The PLOD – It may be a charity walk but don’t forget it’s gruelling, it’s tough and it’s painful! All the ingredients you demand for your next big team challenge. So whether you are in it to win it or you just feel the need to push yourself to the limit with your best buddies then 50km on the Mourne Mountains PLOD will either make you or break you!
As midnight strikes in darkness of the Tollymore Forest Park you will hit the trail with head torches blazing and maps in hand to negotiate your way through the blackness and on to capture the rising dawn before you prepare for the relentless daytime slog through the Mountains of Mourne passing the beauty of Lough Shannagh. Demonstrating trust, communication, and team work will be the order of the night and day if you are to be successful Plodders.
If you are a company looking for fun ways to put staff through their paces, to plan and work together then The PLOD will deliver for you. Contact The PLOD Event Manager to explore how to get the most out of your involvement.
We want to push you to the limit and it’s only by helping you achieve your goals that we can achieve ours. There is no gain without pain so enter The PLOD and help us to improve the quality of life for thousands of sick and vulnerable babies and children.
Action Medical Research Overnight PLOD Walks
The rules of the PLOD
Team composition: each team must comprise of four walkers only (can be any mix of male/female). Each team needs at least one support driver. No additional walkers will be allowed to join a team.
How the points are scored: the rules have been designed with the intention of keeping everyone involved for as long as possible. There are various categories of points:
- Check points:
- The PLOD has a number of checkpoints throughout the 50km walk. The walk has one route and the checkpoints are there for your safety to track the progress of your team and provide support if required. The whole team must progress through each checkpoint together.
- The Plod has an orienteering section at the start in Tollymore Forest Park. There are orienteering markers set throughout and at registration you will receive an orienteering map showing you where these are. There are some compulsory ones to find and some optional ones. The more you locate and click the more points you get.
- King of the Hills:
- There are three King of the Hills, these are optional added peaks around the route and will add to your points. These can be attempted by two walkers or all four unless a team member has dropped out and then it may be attempted by all three of you. No one team member can be left alone at any time during this walk and the King of the Hills are the only occasions when the team is permitted to split up. The more team members climb the hills the more points you get.
- Speed is of the essence:
- The faster your time the more points you get. Having said that you should progress at the speed of the slowest walker and ensure that everyone gets ample breaks. This is a team building event and everyone should feel part of the team. There are bonus points for the fastest team home.
- Team Quiz:
- There is a team quiz to be completed in the main by the driver but everyone can help. More questions right, more points!
- all teams must raise a minimum of £1,200 per team
- this is a realistic target but we hope that you, like many previous teams raise much, much more!
- an online sponsorship page was automatically set up for you when you registered
- spend time personalising your page with your team names and photos, and a couple of paragraphs about why you are taking on this challenge
- make sure all team members have this sponsorship link so friends, family and colleagues can sponsor online, safely and securely
- sponsor forms are also available online
- captains should ensure Action have received at least 50 per cent of the fundraising target (£600 one week prior to the event. Remaining funds must be received no more than four weeks after the event.
General preparation and training
Train well for the PLOD and you will get through the challenge safely and have a much more enjoyable time. For any long distance walking challenge there is only one form of training that will ensure you perform well –walking! No great surprise there. If generally fit and do lots of sport – you will be off to a good start. This event will see you on the trail non-stop around 12–17 hours. Many a good marathon runner and endurance cyclists throw in the towel so do not make any assumptions that walking is easy. Your PLOD success is about teamwork so the more training you can do together, the better. We all need a little encouragement when the going gets tough.
Your questions answered
If you are unable to find a team, contact us and we can put you on another team if a place become available. You will be notified as soon as you can join.
Participants must be 18 or over. Participants aged 16 can take part, but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Yes, the PLOD organisers will be setting up and happy to say hello but you will not be able to register early.
Yes, as long as you have prepared, follow our advice and stick together as a team. You will receive a full briefing before the walk, including advice on what to do in an emergency. Our support team will set up their base in Tollymore Forest Park, with team members based throughout the hills, at check points and along the way.
No, but one person in the team should be able to read a map well. Orienteering maps are available at the start. All the orienteering points will be found on the paths. However the rest of the route will be based on OSNI map of the Mournes 1:2500. The route should be straightforward to follow, however a map reader is an essential requirement of any mountain expedition.
The terrain is tough in parts and depending on fitness levels, some teams will be on the trail for 12–17 hours. If you want to enjoy this event (and finish), we recommend you increase your fitness levels and endurance training properly.
Check out the recommended list of kit items you and your team should be carrying. Keep kit to the essentials and avoid doubling up on basic items. Your main items will always be water, snacks, basic first aid kit, spare warm and wet weather clothing, a torch, route maps and mobile phones.
We recommend that you have a good pair of walking boot with ankle support. Make sure you have broken them in! Make sure you have a selection of clothing items to keep you warm or cool, depending on the conditions. Be sure to have checked the recommended kit list for precise details.
Yes there will be food at the Silent Valley breakfast stop, and a BBQ at the end of the walk.
Advise organisers, in advance, of any dietary requirements.
Support crew are responsible for ensuring their support vehicles are both roadworthy and suitably covered by motor insurance. You will need a vehicle capable of transporting kit, food, drink and team members.
Each team member should be responsible for their own spare clothing. Please be aware that cotton clothing when wet will not keep the wearer warm, in fact it will draw heat away from the body and is a potential cause of hypothermia.
- OSNI map of The Mournes 1:25000
- Route instructions – will be sent to your team
- Waterproof map case – it might rain and it’s difficult to read a soggy map
- Compass – at least two per team
- Denim jeans or cotton trousers are not advisable
- Shorts – for warm day
- Hat and gloves
- Spare clothing, extra fleece – cotton not advisable
- Comfortable walking boots with good ankle support
- Walking socks
- Day pack or small rucksack
- Space blanket or large heavy gauge plastic bag – one per team
- Walking poles – if you use them
- Head/hand torch, spare batteries
- Basic first aid kit, inc pain killers, blister pads, zinc oxide tape or similar
- Toilet roll in a waterproof bag
- Vaseline to deal with any uncomfortable chaffing
- Water bottle
- Personal food supplies
- Energy sweets and snacks
- Mobile telephone - at least two per team
- Hi viz items
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Pen/pencil and notebook
- Driver route instructions – these will be provided
- Contact numbers for your team members and event HQ
- Strong torch and spare batteries
- Spare car keys – you would not want to let your team down
- Waterproof jacket
- Spare clothing, including extra fleece
- Food supplies - discuss and agree your team requirements, include plenty of high carbohydrate foods, easily portable
- Water – plenty of it, keep your team topped up
- Camping stove and spare gas – hot drinks will be in demand
- Spare basic first aid kit
- Black bin bags for your rubbish – leave none behind
- A big enough vehicle.