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Salcey Spring Challenge

Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire
C-19 PLAN
Big Bear Events has provided covid-19 safety information for this event.

Organiser's Description

The trees will be beginning to bloom and we’re looking forward to lush greens and beautiful shaded areas! So if you’re hoping for your first 10k, aiming for a marathon, or want to see how far you can go in 6 hours, then sign up to this event!

This 3.3 mile loop in Salcey Forest means your race can be 5k, over 80k, or anywhere in between! You decide how many laps you're going to do on the day within the 6 hour time limit. If you're looking to cover a marathon distance you'll need to complete 8 laps, and a half marathon will be 4 laps. This is a flat course with minimal elevation changes.

Start Time

09:00am

Distances

3.3 mile loop
6 hours

More Info

Event website

For our events to be a success we need to take every step possible to ensure the transmission of COVID is as minimal as possible. Being an outdoor event helps but this is a different situation to you running alone in a park. These tweaks and adjustments may slow you down, may make the experience different to what you would like and expect. We make no apologies for this. If events are going to happen we have a collective responsibility to look after each other before during and after the event. This is the first running of an event we want to run for many years to come so we need to ensure we don’t have a negative impact on the communities we are running around.

Please read these instructions in detail. It is new to all involved so you will need to read it regardless of how experienced you are. Don’t be “that” idiot…!

Before the event

  • If you are experiencing COVID symptoms do not travel to the event. If you are a volunteer do not travel to the event and let us know.
  • Your bib will be posted to you (if you entered more than 2 weeks before race day) there will be no registration in the traditional sense. If you have moved since you entered please update your information by logging in at bigbearevents.net
  • The pre-race briefing will be emailed and on youtube around 48 hours before the event.
  • Please limit any spectators and crew. We will ask you to email us the names and phone numbers or any crew you will have at the event so we can pass these details on to the government track and trace if requested to do so. The event is planned so you can turn up and run it solo without the need for outside support. An aid station (roughly) every 5k is a high level of support.

Event morning

  • Please arrive during the time window you’ve been given before the event. Follow any on-site instructions with regard using the toilets, cafe etc.
  • Hand sanitise before entering our HQ section.
  • Please leave all your possession in your car. There are very few sites where we do not have our HQ very close to the car parks. If you MUST leave a bag at HQ (you’ve travelled by public transport for example) please ensure it is a small bag and you hand sanitise before and after accessing it.
  • As above, the race briefing will be online 48 hours before the event.
  • There will not be a mass start. There will be time trial starts spaced 15s apart. We will be sending people a 10 minute arrival window when we would like you to start/arrive between 8:30-9:30. This is to prevent crowding and help maintain social distancing. If there is an issue with your window contact us directly via email. Social distancing is essential though, so please don’t send a list of your 5 friends you want to run with, it just isn’t possible, and we all need to make adjustments. Given the nature of our events if someone is 30 minutes ahead of you all that means is they’re a lap ahead – so you could still run together (socially distanced) anyway!
  • There will be toilets at HQ, please follow on-site directions and limitations.
  • If you have arrived and you are ready to run please congregate away from the start line. We’ll call runners over to the start line (it’ll be a tiny walk) to limit bunching and crowding in a small space

During the event

  • Maintain social distancing throughout the event. This means a minimum of 2m between you and other runners or members of the public. Where this isn’t possible run single file or if there are real pinch points give way to other users (or the faster runner) and turn your back to limit airborne transmission.
  • Limit touching of gates, styles, forest furniture etc. as you run. Where you need to open gates etc. please use hand sanitiser before and after. Use a cuff from your top or a buff to reduce the likelihood of transmitting Covid through touch. Follow the countryside code though and leave all gates as you find them and close anything you open.

    Aid Station

  • Weather permitting these will be outdoors – no real change! (except for the toilets).
  • If you do not wish to stop at an aid station ensure the timekeeper has marked you down and continue running.
  • There will be limits on the numbers of people allowed in to an aid station and social distancing MUST happen.
  • Were possible there will be separate ways in and out, please pay attention.
  • We will not able to supply the smorgasbord of goodies we are known for and love to supply. The ultra-buffet is a long way from returning. To reduce a contact point we will be supplying mostly pre-packaged foods for you to pick up. We will confirm in the week before the event what this will be.
  • There will be water, SIS electrolyte and coke at all aid stations. To remove a contact point this will be poured by a volunteer in to your cup, bladder etc. The volunteer must not touch your cup and you must not touch the pouring jug. This may end in spills but will mean 100 people don’t all touch the same handle.

