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Safety

SAFETY & RULES

Drinking Water Outside

The following rules/instructions are very important.  Please remember them and follow the agreed process during the race.  All competitors by entering and taking part in the West Highland Way Challenge Race and WHW & Ben Nevis Race agree to follow ALL rules for the entire duration of the event.
 

1.   Any Competitor withdrawing from the race will be required to withdraw at a CHECK POINT, if unable to make it to a CHECK POINT, then contact the race organisers by phone and confirm your location. If possible make your way to the nearest main road , where you will be uplifted and transferred to Milngavie.

Each competitor on withdrawing from the race must hand their race number to a race Marshall. This is very important and each competitor enters the race on this understanding a competitor will still be classed as in the race and unaccounted for, until the race number has been handed to an race Marshall.

 

A competitors failure to contact a race Marshall (either in person or by phone) and hand over their race number could result in Police and Mountain Rescue being informed that a competitor is missing. So please adhere strictly to this rule as failure to hand in your number could bar the competitor from future races.  As soon as you let is know you have withdrawn, we can support you accordingly.


2.   Each competitor is required to be aged 18 years, or over on race day.

3.   Race number must be worn at all times and clearly visible (name and number) on your 'chest front' and not on your leg, or back pack.

4.   In the event of unpredictable weather the organisers reserve the right to stop the race, or group competitors into minimum groups of 2 or more for travelling through exposed area. These groups must remain together, or until they are split at a Check Point by a race marshal. The race cut-off time of 35 hours can be extended in adverse weather.

5.    The following items must be carried or worn at all times during the race.

 

  • WATERPROOF HOODED JACKET with taped seams (this does not include a Pertex only garment, or other shower proof only garments.  Pertex Shield is acceptable]

  • WATERPROOF TROUSERS

  • HAT

  • GLOVES

  • EMERGENCY WHISTLE

  • COMPASS

  • TORCH

  • INFORMATION SHEET - IN A WATERPROOF BAG. This has Check Point details and the emergency contact numbers and will be given to you at Registration.

  • MAP of the full W.H.W. ('Harveys', or 'Footprint' provide these maps.) or a map of Ben Nevis if applicable.

  • MOBILE PHONE (fully charged at start of race and 'switched on' for the entire race)

  • SUPPORT RUNNERS are not allowed to carry competitors mandatory equipment, or fluids.

Your mobile number must be provided to the race organisers on the Entry Form. If a phone number has changed since submitting your entry form, please advise the race organisers by phone, or email before race day.  Alternatively inform the race organisers at Race Registration.

 

7.   For your SAFETY, at Registration competitors must provide to the organisers a SMALL EMERGENCY RUCKSACK or HOLDALL containing a sleeping bag weighing a minimum 800 grams and an orange type, heavy duty, emergency 'Survival Bag' and spare torch. This rucksack will be re-issued to the competitor at Check Point 5: Beinglas  (54 miles) and must be carried the 14 Miles to the Rowardennan Check Point 6, at 68miles.  

       This safety measure is to ensure that waterproof, windproof and insulation cover are provided to the competitor until help arrives, in the event of the competitor being immobilised. 

     Any race packs, running packs, bum bags used on arrival at Beinglas (CP5) can be left and will be returned to the finish at Milngavie.

RUNNERS WHO ARRIVE AT BEINGLAS BEFORE 21:00hrs  ARE EXEMPT FROM CARRYING THE EMERGENCY RUCKSACK  AND ITS 3 ITEMS, AS THEY SHOULD COMPLETE THE SECTION IN DAYLIGHT.  Please note your 'emergency rucksack' MUST also have capacity for to transfer ALL mandatory race items listed in point 6 above, when you arrive at the Beinglas, Check Point.

8.   BEFORE THE RACE all competitors must read all of the information contained in this website.  Please take quality time to read, learn and prepare accordingly.  It will increase your chances of success on race day.  It also helps to ensure the spirit of fairness to all, one team approach and respect to others.

9.   No 'support vehicles', are permitted within 500 metres, of the Check Points at: OCHTERTYRE Camp Site (CP4), or BEINGLAS Camp Site ( CP5 ).   A breach of this rule will result in disqualification of the competitor.

10. No 'support vehicles' are to allowed into the Car Park in front of Bridge of Orchy, Fire Station. A breach of this rule will result in the disqualification of the competitor. This area is for part time firefighters to leave their cars when attending a fire. Unauthorised parked vehicles in this can also obstruct the fire tender from leaving the Fire Station, or the firemen from parking their vehicles.

