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FAQ

THE RACE

NO! Every single one of our races has a 10km and 21km that are just as popular as the 42km marathon distance. We know, it's in our name but we are not set up just for the experienced marathon runners. In fact, one thing that make the entire experience so unique is the diversity of runners who join. We have had everything from marathoners who have represented England to someone trying to run their first 10km. Old, young, male, female, casual runners, hard core ultra-runners - we are all united by the belief that running can change the world.

We offer three distances for you to choose from - 10k, 21k and 42k. Impact Marathon races are truly unique and special… some even say life-changing! But there is one thing they are not - easy. Our races primarily take place on trail, can be highly technical in nature (think steep inclines and descents, rocky trails) and be at altitude (hello Himalayas!) and in challenging weather conditions (e.g. the sandy desert heat of Jordan!). That said, we have runners of all abilities join us - including many first-time marathoners and some first-time 10k’ers!. Training is necessary, but a lifetime of running experience is not. But we should warn you… once you join the Impact Family you are bound to be hooked on running!!


We set generous cut-off times (avoiding them wherever possible), and we, as a team, are motivated to see you all the way to the finish line. Our goal is to create the most special day of running in your life, this is not a normal race where you are worrying about your finishing time. Although hard, the routes are accessible and we have seen runners of all levels find their way to the to the finish line, roared on by everyone of their fellow runners.

The training required will vary based on which one you choose and your current level of running fitness. We suggest a minimum of eight weeks of regular running with mileage increasing to at least 70% of the distance you plan to run with us. Training on similar terrain, including hills, will be useful. If you’d like advice on training, drop us a line at [email protected] and one of our team members will reach out.


We are partnered with Coopah App - you can add a 3-month subscription at checkout when you book your trip. This will power your training, whilst also providing the training kit, and plan for a refugee finding their home in the UK!

Due to the remote and technical nature of our races, we require all runners to carry with them our mandatory kit: 

  • Hydration kit (water bottle or bladder)
  • Emergency blanket (the silver blanket available at all outdoor stores, not what you can steal from an airline when you only read the kit list on the plane...yes, it is a blanket! But no, it is not an emergency blanket)
  • Whistle

It’s unlikely but possible. The race briefing you receive during Impact Week will prepare you for what to expect and how to find your way in case some of our course markings - which should be found every 50-200m - go missing (we are running through some areas where race course markings can be innocently taken by curious children or animals!). However, we have team all around the route, roaming around, and communicating your location amongst us all. You'd have to work hard to lose our tail. 


We will also be sending GPX routes around beforehand, we strongly recommend adding these to your watch/phone. Having the route safely stored digitally definitely eases this very common pre-race fear. 

In order to protect the safety of runners, staff and volunteers, and to comply with local authority requirements, each racecourse must be closed by a certain time. Sometimes this means enforcing a cut-off. 


Cut-offs always allow a generous timeline for runners and shouldn’t prevent you from taking a rest at our aid stations or stopping for a few quick photos ops (there will be many!!). The cut-offs are communicated in the race briefing as we do adapt to weather conditions. 

Impact Marathons are amazing, challenging, awe-inspiring running events that bring people from around the world to run together with others for others. It is the cherry on top of a week of impact and the celebration of everything we have achieved together. 


We like to call it, a “victory lap”. This truly is a time to enjoy your run on a course that tells the story of the community you have spent the last week living and working in. And, did we mention challenging? Right. Be it the challenging sandy run along Lake Malawi or learning the meaning of “Nepali flat” while running at over 2,100m of altitude, this is NOT the time to be pushing for a PR. Trust us. Go out and enjoy it.

Each race is designed to be intimate, yet powerful - capped at 30 international participants for the Impact Week.

Yet, come race day, we have the awesome local runners in each race come join us for the experience. We've built an amazing reputation in every country as a race with a completely unique atmosphere to any other and as such we have a great turnout of energised runners from across the running community. This means we tend to have anywhere between 200-500 on race day, depending on the course

THE EXPERIENCE

The Impact Marathon is the realisation of the dream that running has the power to change the world. An Impact Marathon is not just a race. It is a life-changing experience. For one week, you will be taken into what we call the Impact Family, meet people from all over the world united in a movement to change the world for the better, through the power of running. We combine fundraising, education and awareness, project and community work, and running to deliver an experience that will challenge, inspire and change you. And, change the world for the better for years to come. 

When choosing the causes and groups to support, we are guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They are a central and fundamental driver of what we do. When designing a course, we look to tell the story of the community in which we are living and working, and offer you the incredible opportunity to experience this in a race that is unlike any other you will experience in your lifetime. We’d love to welcome you into the Impact Family!

Absolutely.