    The finish

  • High fives and sweaty hugs from us and our volunteers are out (unless they’re your actual family)
  • The medals and goodies will be on a table for you to pick up. We wish we could place each medal round your neck but we can’t. Please move away from the immediate finish area as soon as you can. Generally our HQ’s are in rather open spots so you can easily wander away without having to get in your car immediately.
  • Results will take a little longer for us to populate due to the rolling start, we’ll endeavour to get these online ASAP though.

These are not necessarily the complete set of rules and adjustments, potentially there may be amendments closer to the event as well. Ultimately we’ll be asking you to socially distance wherever possible and reduce touch points to a minimum. We take take this very seriously both personally and professionally. As distance runners most of us think we are somewhat invincible, and if you’ve run an ultra who knows what disease lurks in the bowl of jelly babies after a few hours! but this is different. It is clear that COVID isn’t particularly fussed by your parkrun PB and could wipe you out for 6 weeks or much much worse. We have a responsibility to you as runners, the communities we are based around and the wider running community to put on Covid-secure events and there will be sacrifices from all parties to ensure this happens.

Update 25/02/21

The roadmap out of lockdown has been released by the government and there is light at the end of the tunnel! Without wishing to be a complete downer on the situation thought we aren’t out of the “cancellation woods” yet. I am still waiting to see what UK Athletics has agreed with Department for Culture, Media and Sport with regards a return to events. Although I don’t permit my events through UKA or the TRA anymore it would be irresponsible (and potentially illegal) to put events on that contradict their agreement. Grassroots sports is allowed to return form March 28th with agreement from the National Governing Body. Hopefully they’ll get the message out to us all soon and I can be more confident events will happen and I’ll know what restrictions will be in place.

On a similar note just because government and UKA say events can happen doesn’t mean they will! The final piece of the puzzle is landowner permission. I’m in conversation with all of the landowners of upcoming events to ensure they haven’t local restrictions on events. More specifically Forestry England, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire County Councils will all have their own plans for events. I need to work within these plans.

So in summary, summer and autumn look nailed on to be back to events without issue but I’m optimistically cautious when it comes to spring. I’ll obviously fight for events to be on but these are relationships I want to keep and build on for many years so throwing a hissy fit if they say no won’t get any of us very far!! As always I’ll try and keep everyone updated as we move through and any cancellations will be able to to transfer to an event without an issue.

It’s a better message though!

Event specific finishers medal (a nice one too!)

Specially crafted liquid and solid goodies! Details will be dependent on each event, but in the past we have had beer, cider, flapjack and apple juice.

The great feeling of being part of a different event!

A fully stocked aid station on each lap. Think kids picnic rather than water station!

Salcey Forest, Wootton Rd, Northamptonshire NN7 2HX

Salcey Forest is a Forestry Commission site near Northampton. Use the post code NN7 2HX for Sat Nav.

You do have to pay to park (between £4-£6 at the time of writing). That said, be a hero and car share, save money and the World!

By car: Salcey Forest is 18 minutes from Northampton and 9 minutes from Junction 15 of the M1. Use the post code NN7 2HX for Sat Navs.

By train: The closest train station is Northampton, which is served by West Midlands Trains services, southbound to London Euston and northbound to Birmingham New Street and Crewe.

The route is along well maintained pathways. There isn't a meter of asphalt and the paths are mainly crushed stone. Obviously being in the middle of a forest the narrower ones are covered in tree detritus and can become a bit muddy and grimy, especially when wet. On a dry day road shoes will be perfectly acceptable, on a wet day trail shoes may be a better bet as some parts can become a bit slippy.

Registration will be clearly signposted from the car park; you should see our flags and gazebo too. HQ will usually be close to the toilets at each location.

Unless stated on the event page the race day will be as follows:

Race registration opens at 08:15

Race briefing at 08:50

Race start at 09:00

Last runner leaves HQ at 14:59:59

Race finishes at 15:00

Race team put their feet up at home and have a beer 19:00

This event is cupless; there are several ways that you can get water/liquid in a 'cupless' race:

1. Carry a bottle with you (or hydration pack)
Simply run and carry your bottle with you, we'll have water dispensers at the checkpoint allowing you to fill up when you need to.

2. The 'Bottle Table'
Given the lapped nature of our events it is an easy fix for us to have a 'bottle table' for you to leave your bottles to pick up as you complete each lap. Labelling your bottle with your name would be a good idea as lots of people have similar (if not identical!) bottles. Once you've drunk all the drink you brought with you, you can have your bottle refilled from our water/squash/electrolytes.

3. Speed cups/ foldable cups
Carry a speed cup or foldable plastic bottle with you to fill up at the aid station. Unlike a rigid plastic bottle it will fold up in your pocket when you are finished. And with a speed cup you can easily go between water and sports drinks.

These options may prevent you from getting a 2 hour marathon but will help you do a tiny bit to prevent unnecessary plastic wastage.

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