11.  ONLY  ONE  DIVERSION:

THIS DIVERSION IS IN TYNDRUM VILLAGE AND IS PUT IN PLACE TO AVIOD WADING THROUGH A SUBSTANTIAL RIVER. In Tyndrum, when the WHW crosses the A82 Trunk Road, at 'Brodies' shop, 'TURN LEFT ' and proceed down the A82 pavement on the opposite side of the road past the chipper and public toilets (open 24/7) and after the bus bay, next to the toilets, 'TURN RIGHT'  down the tarmac road heading to Tyndrum Lower Station. After 150 meters on the right side of the road is a wooden post sign at grid 328302. The sign indicates local shops, station and WHW information.  At the sign 'TURN LEFT ' off the tarred road and back onto the WHW track. No extra distance is covered by this safety DIVERSION WHICH MUST BE TAKEN FOR SAFETY.

 

OTHER  ADVICE  INFORMATION
 

Note for NOVICES and even the experienced RUNNERS: Please don't turn up with heavy rucksacks which have everything including the kitchen sink.  There is no need during the race to be carrying a rucksack weighing more than 10lbs, including water.  We (the race organisers) strongly recommend you train with your running pack and safety rucksack.  Get familiar with them.  Learn how to best pack your kit and how it feels on your back.  Then come race day you will be sorted and in a good frame of mind.


FOOD, DRINKS, Spare shoes, towels, change of clothing, extra torches and batteries, etc. can be put in the 'drop bags'.


Also because you are being provided with hot water at CP's, then Pot Noodles, pasta Mug Shots, dehydrated food, can be put in your Drop Bags (with an extra cup and spoon), especially for the night CP's when it's much colder and REMEMBER YOUR TORCHES and SPARE BATTERIES.  Please be smart and make effective use of the 'Drop Bag' option. Smart drop bag planning can considerably increase your chances of finishing the race. Remember during the night the temperature can be 30 degree Centigrade below daytime temperatures, so have spare clothing in the night Drop Bag locations.


Also, the secret of ultra endurance races is to check an accurate weather forecast 24 to 36 hours before the start of the race, then estimate when you are likely to be at each Check Point and ascertain how long it will take between the C.P.'s. If it's a race you haven't done before then you can get an idea of the times between CP's from previous competitors 'SPLIT TIME RESULTS'. If for example: if it's 4 hours for a leg and the time will be from 12:00noon to 04:00pm and the weather is for a  roasting hot, sunny day, then don't carry just 0.5 litre of fluid for the 4 hours, or you will be in serious trouble from dehydration. The race bottles, or hydra bags you carry during the race should be able to hold the maximum fluid estimated for the longest leg of the race. The problem with hydra bags in rucksack's is you don't know how much water you have left in them, so as to ration it out to the next  CP. All to often we see people coming into C.P.'s and retiring as they have suffered due to using up their water 2 hours earlier. The same thought, is also required for clothing during the various legs especially if its raining, blowing a gale and the path is a virtual stream, then make sure you are wearing enough clothes to stay comfortable, 'any fool can be cold'.


Remember the colder and wetter you get the slower you get, then you don't produce as much heat, so you get even colder and slower, IT'S A VICIOUS CIRCLE which usually ends in hypothermia and a withdrawal.

If the weather forecast is for wet, cold, windy conditions. Then it is highly recommended to have a complete change of clothing in the Bridge of Orchy and Rowardennan 'drop bags'. Remember you will also be 2,000ft up a mountain and the weather is totally different to the valley floor and can even be frosty, or snow.

 

Plus:  In cold, wet conditions put extra food, in your rucksack to eat while moving between Check Points, you will need it.
 


REMEMBER THE 7  'P' RULE:

'Poor Planning and Preparation Provides Piss Poor Performance'. MOST ULTRAS  ARE LOST, OR NOT COMPLETED, DUE TO POOR LOGISTICS AND PLANNING. 

REMEMBER MOST OF THE CHECK POINTS ARE IN THE 'OPEN AIR', SO WEAR SUFFICIENT CLOTHES AND HAVE MONEY 
FOR TO GO INTO A HOTEL, OR CAFE, TO GET A HEAT AND SOME HOT FOOD, IF REQUIRED.

AS PER RACE RULE NUMBER 8:  PLEASE READ ALL INFORMATION ON THE WEBSITE.  IN PARTICULAR THE 'FURTHER RACE DETAILS' WEB PAGE.  THERE HAVE BEEN MANY CHANGES TO THE WEBSITE AND RACE DETAILS SO IT IS IMPORTANT ALL COMPETITORS (Experienced Ultra Competitors to Novices) TAKE TIME TO READ ALL THE INFORMATION. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

Image by Onur Binay
Sunrise-Conic-Hill-ntl_edited.jpg
Image by Alexandr Podvalny
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