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, 21km 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!!
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.
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!).
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.
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 elevation, 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. 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 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 that 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!
No. Impact Marathon Series certified as a B-Corporation in 2017 and private limited company registered in the United Kingdom. We work in partnership with local NGOs and charities in the countries where we hold our races, and the fundraising we facilitate goes directly to these charities. We set up the Impact Marathon Foundation, a UK-registered charity, as a tool to increase the ease of fundraising, particularly for UK residents, ensure Gift Aid is captured for any UK tax-paying donors, and to minimise overheads when it comes to processing donations through third-party groups such as giving websites and payment gateways with poor conversion rates and high processing fees.
For sure! Impact Marathon Series is a British company, 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
We have a 14-day cancellation policy where 100% of any fees paid will be refunded if you change your mind for any reason. After this, the deposit is nonrefundable. Please refer to our Terms & Policies 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.
Exile Medics is our medical partner and we have never done a race without them. Exile Medics provides a team of internationally trained medical personnel equipped to handle events such as ours to ensure you have top notch resources readily available in the event medical care is required. Medical staff are onsite at race day and, in some cases, throughout Impact Week.
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, you’ll 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, check the country pages
Impact Marathon Series is working to address the Global Goals. You can read more about the goals on the “Our Charities” page. 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.
“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.
For our Gloabl Races we ask that each Impact Runner sets themselves at least GBP1,000 as a target to support of the host country’s NGOs/ charities. 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! Our LOCAL x Impact events don't fall under this same requirement - we are testing new ways to shake up the event fundraising model and these are the perfect testing ground - so please, jump on board our crazy ideas and let's see what works and has the biggest impact.
Impact Marathon Series works with grassroots charities making sustainable positive change in their communities. We look for organizations which support the Global Goals and can benefit greatly from the level of fundraising we bring.
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.
To ensure we are supporting our local charity partners in a meaningful way, we request all Impact Runners to leverage their networks to achieve a minimum fundraising target of GBP1,000 per person. 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!