Kit Check and Carrying Emergency Provisions

So the 2018 event is looming, with only 12 weeks to race weekend, so it’s time we started to talk through the things you can expect on race weekend. The first of our blog posts will focus on kit check… the source of much entertainment for over 10 years. At event registration, you will be required to carry the selection of compulsory kit. It’s important for everyone to understand the requirements prior to the weekend as without all of the items, you will not be allowed to start.

Before we go any further, there are a few simple rules which may well help to answer your questions:

1. All runners must carry all kit, this relates not just to solo runners but to everyone running as a pair.
2. There are no exceptions to rule 1 under any circumstances.
3. Please don’t try to ‘beat the system’. Bring the items on the list below and save yourself the hassle. We’ve seen it all before, we’ve heard it all before, it didn’t work then, it won’t work now.
4. Never, under any circumstances should you ask “is this really necessary to carry all this stuff in July?” It really is and you really need to trust us on this one. If in doubt, ask on the Facebook group, it’ll make their day. They love to recount stories of driving rain, at 2am and being close to hypothermic… In July.
5. Do we actually check at the finish? Yes… all prize winners are checked and there is a random check of finishers throughout the event. But this really isn’t about us trying to catch you out, it’s about you being completely safe.
6. Don’t email or contact us to question the purpose, rights and wrongs of this kit list. We’ve had too many close calls and it isn’t up for discussion. Save your energy, turn up with the right stuff and have a great weekend.

Here goes…

1. First aid kit to include: blister plasters, dressings, bandages and tape to secure dressing as a minimum requirement. We also recommend Vaseline, paracetamol and antihistamine. Use your common sense and ask yourself, what are the circumstances that could arise and what would you need to resolve it.

2. Full WATERPROOF body cover, top and bottom. Windproof or water resistant is not sufficient, your clothing must must be recognised as fully waterproof with taped seams. Plastic jackets, ponchos or bin bags will not be accepted…. yep, that really does happen. Garments must be a good quality and recognised as fully waterproof.

If you need to know whether your jacket and trousers are fully waterproof, speak to the people you bought it from or contact the manufacturer for clarification. All mountain and fell races are compulsory waterproof top and bottoms, so most people are pretty clued up with this kind of thing. 

3. Spare base layer top and bottom – must be full length bottoms & long sleeve top. A pair of warm running tights and a long sleeve running top or thin fleece are ideal. Let’s clarify:

  • Three quarter tights or cycling shorts combined with long socks are not acceptable.
  • Short sleeve tops are also not acceptable.
  • Leg warmers or arm warmers with shorts or short sleeve tops are not acceptable.

IMPORTANT: Seal the spare base layers in a watertight/plastic bag and leave them at the bottom of your pack. The spare base layers should not be worn at any time during the event unless you are faced with a race ending emergency. If poor weather and a drop in temperature lead to you using emergency base layers, then you have not packed enough spare clothing. This means that you should bring 2 sets, the first set should be opened in an emergency, the other set is for you to use in general during the event.

4. Head torch / spare batteries if required to last one or two nights depending upon your race distance. Please don’t bring a cheap torch with old batteries which cuts out after 20 minutes leaving you stumbling around in the darkness, with your iphone as your only means of spotting the large rock you are about to fall over. You’ll be hitting the night sections in the latter stages and you’ll be tired. Make it as easy as it can be, bring a good quality / charged torch, make sure the batteries are brand new, bring spare batteries and ideally learn how to use the torch.

5. Mobile phone fully charged. IMPORTANT – there is reception throughout the course (not in it’s entirety). If you are lost between checkpoints and identified by our live timing system as outstanding at a checkpoint, SWITCH YOUR PHONE ON. It is likely that we are trying to call you and you can call us using the numbers in your road book. To conserve the battery life on your phone, please see point 4 above, regarding head torch quality.

6. Whistle – If it’s built into the buckle on your pack, check it works VERY WELL. We will check the whistles at kit check if we’re in doubt. Should you find yourself in an emergency situation, a whistle can be used to attract attention. The recognised sign for help is 6 long blasts followed by 1 minute silence. Please don’t use this at checkpoints to attract the attention of helpers and request sugar for your tea, they’ll probably insert it into another part of your body.

7. Hat and gloves (BUFF or similar is acceptable as hat). That’s a simple one…

8. Emergency foil blanket or bivi bag, large enough to cover whole body. Don’t cut down your foil blanket in an attempt to save weight. A foil blanket which is only big enough to roast a small mouse, will not be accepted.

9. Emergency food equivalent to 400kcal e.g. 2 mars bars. If you’re following a low sugar / high fat vegan based paleo plant diet then yes, you can opt for something other than mars bars and you’re free to choose. If you need advice, refer to earlier comment about the Facebook group, but under no circumstances should you expect a serious answer.

IMPORTANT: Seal the spare food in a plastic bag and leave them at the bottom of your pack. Do not eat the emergency food at any time during the event unless you are faced with a race ending emergency. If you eat your emergency food, you did not pack enough spare food. NOTE – the emergency food is not ‘in case you get hungry’, you should have extra, spare food to deal with such as issue.

10. Map (supplied at registration, waterproof and pre-marked) Harvey 1:40,000. Ideally, please learn how to use it beforehand. If you should spot someone at the start of the event holding the map upside down and looking in the opposite direction to the actual route, please notify your nearest marshal.

11. Road book (supplied at registration on waterproof paper). There is a copy on the website which you can download for familiarisation purposes. The road book is a written description of the route, turn by turn.

12. Compass (you must know how to orientate a map using a compass and take a simple bearing to provide direction). IMPORTANT – bring actual compass. A compass on your phone or Garmin is not acceptable due to the risk of battery life running out. For those born in the 60’s / 70’s don’t bring a gadget for drawing circles with a small pencil attached… wrong compass.

13. Plastic cup or mug, or preferably 2 cups.

Okay… buckle up people, here we go. The use of disposable cups grew to an unacceptable level and for that reason there will be no disposable cups at checkpoints this year for either soup, hot or cold drinks. We would like competitors to carry a SOLID plastic/metal mug for hot drinks and soup and then a 2nd cup for cold drinks, which can be collapsible (you will get a Lakeland 50/100 branded collapsible cup at registration).

The cup for soup and hot drinks MUST BE SOLID as it’s to dangerous for both marshals and competitors to pour hot fluids into collapsible cups. If you prefer to use a soft flask or water bottle for cold drinks, rather than a collapsible cup, that’s acceptable.

If you’ve never done the event before, under no circumstances should you ask advice regarding cups on the Facebook group. You just need to trust us on this one… ‘can of worms’ doesn’t come close to explaining the situation.

If you have any genuine questions about kit, give us a call at The Endurance Store on 01257 251217. Don’t mention cups… we’ll hang up.

It’ll be here before you know it so time to push on.

Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 Team

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