Test Way Relay

The Test Way Relay was first run in 1986, originally by our very own David Nixon and later various local clubs including Hardley Runners and most recently Totton Running Club, who put together this excellent guide in 2013. It covers the 44 mile distance between Inkpen and Totton by dividing the route into an 8 stage relay.

Unfortunately the last time it was run was in 2014, but we thought it would be nice to try and run it for 2022 as a private event for members of the club.

DATE: Saturday, 10th September

START: Inkpen Beacon, RG17 9EL. Parking is limited but available at the start. 

START TIME: Teams will be given a staggered start time based on how long they estimate their team will take to run the course. We will aim to have everyone finishing at the Salmon Leap pub in Totton between 4-5pm so we miss high tide across the boards!

FINISH: The Salmon Leap pub, Totton, SO40 3BR. For a celebratory drink and some team/ group photos. There is parking at the pub.

TEAMS: There are 8 legs of between 7-11km, so each team would ideally be made up of 8 members. However, we’d really like everyone who wants to take part to be able to, so we are happy for people to run more than one leg or for others to double up if they would like to. Teams will be responsible for sorting their own transport on the day. The RDs will assign people to teams based broadly on pace- please let us know if you’d like to be with particular people or would prefer to be in a different team.

TEAM CAPTAINS: Each team will be asked to nominate a team captain who will be responsible for managing their team’s logistics on the day, as well as arranging the running order.  

TEAM RUCSAC: Each team will need to have a rucsac containing: paper maps of the route; a fully charged mobile with the what3words app on it; the RDs mobile numbers stored and a first aid kit which the Club will provide. This rucsac will in effect be the Relay Baton and must be carried by the runner of each leg and handed over to the person running the next leg. Finally, it needs to be brought to the finish by the last leg runner.

TEAM WHATSAPP GROUPS: We will be setting up team WhatsApp groups to facilitate communication between team members and the organisers, and to keep all relevant info in one place. They’ll only be live until September 11th.

ROUTE: The Test Way is a long-distance, undulating, mostly off road footpath marked by Test Way signs. These are not always obvious and we will not be posting marshals along the route. If in doubt, please do a recce of your leg before the event. 

The route is on varied terrain so expect some sections to contain roots, holes, stones, over-hanging branches, traffic, livestock, members of the public, cyclists, dog-walkers, barb-wire fences, stiles, road crossings and vegetation growing along/ over the paths. It is not hard core trail so unless the weather has been particularly wet road shoes will probably be fine. The start locations for each leg are given as What3Words on the legs page to avoid confusion and make sure everyone starts and ends at the same points

ROUTE MAPS: Maps and GPX files of each section are available via the links here. Each team will need to print out and carry a full set of maps on the day. We suggest the team captain has the whole route and individual runners carry just their own section.

SAFETY: Each team member will be asked to download what3words and to carry a fully-charged mobile with the RDs numbers stored on them – both are to be used in event of an emergency. We don’t have medical cover on site so please take care on the trails and in any road crossing areas in particular. We will ask each team member to share their location with the rest of their team and the RDs for the day as an additional back-up in case of problems. If you decide to retire you MUST let your team captain know and they will forward that info on to the RDs.

RISK ASSESSMENT: The risk assessment for the route is here. Please have a read and familiarise yourself with it.

LEADERBOARD: You’ll be able to check your teams progress on the day by looking at the leader board accessible via the web page (not yet available).