West Highland Way Race 2023 – Process for allocating places
The race’s objective is to establish a fair and transparent process for the allocation of places, particularly in the event that the race is over-subscribed.
Entry to the race will be determined in accordance with the process outlined below. Places are not allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis.
The race entry fee is £120 for scottishathletics members and members of other UK affiliated bodies, and £122 for all others. A refund of £70 will be made to any entrant who gives notice of their withdrawal from the race on or before 31st May 2023. No refund will be made to any entrant who gives notice of withdrawal after 31st May 2023.
DETAILED ENTRY PROCESS
The race will accept 300 entries. Past experience has shown there will be a withdrawal rate of around 25% prior to race day and, unless the numbers fall below 210, no additional entries will be offered.
All entries must be submitted by completing all sections of the standard electronic form on the race entry site. No payment or credit card details will be requested at the time of entry, but successful entrants will receive an invitation to enter the race and must then provide appropriate credit or debit card details within the defined period to allow payment of the race entry fee to be taken. Please ensure your entry has been saved and processed – if it does not reach us we will be unable to consider your application.
Entries will remain open for a period of one month, from 1st November to 30th November 2022. At the end of the open period all entries will be considered, using the criteria set out below.
ALLOCATION OF RACE PLACES
The following entrants will be granted automatic entry, at any time prior to the start of the race:
•Bobby Shields and Duncan Watson, the two founders;
•Rob Sinclair and Lucy Colquhoun, the male and female current record holders.
•Any person whose presence in the field, in the opinion of the Race Director, will significantly enhance the overall reputation of the race.
A valid entry form must be received on or before the closing date for all others who wish to take part.
Assuming such a form has been received, places will be granted to those in the following categories, with the proviso that each entrant must be able to demonstrate an adequate level of fitness for an event of this nature and must be able to demonstrate that they have a reasonable prospect of completing the race. Evidence of this may be requested.
The categories are:
Entrants who have completed 5 or more previous West Highland Way races;
All previous winners of the race, male and female;
The first 6 male finishers and first 6 female finishers in the 2022 race;
Any entrant who, in the opinion of the race committee, has made or is expected to make a significant contribution to the overall success of the race.
Any entrant who, having met the qualifying criteria, has been balloted out of the 2018, 2019 and 2022 races and was not subsequently offered a place in any of these races. Proof of this will need to be provided.
All remaining entries will then be reviewed, with those who are not considered to have adequate relevant experience rejected. The race does not set down strict qualifying criteria in assessing whether an entrant has ‘adequate relevant experience’, but will consider the experience of each entrant on a case by case basis.
As a general rule, however, entrants are expected to have completed an off-road ultra marathon of at least 65k between 1 January 2018 and the date the entry is submitted. Details of previous experience needs to be provided at time of entry, and this will be checked. Further guidance on what may be considered as ‘adequate relevant experience’ is given below.
If sufficient places are available, all fully qualified entrants will be granted a place in the race.
If there are too many fully qualified entrants for the number of places available, a ballot will take place to allocate the balance of starting places. The Race Director will try to allocate up to 25% of the available places to those who have not started the race before.
By way of guidance (and using other ultra marathons as examples), completion of the following races would generally be considered to meet the criteria of ‘adequate relevant experience’:
•Devil O’ The Highlands
•Cateran Trail 55
•Glenmore 12 (where 65k or more has been covered)
•Glenmore 24 (where 100k or more has been covered)
•Great Glen Way
There are of course many other races that would meet the ‘adequate relevant experience’ criteria; these are given as examples only.
It should be noted that completion of the races below would not normally be considered ‘adequate relevant experience’, either because they are not considered long enough or the terrain is not considered to be similar to the West Highland Way:
•River Ayr Way
•Glasgow to Edinburgh
•Ironman or any other triathlon
•Any road marathon
All entrants must have a support crew and vehicle, comprising one person for the first half of the race and two people for the second half. This is a condition of entry and no-one will be allowed to take part without a crew. The race may be able to help those travelling from overseas with sourcing a crew.
All decisions of the Race Director regarding adequate relevant experience, and in respect of the allocation of places, are final.
Invitations to enter the race will be sent out in early December to all those successful. The place must be accepted and entry fee paid by the end of December, or else the place will be forfeited and offered to someone else.
Once the 300 places have been filled, no further entries will be offered until the number of entries falls below 210.