Preview of Sean’s Race briefing

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At approximately 12.30am (30mins before the race starts) on Saturday 24th June 2017 Sean Stone will address the runners and support teams with all the final instructions. It is not always easy to hear and some support teams won’t be there so here is the text of his message ….

Ronhill West Highland Way Race 2017: 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 we can make it and that the Race will continue for the future. Failing to comply with all of these rules reduces your safety margin.
  • Dropping any litter on the trail is unacceptable. Other people do it, please collect any ‘Race’ litter and leave at a checkpoint for disposal.  Crews: please take the rubbish that you generate home with you; it has a significant impact on small businesses to dump it locally.
  • Noise: As you know the owners of the Oak Tree Inn open up their premises from 2.00 am on race morning to serve coffee and hot rolls to the support crews, and this is hugely appreciated by everyone involved in the race. Can I ask everyone to remember that there will still be a lot of guests in the Oak Tree staying overnight, so please keep the noise levels as low as possible both when inside and outside?
  • Related to this, the race passes a lot of houses through the night, particularly at the Beech Tree, Drymen, Balmaha and Kinlochleven. As outlined in the race instructions we are very keen for the race to be viewed in a positive light by those communities, so please keep the noise down and respect the residents in these places (and any others) who are trying to sleep.
  • Balmaha Checkpoint- please comply with the funnel into the CP.
  • After the first checkpoint at Balmaha, it is a long haul to Beinn Glas Farm before you must meet your crew again. They may meet you at Rowardennan if you wish, instead of using a drop bag there.  After Balmaha or Rowardennan the crew have a brief overnight opportunity to rest at Balmaha before meeting you at the Farm some hours later.
  • Crews: Please use this opportunity to rest. If you arrive at Beinn Glas farm before 0700hrs, you will not be permitted to enter and park.  Please time your arrival as closely as is practical to the expected arrival of your runner, reducing significantly the pressure on parking.
  • No feed stops allowed anywhere in Glen Falloch.
  • Please keep as quiet as you can in residential areas at night, especially tonight in GlenGoyne, Drymen and again tomorrow night in KLL.
  • 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 and mobile phone throughout the event.  In the later 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  The closure times have been carefully set after many years of experience; if you can’t make the closing times, it is unlikely that you will be able to finish safely so the marshals will be enforcing strict 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 lose 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 at a checkpoint 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. Very important on such a long and remote route.
  • The event medical resources are available to you throughout the event; if you withdraw and need our help, you can locate the medical team through any checkpoint marshal, at Kinlochleven or at the finish.
  • First Aid will be located at all formal 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.  Lochside response will be provided by a rescue boat on Lomond.
  • 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 all rings as swollen hands can be a big problem. No NSAIDs (Nurofen, Ibupfrofen, Diclofenac, Voltarol or related drugs).
  • There will be…  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 CP, the Real Food Café at Tyndrum, and GlenCoe Ski Resort CP, all of whom support this event. Please feel free to use them.  Tail Race pub will have food on Saturday evening in Kinlochleven; there is also a chipper.
  • Ticks: advice http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/activities/walking/check-for-ticks
  • Prizegiving will be in the Nevis Centre in Fort William from soon after 1200hrs on Sunday- North of the railway station and Morrisons supermarket. See you there.  Have a good one.

Sean Stone

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