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Volunteer podiatrists needed

Volunteer podiatrists needed

What is The Ultra Challenge Series?

Action Challenge’s Ultra Challenge Series is made up of eight events based around the UK which give thousands of participants the opportunity to take on a 25km, 50km or 100km as a walk, jog or run. Most take it on as walkers, with the 100km distance being the most popular.

Who takes part and why?

This year, almost 18,000 people will take part in an Ultra Challenge and the participant pool ranges from seasoned runners looking to complete the full 100km course in less than nine hours to those who will be walking over a 36 hour period and often have never done anything like this before. The participant field is 60% female, with an average age of 41. About 60% of participants choose to fundraise for a charity of their choice - partner charities include Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Macmillan, Great Ormond St Hospital, Help for Heroes and over 300 others. To date the Ultra Challenge Series has raised over £20 million for UK charities.

How are participants supported?

Action Challenge provides full support throughout each event, with check points and covered rest stops every 12.5km which allow participants to eat, drink, rest and recover prior to heading off on the next section. The rest stops provide great food and drink and the bulk of the medical support services in dedicated areas within marquees and gazebos. Action Challenge aims to provide the expert support needed to enable more and more people to take on an Ultra Challenge and push themselves further than perhaps they thought they could. Current medical support consists of massage therapists, St John’s Ambulance First Aiders and Action Challenge Doctors.

Why are volunteer Podiatrists needed?

Foot problems are the key reason why participants fail to complete an Ultra Challenge event - around a quarter of all participants do not finish and over 90% of these have retired due to foot related issues. Current medical support teams do not have specific expertise to deal with blisters effectively, or the knowledge on how to wrap feet to prevent further problems and enable participants to continue. Action Challenge is aiming to introduce an expert foot care service to participants and has partnered with The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists to make this happen. Together, we will offer expert pre-event information to aid preparation and prevention as well as hands-on support at the Ultra Challenge events through recruiting volunteer Podiatrists to work shifts across key rest stops.

What’s in it for volunteer Podiatrists?

Volunteer Podiatrists will play a key role in improving the Ultra Challenge experience for thousands of people that have chosen to take on this major challenge, many in aid of charities and causes that are important to them. Volunteers will in turn receive:


  • Professional training in an outdoor dynamic event environment
  • Travel epenses covered up to £50 (or more if pre-agreed with Action Challenge) 
  • Food and accommodation (generally camping with the event crew) whilst on shift
  • Kit & equipment reimbursed and supplemented by Action Challenge
  • A free place on an Ultra Challenge event following completion of two volunteer shifts
  • Plus… an opportunity for a few of the most committed to join the 2019 Saharan Challenge 


I’m interested – what next?

The full list of Action Challenge events for 2018 and 2019 is below. Each event offers the opportunity to volunteer at a range of locations for varying shift times. Please take a look through the list and consider whether you can help for three hours or more at one of these events.

Our current priority is to recruit for the Cotswold Way Ultra Challenge, taking place on 30th June – 1st July 2018 a

The Ultra Challenge Calendar 2018/19

The rest of 2018:


  • Cotswold Way Challenge (30 Jun - 1 July) - 1,700 participants 
  • Jurassic Coast Challenge (21-22 July) - 3,000 participants
  • Wye Valley Challenge (11-12 Aug) - 1,000 participants
  • South Coast Challenge (25-26 August) - 1,400 participants 
  • Thames Path Challenge & Thames Bridges Trek (8-9 Sept) - 6,000+ participants
  • The Chiltern 50 (29 Sept) - 1,000 participants


Looking to 2019:


  • Isle of Wight Challenge (4/5 May) ~ 2,000 participants
  • London to Brighton Challenge (25-26 May) ~ 2,000 participants
  • Capital Ring Challenge London (15-16 June) ~ 3,000 participants
  • Cotswold Way Challenge (29-30 June) ~ 2,000 participants
  • Peak District Challenge (13-14 July) 
  • Jurassic Coast Challenge (20-21 July)
  • South Coast Challenge (31 Aug – 1 Sept) 
  • Thames Path Challenge & Thames Bridges Trek (7-8 Sept) The Chiltern 50 (28 Sept) 


Get in touch

If you think you can help or would like to find out more, please contact Action Challenge at staff@actionchallenge.com.  .

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