West Highland Way Race 2014 Race night brief

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This will be readout on Saturday 21st June 2014 at 12.30am just before the start of the race at 1am.  It’s not always easy to hear and some support crew won’t be there so here it is …..

West Highland Way Race 2014 Race night brief

  • My objective over the whole weekend is to see as many as possible of you reach the finish at the Leisure Centre in Fort William safely.
  • All rules are here to ensure that the event is as safe as possible. Failing to comply reduces your safety margin; as you may already be aware, over the years we have had one or two close calls.
  • Please do not drop any litter on the trail. Other people do, so if you can face it, please collect some of it and leave at a checkpoint for disposal. I would want the participants in this event to be known as more likely to gather litter than to drop it.
  • Route issues- Balmaha Checkpoint- please be patient at the funnel.
  • After the first checkpoint at Balmaha, it is a long haul to Beinn Glas Farm before you meet your crew again. They may meet you at Rowardennan if you wish, instead of using a drop bag there. After that the crew have an ‘overnight’ opportunity to rest at Balmaha car park before meeting you at the farm some hours later.
  • A82 closure. Crews will not be able to access the north end of Loch Lomond until after 0600 Saturday. Please use this opportunity to rest. If you arrive at Beinn Glas farm before 0700hrs, you will not be permitted to enter and park. Time your arrival as closely as is practical to the expected arrival of your runner, reducing significantly the pressure on parking here.
  • Drop Bags can be organised for – Rowardennan and Inversnaid. No feed stops are allowed in Glen Falloch .
  • Policing. Kit inspections will again be enforced this year and there is a real possibility that I might have to withdraw someone from the race because either they are not prepared with sufficient gear in their transport at the time or that their team transport arrangements do not provide sufficient cover. All runners must carry a foil blanket throughout the event. In the latter stages it may be that you will be expected to carry a full set of weather gear.
  • Closure of checkpoints. I want to make this point quite clear; I know how much of yourself you have put into training for this running event. The closure times have been carefully set after many years of experience; if you can’t make the closing time, it is unlikely that you will be able to finish safely so the marshals will be enforcing closing times at their checkpoints.
  • Support crews are responsible for the health and safety of their runner at all times and must be prepared to escort or retrieve their runner during the latter stages of the race, particularly in bad weather.
  • Support crews must get their runner weighed at Auchtertyre and again at Kinlochleven. Weight is only one factor in determining the relative health of a runner; no-one will be withdrawn simply because they have lost a couple of kilos. Always obey the instructions of a marshal.
  • Withdrawal- If you are forced to pull up, please make sure that you and your crew inform marshals that you have withdrawn and hand back your chip. Ideally, give us the wrist tag as a physical reminder that you are out. Go forward to the next checkpoint, as the one behind you may already have closed.
  • Please uphold the West Highland Way Race, Family tradition: Take care of each other. This is very important on such a long and remote route.
  • First Aid locations. At checkpoints; the Race Doctor with aid station at Kinlochleven, Medics at sites on final parts of the route and at the finish. Any problems, get in touch with me direct, via any marshal or through Race control. Both Medic and Search & Rescue teams will be in the field throughout the event to provide rapid response.
  • A&E: Nearest A&E facilities are at the Royal Alexandria Hospital across the Clyde in Paisley and the Belford Hospital in Ft William.
  • In the unlikely event of the race being cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, the check-point marshals and sweepers will advise runners and their support teams; instructions must be followed.
  • There will be a sweep at the back of the field. Their instructions do not include carrying downed runners out to the next checkpoint; they are there simply to summon your crew to come and drag you out.
  • Please remove rings as swollen hands can be a big problem. NSAIDs.
  • Weather. There will be some. When the sun shines, it’ll be hot. When it’s raining, it’ll be cold and wet. If it’s windy, there’ll be less midges.
  • Food stops for supporters- the obvious spots are The Oak Tree at Balmaha, Auchtertyre farm, the Real Food Café at Tyndrum, and GlenCoe Ski Resort, all of whom support this event. Please feel free to use them. Tail Race pub with food on Saturday evening in Kinlochleven.
  • Prizegiving will be in the Nevis Centre in Fort William from around 1200 hrs on Sunday- North of the railway station and Morrisons supermarket. See you there. Have a good one.

Sean Stone

Lord of the Bridge

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