The race routes are accessible but challenging. The team will always encourage you, and the thing that surprises most people is just how supportive all the other Impact Runners are. 

Come as you are, come on the journey, and treasure every step.

We'll see you at the finish line!

For sure! Impact Marathon Series is a British organisation, but our Impact Runners hail from countries far and wide. We have strong representation from the States and Canada, around the European and Asian continents, and even as far as Australia/ NZ.

All Impact Week packages include: your accommodation for the week (including bedding, toilet and “washroom” facilities), most meals and snacks (though we encourage you to buy snacks from local vendors, and some itineraries include free time which may include a meal on your own accord), a top-notch medical team onsite 24/7, your race entry including refreshments on course, country-specific Impact swag (think t-shirt, cap, gorgeous handmade race medals), and any necessary transportation to project sites and on race day. Each country and itinerary is a bit different, so some packages may include “extras” such as group airport transfer at a designated time (you’ll want to make that 5 hour drive to the Malawian village together with your new friends!). Visit the country pages for more information on this.

Each Impact Marathon Athletes’ Village is truly special and unique. First and foremost, the accommodation we provide will always be safe, hygienic, and include water, toilet and washing facilities. What this looks like in each country is a little bit different. Realistically, the resources and amenities available in the countries in which we work are likely quite different from those in the countries you are coming from! Electricity, hot or running water and flush toilets are luxuries in most of these places, and not always available. If it was a cloudy day, the solar panels may not be able to support hot showers. If it’s Thursday, the electricity may be shut off in the village as part of a local conservation effort. It’s all part of the incredible adventure that makes each Impact Week so unique - just roll with it, and you can rest assured knowing your health and safety is always our top priority

All deposit is non-refundable after our 14-day post-registration cool-off period. Please refer to our Terms & Conditions page for more information.

Yes! For your safety, we require ALL Impact Runners, staff and volunteers to have their own insurance that covers their participation in our Impact Marathons. Make sure that your policy covers you for the type of event(s) you will be participating in (marathon trail running in extreme environments), including any bolt-ons (e.g. any treks at altitude, including the maximum altitude you will reach, such as Everest Base Camp). Please be prepared to share the details of your insurance policy with us prior to joining Impact Week. We keep this information on file for use in the (unlikely!!) case of an emergency.

Yes! Medical staff are onsite at race day and, in some cases, throughout Impact Week.

Depending on the race location you may need vaccinations pre-departure, or malaria prophylaxis during your time in-country. Please consult a doctor/travel nurse familiar with travel medicine for advice on this matter.

We partner with local tour operators to provide bolt-on adventures pre- and post-Impact Week. If you sign on to one of these, not only are you guaranteed an AMAZING experience, but you’ll also benefit from our years of experience vetting and working with these guys, ensuring the services provided are safe, quality, and aligned with our company values and sustainability goals. 

You’ll also be doing so with fellow Impact Runners (your newest best friends!!). For more information on the bolt-ons we offer, drop us an email as we arrange these bespoke for you!

THE IMPACT

Impact Marathon Series is working to address the 17 Global Goals announced by the UN in 2015.  We believe in the unique power of running as an inspiration and catalyst for positive change. By bringing together people, united by this common interest and common goals, we aim to educate, inspire and drive positive and sustainable change that supports the Global Goals in creating a better world for our future.


When we select race projects, we look to show two different stories: the optimism of long-term systemic change; and the impact of short-term support. This blend empowers each runner to both see a story for the future that may seem intangible, or harder to measure whilst also ensuring that each race has an impact there and then.

Over eight years, Impact Marathon events have raised over $1,300,000 for our charity partners.


Moreover, we consider where all our funds are directed: we work with locally owned hotels, we buy from women's co-operatives, we create with local artisans. We believe ever $ has an impact, whether it is the fundraising, or how we spend our operational costs.

"Sustainability” is certainly a buzzword these days! With sustainable development, and specifically our focus on the UN Sustainable Development goals, we aim to shine a light on the ways in which sustainability plays a crucial role in the success of development work being done in developing areas. The UN Sustainable Development goals (the “Global Goals”) identify the key focus areas for all countries, with the aim of eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, and to heal and protect the planet. The Global Goals acknowledge the interdependence of each element and the need to work together to be successful. So much of the charitable and development work we see calls for donations to address immediate and short-term needs. This is certainly important - and something that many organisations excel at. We at Team Impact are in a unique position to bring awareness to issues in a unique way, by telling the untold stories and empowering grassroots organisations to demonstrate the power of their work that may seem to fly under the radar but has the ability to change and improve the lives of communities for generations to come. With this understanding, our Impact Runners are empowered to be ambassadors for these causes and broaden the impact beyond the reach of these small and mighty organisations. Tackling the root causes of their pressing issues, our charity and NGO partners have the patience and determination to address the multiple dimensions of sustainable development for the sake of a better world for generations to come.

