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Mercia Fell Runners welcomes all Competitors and Supporters to the 2012 UKA British Fell and Hill Running Relay Championships and hope that you enjoy your visit to Church Stretton and the Long Mynd.
Church Stretton in the heart of the Shropshire Hills is a picturesque market town which attracts many visitors to its delights ranging from tea rooms to antique markets. The businesses that form the visitor economy of the Town and local area are keen to welcome the fell running community – we hope you will reciprocate by making use of their services and, perhaps, returning to the area for future races.
The hills that surround Church Stretton are part of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The competition area based on the Long Mynd offers runners an upland plateau of open fell running country with steep sided valleys colloquially known as “batches” and “hollows”. Take a look at OS Explorer Map 217 and http://www.merciarelays.org.uk/lookaround.html
The height of the Long Mynd stands at 1,693 ft and the tops are exposed, the weather in October can be poor, and the area is notorious for disorientating even local runners in bad weather, but on a good day the panoramic views are worth a picnic stop, it is easy to spot the highest point in Shropshire “Brown Clee”, its sister, the wonderfully named “Titterstone Clee”, the well known “Wrekin”, the long ridge of Wenlock Edge and in the distance the Malvern Hills.
But on the day, there will be no picnic stops for the Competitors at the Relays!! Each of the four legs will offer a combination of all the local terrain and, as usual, the Navigation Leg to be revealed on the day.
- Church Stretton is 14 miles south of Shrewsbury and 16 miles north of Ludlow on the A49.
- Church Stretton is on the Manchester, Crewe, Shrewsbury, Hereford, Cardiff railway line with approximately hourly services in each direction.
- The 435 bus service operates between Shrewsbury and Ludlow serving Church Stretton with an approximately hourly service in each direction – but doesn’t run on Sundays.
The event centre will be Rectory Field (Grid Ref SO 451 937) near St Lawrence Church and just a minute’s walk from the Town centre and its cafes, shops and pubs. Allow 15 minutes to walk from the event car park. A sketch map is reproduced below.
Rectory Field is popular with Church Stretton folk, their dogs and visitors; please be courteous, allow them access to Rectory Wood and do encourage them to stay and enjoy the race spectacle.
Accommodation and services
A variety of local businesses offering accommodation, food, drink, other activities etc. have posted brief details on the event web site at -www.merciarelays.org.uk/visitorinfo.html.
More information is available via other web sites
Limited camping will be available adjacent to the event car park – to the rear of Church Stretton Schools (postcode SY6 6EX). There will be the simple facilities of a toilet in the car park and running water. Spaces will be on a first come first served basis and a nominal charge will be made.
The event car park is situated in a field to the rear of Church Stretton School (postcode SY6 6EX) – just follow signs and have £1 ready for collection by the Scouts.
Do not attempt park in the street near the Event Centre. Public car parks in town will cost you more and should be left for the use of other visitors. The Car Park will be open from 7.30 am. There will be a toilet on the car park and there will be a small charge per car upon entry.
The Event Centre is near the Church, a 15 minute walk from the event car park. Turn left out of the event car park and follow the signs to the crossroads; carry straight on over and turn right when you reach the Square. The Church will be on your left and the field entrance in front of you gives access to the Event Centre. Take care crossing roads!
The Event Field will contain registration (in the Scout Hut), race changeovers and finishing funnels, runners holding pen, toilets, changing marquee, refreshments, Pete Bland Sports, first aid, communications, race referee and all other race officials, results, emergency vehicles and rescue.
Members of the public will continue to have access to the field and to Rectory Woods beyond. Please be helpful and courteous.
The field is a natural arena but space will be at a premium.
Some space will be available for Club Tents. Consult the Arena Manager before erecting your tent - we don’t want you to have to put it up twice!
We are lucky enough to have two experienced broadcasters for announcements and race commentary.They will attempt to keep all updated on the progress of the race and also use information from the last control point, that will be dibbed on re-entry to the finish field arena to give some forewarning of approaching runners.
Dogs in the event field must be kept on leads.
There will be toilets and a urinal in the field and one in the holding pen. Please use them (and not the hedge) - “they” will be watching, and “they” don’t like it, and “we” get the blame, so please use the facilities.
Hot meals (Hog Roast/Veg Option) will be available with no payment required upon presentation of a competitor meal voucher (included in the entry fee/registration pack). Team captains are reminded that they must inform Bob Dredge by email firstname.lastname@example.org before 5th October of the number of vegetarian meals required.
We are lucky to have the co-operation of the local community and there will be separate opportunities from 8.00 am to buy teas, coffees, sandwiches, cakes, hot rolls etc in addition to the above. We would be grateful if you could support these enterprises and those inthe Town.
Registration will be in the Scout Hut entered from the Event Field and will be signposted - it will be open from 7.30 am till 9.30 am.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:Final amendments to teams will be closed (and we mean closed) at 8pm on Friday 12th October. This is so SPORTident can print team declaration forms for registration and bring them in time for the race. NO TEAM CHANGES WILL BE PERMITTED AFTER 20:00 ON FRIDAY 12TH OCTOBER.
A representative from each team must collect the team’s Registration Envelope and check that each member of the team and their leg is correct, they will then be asked to sign a disclaimer form.
The Registration Envelope for each Team will contain:
- Map for each runner
- One SPORTident dibber for each leg (if this is not returned or is lost there is a charge of £30). A wriststrap will be attached to each dibber.
- Race Numbers for each Leg (each of the four legs will be identified by a prefix Leg One “A”, Leg Two “B”, Leg Three “C”, Leg Four “X”. Different colours will also be used to differentiate categories)
- Meal Voucher
- Instructions for fastening the dibber
NOTE: race numbers, dibbers and maps arespecific to each Leg. If you are the Team Representative please make sure they are distributed correctly. Failure to do this correctly could result in disqualification.
