the team have run an accumulated 12 laps, the team cpatain should then take the teams total of wristbands to the ‘Christmas Shop’ to exchange them for their team’s decorations.
3. Teams can run the challenge together, with all members running together. Once the team, together as a group, have run an accumulated total of 12 laps, the team captain shoould take the teams wristbands to the Christmas Shop’ to exchange them for their decorations.

Runners can ‘break’ from the challenge at any time to take a rest, have a drink, or enjoy a snack. It is only when they return their wristbands that their challenge is considered complete.

Once the runners have completed their challenge and have exchanged their wristbands for the tree decorations, they can make use of the ‘snowdome’ for their commemorative photographs. Please follow the operators instructions and only enter the snow dome when instructed to do so by the operator/attendant.

There will be a charity collection bucket at the snowdome, with all donations going to the LOOK charity.

Each runner will be timed. Their time will start when their wave starts and will finish when they declare their challenge is over by handing in their wristbands.

This event is all about fun! Make sure you have plenty of it!

Fancy dress is encouraged, with a prize going to the best fancy dress, as well as a prize for the most creative ‘team name’.