What is the Lanyard Endurance Race?

1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of Royal Corps of Signals Lanyard Endurance Race, also known as the Lanyard Trophy.

2.0 What is the Lanyard Endurance Race?

The Lanyard Endurance Race is a 40-mile race over undulating ground with competitors carrying not less than 30lbs of weight.

3.0 Brief History

In 1979, Pete Richards (now Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)), a Royal Corps of Signals Officer from 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron designed a competition that would challenge his comrades.

It took place on the 17 and 18 July, consisting of a 40-mile race over the South Downs carrying 30-40lbs of weight, wearing combat clothing, was open to teams of eight people, and all had to be serving in the Royal Corps of Signals.

The race is named after the lanyard that soldiers from 216 Squadron made from the cords of their parachutes, it has huge historical significance.

It is known as the Lanyard Endurance Race, and occasionally as the Lanyard Trophy.

4.0 Where does the Race take Place?

The race (usually) takes place in the South Downs, which are a range of chalk hills that extends for about 260 square miles across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, in the Eastbourne Downland Estate, East Sussex, in the east.

The race took place on Dartmoor in 2019.

5.0 When does the Race take Place?

The Lanyard Endurance Race is an annual event that usually takes place over 2-3 days. It has taken place in May, June, July, and September.

6.0 Who can take Part?

Men and women of the Royal Corps of Signals, both Regular Army and Army Reserve, can compete in the race.

7.0 Outline of the Race

Competitors can form eight-person teams in several categories:

  • Male (Regular);
  • Female (Regular);
  • Reserve;
  • Mixed (men and women); and
  • Veteran (35 or older).

Approximately 30 teams take part.

With a 04:00 (4am) start, competitors, in their teams, must traverse a 40-mile undulating route, navigating to various checkpoints (usually 10), wearing not less than 30lbs of equipment (food, water, and safety equipment). Females carry 20-25lbs of equipment.

In 2019, the overall winners (a team from the Pembroke 226 Squadron, 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare)) completed the race in a time of 9 hours 41 minutes, beating their nearest rivals (63 Signal Squadron) by 40 minutes, to win the Lanyard Trophy.

However, 63 Squadron won the Saxon Trophy (which is awarded to the first team to finish with all its members) and the Reserve Trophy.

11 Signal Regiment were the mixed team winners with a time of 12 hours 20 minutes, followed by the mixed runners up (14 Signals Regiment) 21 minutes later.

In a time of 12 hours 51 minutes, 30 Signal Regiment where the Veteran winners; the female winners also came from 30 Signal Regiment.

8.0 Useful Links


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