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Polaris Gravel Challenge - Southern Loop

This is the first of our Polaris Gravel Challenges, as it is the first we have made it FREE to all entrants.

The object of the event is to cover a course with 32 controls (check points), and you have 7 hours to do it in. The controls are set in the Southern Peak District and most are attained by riding on some of the best gravel tracks in the country. Each of the controls have a different score value so the challenge is to create an efficient route and collect as many (or few) as possible. The Start control which is in the window of Hassop Station Bike Hike, when this is scanned the clock starts running on you phone and you need to get back within 7 hours, if you fail to do so you will lose points for every minute you are late. To score points you simply navigate as close as possible to each of the controls as designated in the “list of controls” and when there hit the “Location” button, if you are near the control you will score the points.

This event is designed to not only to test your stamina and fitness but also your skills of navigation and planning. The winner of each of the categories will be awarded on their points score not their speed.


The Polaris Challenge was previously a 2 day endurance self-supported bike event based on a Score Orienteering format. The Event format morphed in to various one day and two day events run by various organisers but mainly BMBO (British Mountain Bike Orienteering) and known as Trailquest.

The Polaris APP is a new take on the original Event and can be used by both event organisers and competitors to run and compete in their own events. The APP provides a broader scope for other organisations; Orienteering, Ski Orienteering, cross country horse riding, motor challenges etc to provide a point to point event without creating a specific course. The competitor needs to navigate and chose the best route for their method of movement

The reason for the name of POLARIS is that it is the name of the Pole star used for night navigation by all the great explorers and still a backup to GPS if all goes wrong with the technology!

The Polaris Challenge is back! The new Polaris Gravel Challenge combines all the strategy, endeavour and pedalling of the original Challenges, enhanced by modern mobile technology. (Download the APP below; either scan the QR Code or click the link)

(archive images of people enjoying the original Polaris Challenge events)

Much like the Polaris Challenges of old, the Polaris Gravel Challenge is a points based event. Each Challenger has to visit as many (or as few) of the control points as possible within a specified time of 7 hours.

Points are scored via the new GPS enabled POLARIS CHALLENGE APP, available from either the Polaris website or the APP store.

Points are awarded for each checkpoint reached, with tougher to reach checkpoints carrying a higher value.

Rather than running the Challenge over 24 hours or a weekend, the Challenge app allows competitors to enter at any point between 29th April and 4th June. This allows us to reduce stresses on the local community and environment whilst still ensuring a competitive and sizable entry list.

Prizes will be awarded for Men’s and Ladies’ Senior, Men’s and Ladies’ Vets and Men’s and Ladies’ Super Vets,

(categories will be combined if there are less than 6 in that category)

Winners in each category will receive a £50.00 voucher to spend on the Polaris Bikewear website. All competitors taking part will also receive a memento of the event on completion.

The course will cover a substantial area and will run for 7 hours so entrants should be prepared for changeable and challenging conditions both under wheel and overhead. Appropriate allowances for food, water and clothing should be made accordingly.

This is a self supported event so make sure you pack the correct spares to get you back.

This is a gravel challenge so MTB, Cyclocross or Gravel bikes are recommended.

Other bikes can be used but we would not recommend them due to the nature of the terrain.