Yes - but we ask that we split a little to support the actual projects you'll be visiting in each country. These partners of ours are incredibly supportive of us, providing their time and sometimes resources including supporting us with volunteers on race day, and the fundraising generated through the collective effort is incredibly valuable in helping them to achieve their organisation’s goals. 

If you’d like to support another charity in addition to our local partners, please go ahead and do so! We’d love to learn more about other causes our Impact Runners support, and the broader impact of our collective, so please help by sharing information with us on this if you’re able. If you know of a charity that would like to work with Impact Marathon Series, please contact us and we’d love to learn more about it! 

This is a big question, and one answered in most detail when you join our race weeks. 

In short, we seek out great leaders in each community. We find the organisations with leaders crazy enough to think they can change the world. 

Once we have identified the biggest challenges faced within the community, we have a foundation on which to build. We seek organisations at the forefront of achieving The Global Goals in their community. We look at the work already going on and ask, 'can we add to that?'. Sometimes we can't, the project is already well-developed and not in need of our support. Other times, the answer is unequivocally YES!

Now, it isn't just an intangible narrative-driven process - we do a full due diligence of accounts, references, in-community interviews. 

We tend to focus to grassroots charities making sustainable positive change in their communities. As small-medium sized organisations can share the story of a single $ in a very real, tangible way. Our projects all benefit from both the fundraising but, crucially, the chance to tell their story, to share their narrative, and raise awareness for their cause.

It varies! In all cases, there’s an “orientation” session with the charity partner at the start of the week to introduce the team members and to share about their work. From there, each week will be different. The charities know best what will be most useful for their initiatives and communities, so they take the lead here. Sometimes, this means rolling up your sleeves and digging deep for some hard manual labour! Other times, awareness and education about deeply rooted issues, their causes and the complex nature of tackling them in a sustainable way is what’s preferred. Knowledge is power, and when you see, learn and experience first-hand the causes our charity partners work towards, you will be forever changed and we hope go back home as change agents and ambassadors for the communities and causes you learned so much about.

All Impact Marathons are created to bring a sense of unity and, as such, we set a Team Target that all of us contribute to.

This team target usually ranges from £500 - £1000 per Impact Runner, but we know that for some people that is a small, easily achieved figure - for others this is a mountain to climb. You set your own target and we will support you to get there!

Our team target is not only based on the number of runners, but on our goal for the race. We sometimes have a truly clear project the race will make possible. On other occasions, the fundraising is to catalyse projects already in motion. Either way, the number is based on the Impact Goal we are setting with each partner - it is not an arbitrary figure. In the collective, this allows us to give incredible, sustainable and, in some cases, immediately life-changing support to the communities we visit.

At this time, we have not implemented a balance top-up requirement if you do not reach your fundraising target. Impact Runners have historically been superstars in the fundraising area - it’s not uncommon for people to arrive at Impact Week having already SMASHED their fundraising target - and that’s exactly what we love to see. There’s no better feeling than meeting the local charities you’re running for and knowing you’ve done everything you possibly can to raise money for their incredible causes. If you’re struggling to raise, we have many resources to help you - including lists of successful fundraising tactics used by runners in the past, we can also put you in touch with some of our fundraising gurus to learn first-hand suggestions. And don’t forget to look into your employer’s charity gift matching program - many companies offer this and it’s a great way to knock off a big portion of your target.

It is important to understand the full impact of an Impact Marathon which goes beyond the fundraising and charity work, and this brings us to sustainability. Impact Runners come from all walks of life and countries around the globe. Travel and tourism have an impact on the local communities where we meet, work and run, and we have an important responsibility here. The Impact Family cherishes the communities we visit, and we want to maximize the positive impact we can have. Wherever possible, we: minimise waste and eliminate the use of single-use products (especially plastics) wherever possible, work with locally-owned small businesses (hello Guatemalan chicken bus!), buy our supplies for Impact Week and race day from local sellers and artisans (think of those gorgeous hand-carved medals!), choose the accommodation that both tells the story of the community and aligns with green tourism practices, partner with organisations and suppliers that empower their local communities, especially vulnerable groups, employ local staff (photographers, chefs, translators) with fair wages and additional support. All while empowering our local partners and making sure the services provided are safe and of a high standard. There are fantastic service providers in our communities and we love to give them the opportunity to shine. In addition, we offer the option to offset your carbon footprint when selecting your package with us. This is a great, easy way you can help with just the click of a button! We are working on a sustainability policy which will be posted here soon. Stay tuned!

nick kershaw driving a pickup truck in a live volcano
impact runner in guatemala
impact runner crossing the finish line in nepal
sophie power she races at impact marathon