A photo of 3 people stood in the Kent Downs national landscape with lots of greenery behind them and bright blue skies

Kent Downs 50 Challenge

Event type
UK Walks and Treks

The Kent Downs 50 Challenge is a NEW end of season Ultra Challenge – in the ‘Garden of England’ – with a basecamp near Maidstone and parking & weekend camping options.

The main 50km looped route heads anticlockwise around the Kent Downs – starting on the North Downs Way to Blue Bell Hill, around picturesque Aylesford, and following the River Medway to Mote Park at halfway for a picnic.

All levels of experience are welcome - you can walk, run or jog!

Choose your fundraising option:

Full Charity Sponsorship - 25% discount off reg fee is applied for this option!

  • Full Challenge (50km) - £22.50 registration fee and £360 sponsorship target
  • Half Challenge (25km) - £15 registration fee and £240 sponsorship target
  • Kent 10km - £7.50 registration fee and £100 sponsorship target

*Deal * Get a further 50% discount on your reg fee below using the coupon code: CHARITY50% (excludes 10km / mile distance option)

Mixed Funding - you pay half of your event place cost, and fundraise a smaller minimum target

  • Full Challenge (50km) - £75 registration fee and £225 sponsorship target
  • Half Challenge (25km) - £50 registration fee and £150 sponsorship target
  • Kent 10km - £22.50 registration fee and £70 sponsorship target

Own place funding option also available

Photo of a group pf people walking and taking part in the Cotswold Way Trek

What to expect

Your entry into the event includes: 

  • rest stops with free food, drink, and massages
  • a medal, t-shirt, and glass of fizz to celebrate your achievement
  • support from medics and marshals along the way

You'll receive support and hospitality from the event organisers Action Challenge every step of the way.

How we'll support you:

  • You'll receive a free Anthony Nolan T-shirt
  • Access to a TeamAN walkers and trekkers Strava Club
  • Dedicated fundraising and training support from the Anthony Nolan Events Team
The Anthony Nolan supporter dark green tshirt that says 'Saving lives through stem cells' alongside a running water bottle and running trainers


Where does the challenge start and finish?


The start and finish for all distances is Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone, ME14 3JF.

You can see a detailed map of the route here.

Is there an Event Guide?


Yes! You can see the Event Guide here and all the information you need to know on the Ultra Challenge website.

What is the route?


You can see a detailed map of the route here.

Is the challenge accessible?


Ultra Challenges are physical events, where you can choose to walk, jog or run a distance of 10km –50km. The Event Organisers welcome participants of all abilities who are confident in their ability to participate, however must ensure everyone is clear on the requirements and accessibility restrictions of the route. 

While each challenge covers different terrain and landscapes, you can typically expect steep climbs and descents, the necessity to cross stiles, and uneven pathways subject to weather effects such as mud and dust.

Participants with mobility issues have completed Ultra Challenges in the past on crutches and wheelchairs, and those with sight loss can also participate with a guide. 

If you have any accessibility concerns or questions you can contact Action Challenge directly to discuss requirements and they'd be happy to support you.

What time does the challenge start?


Full 50km Challenge: 7.30 – 9.00am (7.30am runners wave)

25km Challenge: 8.30 – 9.30am (7.30am runners wave)

10km Challenge: 10.30am

Please try and arrive within 1 hour of your start time.

Is there parking?


For an additional cost there’s a range of optional parking (£7 a car) and pre or post challenge shuttle bus transfer services (£10 pp) to make it easy to join and exit the challenge.

Is there accommodation?


For an additional cost camping is available at Kent Showground (basecamp) for Friday and/or Saturday night – with single & twin share options.

Inclusive Packages – with pre pitched tent and roll mat (you bring a sleeping bag & other equipment). Parking and breakfast the following morning is included in your package.

Pitch Only Option – you bring your own tent or campervan (+ all equipment). Breakfast is NOT included in your pitch only camping – this must be booked separately.

Hot showers, rest area, changing rooms, & hot drinks are included in the price.

You can find out more information and full pricing here.

Is there baggage services?


Yes! Baggage services are available on the day at the start (Kent Showground) for £5 and you can pay cash or card.

If you have chosen to run the challenge then the event organisers can store a small (10kg max) bag for you for FREE to keep safe during your challenge.

If you have a bag heavier than 10kg (or a 2nd bag) – please note the standard rates of baggage service will apply.

Can I take part as a team?


Of course you can! Everyone must register individually as the event organisers require personal details and declarations. Within the form you can choose to ‘Create’ or ‘Join’ a Team.

Teams can be of any size and members can opt for the same or different funding options / distances.

  • When you create a Team  you become the Team Captain. You need a Team Name and a password for others to join. Then you can invite your friends and family to join you!
  • Other people can join the Team as they register, by searching for the Team Name and using the password

Can Corporate teams get involved too?


Yes! We'd love for you and your colleagues to get involved and fundraise for Anthony Nolan.

If you're looking for a memorable event to energise and motivate your team, without the hassle and high costs of organising your own, then an Ultra Challenge is a great choice.

Ultra Challenges are perfect for getting colleagues active and bonding on a fun, accessible, safe, high quality outdoors event - ideal for a wide range of ages and athletic abilities, and perfect to boost wellbeing and loyalty. Teams can be of any size and everybody can take on a distance that suits them, at their pace!

You can find out more information here.

When is the fundraising deadline?


For the 'Full Charity Sponsorship' and 'Mixed Funding sponsorship' options, at least 50% of your sponsorship target should be raised 3 weeks prior to the challenge.

At this time, Anthony Nolan will then agree to pay a fee for your place to the Event Organisers.

The remaining 50% of your sponsorship should be raised by 4 weeks after the challenge.

Failure to meet the deadline may result in cancellation of your place. The Anthony Nolan Events Team will be here to support you every step of the way so if you need a fundraising deadline extension then we can be flexible, just let us know!

What should I bring?


When you register you will be able to see a full kit list on the challenge app.

The Event Organisers recommend that you download the app for your challenge so you can access all the guides.

Please note that it is COMPULSORY for you to bring a headtorch if you're completing the Kent Downs 50km challenge as it will be dark when you finish.

Is there an age limit?


You must be 16+ and accompanied by an adult if taking on the 50km Challenge.

You must be 14+ and accompanied by an adult if taking on the 25km Challenge 

You must be 8+ and accompanied by an adult for the 10km Challenge.

Under 18's taking part must be signed up by someone over 18.

Got a question?

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Anthony Nolan Events Team by emailing events@anthonynolan.org