Walking Challenge
Sat 24 Aug 2024 Melrose, Scottish Borders, UK

Run the Borders | Walking Challenge

Visiting the heartland of the Scottish Borders walkers will stand on the start line with the ultra runners to take to the Borders Abbey Way to complete the loop as a team of 4.

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  • Sat 24 Aug 2024
Melrose Rugby Football Club, Melrose

Walking Challenge



Age 18 & over

  • 109 km + 1900 m ascent


The route passes the Scottish Borders' four ruined abbeys and follows the banks of the rivers.


Starting by the home of Melrose Rugby, The Greenyards, the circular route links the historic Borders rugby towns of Melrose, Kelso, Jedburgh, Hawick and Selkirk (sorry Gala and Peebles, we know!).

This might not be the Highlands, so maybe you think you're in for an easy ride, but there's still almost 1900 metres of ascent!

However, with generous cut offs, several checkpoints along the way, robust route signage, friendly marshals and volunteers and the option to run in a relay or walk the route, Run the Borders is accessible to as wide a range of fitness and experience levels.


  • Ultra walk/runs on the Borders Abbey Way
  • Explore the Scottish Borders
  • Dryburgh, Jedburgh, Kelso and Melrose Abbeys
  • River Tweed, River Teviot and Jed Water
  • Traverse higher ground with great views
  • Many well-stocked checkpoints
  • Fully waymarked, easy navigation
  • Run, walk or join a relay team

This event is part of Run the Borders.

  • All fitness levels
  • Event village
  • Newcomers
  • Teams

Mandatory kit

All participants, regardless of race, must carry:

  • Mobile to call the Race Director in case of emergencies
  • Head torch
  • Foil blanket
  • Water bottle

Further detail will follow.

  • Paid parking
  • Rural

Event HQ

Melrose Rugby Football Club
High Street
Scottish Borders


Registration for the race will take place next to the Greenyards in Melrose both the night prior to the event and in the morning before the start.


There is parking available within the town of Melrose.

By rail

The train from Edinburgh terminates at Tweedbank, which is a 30 minute walk to the start.

  • Check points
  • Cut off time
  • First aid
  • Food stations
  • Hilly
  • Marshals
  • Out and back
  • Water stations
  • Way markers

Route overview

The route has only approximately 25% tarmac and follows public rights of way.

The event is held on the Borders Abbey Way which is one of Scotland's Great Trails. A 108km circuit through historic Borders towns featuring the magnificent ruined abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh.



Cut off time

36 hours.

This event has been made as accessible as possible with a generous cut off time for walkers giving an extra 9 hours on top of the ultra runners cut off.


There will be 9-10 checkpoints on the full route. Four of these will be fully stocked with food and the others will act as water stops/aid station.

Likely checkpoints

  • Melrose – start
  • Dryburgh – 7.5K
  • Checkpoint 2 - TBC (approx 17K)
  • Kelso (RFC) – 27.7K
  • Nisbet – 42.3K
  • Jedburgh (Town Hall) – 50.3K
  • Denholm (Village Hall?) – 62.66K
  • Hawick (Mansfield Park?) – 69.8K
  • Ale Water crossing (Grid Ref: 4641 2108) – 79.5K
  • Selkirk – 90.7K
  • Cauldshiels Loch (Grid Ref: 5094 3246) – 99K
  • Melrose  – finish

No navigation

All routes follow the Borders Abbey Way which is waymarked route and signage will be supplemented with yellow and black signage to make it easy to follow.

  • Plastic bottle free
  • Plastic-free event
  • Public transport links
  • Sustainability policy

Sustainability summary

  • This event is continuing to eliminate the use of single-use plastic by switching from plastic water bottles to barrels, buckets and bowsers at checkpoints and providing cans of water in the goody bags.
  • Food vendors will use VegWare (or equivalent).
  • Waste will be uplifted and sorted by a waste management company to make sure none enters landfill.
  • The use of public transport is encouraged to get to the event with the startline only a short 20 minute walk from the end of the train line from Edinburgh. 

  • Cash prizes
  • Chip timing
  • Goody bag
  • GPS tracking
  • Medal
  • Trophy


  • Chip timing
  • Live results
  • GPS tracker
  • Friendly, experienced staff and volunteers
  • First aid cover
  • A great day out

Goody bag

Everyone loves a goody bag and this event is no different. It will include a medal, water and selected food items.


1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female for each distance will receive a trophy and prize money.

  • Age 18 & over
  • Entries open
  • Enter online
Enter now

Entry fees

Team of 4. No fundraising required.

Early bird entry fee


Team entry fee


Team of 4. Fundraising required.

Team entry fee


Run the Borders is Breaking Strain Event's newest event, so these reviews are from their sister event, plus you can find many more great reviews for this organiser on their various social platforms:

Registration was easy and a pre-information pack was emailed out well in advanced with everything you could need to know. The organisers are really friendly, even on the day they were greeting everyone like old friends which creates a lovely vibe. Jonathan O

Will certainly look to sign up to more events from Breaking Strain and also take part next year again! Derek M

A well organised event with a friendly no pressure atmosphere whether you area fast club runner or someone who runs as a hobby all efforts are appreciated a good way to step up to ultra distance. Kieran D

The team at Breaking Strain has to be commended on hosting an event in a really unique location. Topped off by the best designed race bling I have ever received. I would definitely recommend signing up... Stephen M

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