Competitors from around the country are expected to head for Charlton Park, near Malmesbury, this weekend for a new Hunger Games meets Krypton Factor-style competition where, it is claimed, the smart can out-compete the fast.

HQrecon is described as a unique military-inspired endurance event where mental strength and strategy are as important as physical fitness.

Organisers say after several successful ‘secret’ events the affair is now going mainstream with three days of competition at the Earl of Suffolk’s ancestral home from Friday until Sunday, September 5 to 7.

Aimed to test physical fitness and mental agility, competitors have to infiltrate as many ‘zones’ as possible within three and a half hours to collect intelligence codes located within each.

Codes equal points. However, a number of ‘hunters’ – professionally trained security personnel – are out to catch competitors.

Those who are caught lose points and are also sentenced to a time penalty in the form of an energy-sapping 15-minute military-style circuit training session lead by an ex-Royal Marine.

Each competitor will cover an average of 10km to 12km. Teams and individuals can enter events and cash prizes are awarded to winners.

HQrecon was founded by Will Bayley, a professional bodyguard and instructor with the British Krav Maga Association – an elite hand-to-hand combat system used by military and intelligence services.

Mr Bayley said: “The popularity of fitness and endurance events that offer something in addition to just running or cycling or following a linear path has grown hugely in recent years.

“However, I believe there was a gap in the market for a fitness event that truly combines both a physical and mental challenge, and that offers a competitive element.

“HQrecon offers all of those things, and the ‘secret’ small- scale events we have held in the past have been hugely successful. We are therefore very excited about hosting our first public events.”

Charlton Park was chosen due to its “stunning scenery, breath-taking woodland and extensive acreage”.

Tickets start from £69 per person. To find out more, to watch the trailer or to book tickets, go to