RACE DAY INFO
VIGILANTES MARAVAN FESTIVAL: SAT 23rd AND SUN 24th NOV 2019
Hi everyone, hope you're all fit and well and ready to go. Need to share a few things with you now we’re into the final week.
Expo: As every year, there’s going to be an ‘Expo’ (or at least that’s what I tell the wife) on the Friday night. It’s not a compulsory expo. There’s no exhibitors, but I’ll hopefully be there from around 6 ish if you want to pick your number up early and buy me a pint!
This year the expo will again be at the Brewer’s Fayre by the Cleethorpes Premier Inn. We will be in “Maravan Corner”, at the back, to the right of the bar as you come in. The table’s booked from 6, so one of us will be there then, but as I’m staying at the hotel myself, I might be there beforehand, assuming that there are no last-minute emergencies.
Postcode of the Brewer’s Fayre: DN35 0FB
PLEASE DON’T PARK ON ANY GRASS.
There is plenty of hard standing available.
There are several decent parking options that avoid parking on grass. All the car parks on the site are within a minute or so from the start:
Registration: Will be outside the Touring Reception, a short walk from the start, and right by the finish from 8am each day, where there will hopefully be a Gazebo set up, unless it’s blowing a gale. You can follow signs to the “Touring Reception” from all over the campsite.
If you picked numbers up on Friday night, you don’t need to register again.
Race Briefing: At the start at about 8.50.
Numbers: Unless you're particularly keen to get a new number, I'd prefer doublers to keep the same number both days. Relay teams have yellow numbers.
Start: Both days start at 9am. The start is at the far corner of the race village.
Time limit: Officially, 6 hours. However, I'm prepared to stay outside until it gets dark. Once it's dark then your safety comes into play. You must start your final lap before dusk. I’m going to be a bit hotter on this on Sunday because I need to take down the course and go home to my kids.
Water: There's a feeding station at the finish. You can leave your own stuff there if you can find space. I'm giving out water, squash and cola, and potentially some other drinks (adult drinks might be available if you ask nicely) in biodegradable paper cups. That doesn't mean we can scatter them with impunity, I'm afraid. Please use bins. If you need to use a bottle, by all means bring your own. I can fill it up for you. There will be some cake, plenty of biscuits, crisps, nuts, sweets and possibly chocolate. By all means bring something to share.
Toilets: Much as I’d love to spaff the race budget on toilets, four was enough last year, so again there will be four portable toilets at the finish line. Obviously, queues for these could get interesting. They will be available for the duration of the event. I cannot guarantee that any other unit on the caravan park will be open, so please use these units.
FULL+RELAY: Seven laps, with a little bit at the beginning and end to make up the distance. The lap is 3.7 miles, measured on a Garmin Forerunner 235. http://www.strava.com/routes/11155903. As this lap is as close as dammit to 6km, there will be km markers every km for 1-6 (it’ll get a bit silly if I put 7 markers at each point). They’re there as a guide, more to reassure you that you’ve not gone wrong than as a super-precise timing point..
If you have run this before, please keep your wits around you at the 4km mark, as the route has taken a diversion around a permanently closed gate.
HALF (SUNDAY ONLY): Four laps (with a slight fiddle at the beginning). The lap is 3.3 miles. Please note that the start/finish is in a different location this year than on the map here: https://www.strava.com/routes/11155979. The start/finish is by the Touring Reception on Thorpe Park. The half marathon runners take a shortcut at the end of the grass track. This will be well marked!
It will be marked by around 100 yellow and black signs (with “Vigilantes Running” printed on them - probably even more than last year! - or a handful in yellow and blue marked “Maravan”), placed at regular intervals, plus some biodegradable road markings (flour). In a couple of locations where there have been navigation issues in previous years, there will also be stakes and tape to keep you on the right path. I'll ensure that the laps are clearly marked the weekend before and will double check. There is one corner which I know is awkward and I’ll have a marshal there. There are two crossings of minor public roads which are marshalled. YOU MUST ABIDE BY THE MARSHAL’S INSTRUCTIONS.
Shoes: The course is predominantly on-road, with a couple of short sections of off-road/grass running (it comes in at just over the 2.6km that I need to make it a road race). Road shoes would be my choice although it might be prudent to take care on the off-road section, which can get muddy. It should be wide enough for you to find a decent line.
You'll pass through all areas of the park and briefly in the Fitties area along a public Right of Way. Most of the caravans on the park have been decommissioned for the winter, but there are still people living in the Fitties, so please be considerate. The Fitties houses look more like brick-built holiday homes than the caravans on Thorpe Park.
If it's icy I'll trust you to use your judgement. It is possible to run on grass alongside the roads for most of the way, although care will be needed in places. Ice isn’t forecast for this weekend, but you never can tell.
Finish: Once you have finished, (if you’ve run the full marathon, collect some goodies), then do what you can to keep warm. I recommend going to the Trawlerman for their good-value carvery, or to the Brewers’ Fayre where I’ll be dining on Saturday night and I'll try to join you when everyone has finished. The ‘goody bag’ for the marathon runners contains beer and food. It goes without saying that the pubs won't be happy if you consume those on their premises.
I'll trust you to swap around goodies so that the vegans get a decent clutch and the teetotallers get a decent clutch. I don't need to know if you're a vegetarian, as I won't be forcing a rack of ribs onto anyone, but if you can let me know if you're vegan (I know of three) I can keep back a packet of suitable crisps and maybe some cafe biscuits or Oreos for you. It'll also let me know if I might want to bake something special. The soft drink is vegan, although I can’t vouch for the beer! I do have a mass-market vegan alternative, though.
Relay: The relay starts at 9am on Saturday 23rd November at the same time and place as the main event. It will be necessary for one member of the team to register either on Saturday morning or Friday night at the Brewer’s Fayre. Relay runners wear yellow numbers prefixed with an R, all members of the same team wearing the same letter.
The relay is seven consecutive laps, each lap 3.7 km with an additional km or so at the finish. You will be given an object/baton/hair scrunchie to take round the course, each runner in your team takes it in turns to run a lap. Please only hand over the baton in the finish area. Once the ‘baton’ has been taken round all 7 laps to the finish, you’re done! How you divide the laps up between your team is up to you.
Medals will be given to people who have completed at least one lap. You are welcome to have the drinks and snacks laid on for the maravan runners, but I request that you don't use it as your main meal of the day and leave some for maravan finishers. You might like to celebrate after the event with a drink and a carvery at the Trawlerman, or something from the menu at the Brewer’s Fayre.
Any questions between now and then, please feel free to get in touch. I'm excited and nervous in equal measure of seeing you all on Saturday, or even Friday night.