The map has been printed at 1: 25000 scale, with 15m contour intervals, and will be overprinted with the routes. The Map has been specially produced for us by Wrekin Orienteers, adapted for the fell runner, with clearly defined main and contour features and paths, but has removed the fine details usually associated with orienteering maps.
Checkpoint descriptions will be printed on the map for each leg. An enlarged sketch map of the Event Field (changeover, race approaches and exit) will be printed on the reverse of each course map.
3 x checkpoint
5 x checkpoint
6 x checkpoint
Marked to open
fell – then navigate
5 x checkpoint
Indicative course maps for Legs 1, 2 and 4 are available on the website at www.merciarelays.org.uk/maps.html for pre-race guidance and ‘reccying’ purposes only. The routes on the day may vary from those shown because of short sections of the route being on private land. If you are ‘reccying’ please keep to the public footpaths, respect the National Trust and follow the Country Code. The race area is covered by OS Explorer Map 217.
All competitors are required to visit (and check in with the electronic dibber) all of their course checkpoints in the right order. It is obligatory to follow the marked and marshalled sections of the course – including those sections designed to keep you off the road. Some areas are marked “out of bounds”. In the event of extreme weather some courses may be changed.
All Legs use roads out of the village so be aware of traffic and pedestrians.
Dogs are not allowed on any of the Legs.
To remind you of race rules:
- All competing Clubs must be affiliated to UK Athletics
- Each Team will consist of 6 runners
- Runners can only compete in one leg (no doubling up)
- Team members to be first claim for their participating club
- Team members must be over 18 years of age on the day of the event
- Team members must wear their Club Vest with their race number clearly showing on the front
- Legs 2 and 3 will be completed by pairs of runners. These runners must stay in contact at all times during the leg and finish together.
- Team Members will be required to have experience of fell running, and it is strongly recommended that competitors have previously competed in at least two category A races.
- It will be the Club Team Captain’s responsibility to ensure that all runners are suitably qualified and experienced to represent their Club in their selected leg.
- FRA Rules for Competition will apply.
- Full FRA kit requirements will be enforced irrespective of weather conditions - see separate section below On Safety and Carrying Kit
- Any competitor retiring from the competition MUST report to the nearest marshal/official and to the official at the download tent at the Finish. It is the competitor’s responsibility to arrange for someone else to do it if he/she can’t. All SPORTident dibbers must be handed to avoid the possibility of a search being undertaken by the Mountain Rescue.
UKA Championships Team Categories
- 0/40 Veterans (age on day of event)
- In addition there will a separately recognised category for 0/50’s Veterans (age on day of entry)
Championship medals will be awarded by UKA for the first three teams in the Open, Ladies and 0/40 Categories. Mercia Fell Runners will award medals in other categories.
SPORTident UK Ltd is providing timing and results services. Each runner should familiarise themselves with the use of the electronic dibber for race timing before starting.
Leg 1 will start in the Town and finish in the Event Field.
Legs 2, 3 and 4 start and finish in the Event Field.
09:20 - 09:40 Holding Pen open to receive Leg 1 runners. Leg 1 runners must present themselves at the Holding Pen in plenty of time for kit and dibber check. Kit check information can be found below.
09:55 Leg 1 runners will be lead to the Start in Church Stretton Square
Run-in, change-over, next leg:
- Tape markers must be followed from Townbrook reservoir to an entry point at the top of the event field.
- Before entering the event field you will be required to dib at a compulsory control which will provide announcers with information
- Pairs must at this point ensure they are together
- The run-in is fast downhill within a taped corridor
- Dib at the Finish control box
- Outgoing team members should present themselves at the Holding Pen with plenty of time for a kit and dibber check
- Then touch your outgoing team member allowing him/her/them to start (do not exchange kit – in-bound runners must retain their kit for checking)
- The outgoing/next leg runner does NOT need to dib in order to start
- Proceed to the download, surrender the dibber and collect a printout of your leg split time.
- Finally, proceed to kit check before being released into the event arena
- Final Leg 4 finishers will be directed to a separate finish lane and control.
14:15to 14:45 Mass start for remaining leg runners. The precise start time will be determined according to the numbers of runners remaining. If your previous Leg runner is still out on the course at this time - listen for information.
15:00 Presentations and prize giving.
Or shortly after Medals presented by the Town Mayor Cllr. Tom Beaumont.
If for any reason you have a competition issue to report, please make contact with the Race Referee who will be located near Registration/Scout Hut.
Do not try to divert the attention of other race officials at the finish or download – they will be concentrating hard to keep things running smoothly.
On Safety, Carrying Kit and Kit Checks
You must follow any instructions from officials, marshals and helpers; they are giving their time to make sure that you are ready and competent to run in this event, and that you are prepared to face possible adverse weather conditions.
It is a race rule (Rule 9 – FRA Safety Requirements for Fell Races) that full kit be carried by each runner:
- Windproof whole body cover
- Other body cover appropriate for the weather conditions
- Map (as provided) and compass suitable for navigating the course
It is the responsibility of each Team Captain to ensure that their team members are aware of this rule and comply with it. Failure to comply will lead to team disqualification.
The organisers expect all runners to compete on a fair basis within the rules and having regard for their own safety and that of others. Given the numbers of runners and the relative complexity of a multi-leg relay race, it is considered neither reasonable nor practicable to physically check every item of everyone’s kit.
- Kit checks will be made on a random basis at any time before a competitor starts his/her race – including in the holding pen as a competitor prepares to commence his/her run. Runners must therefore enter the holding pen allowing plenty of time for a kit check to be carried out. A runner leaving and re-entering the holding pen may be subject to an additional kit check. Anyone who is non-compliant will be withdrawn and not allowed to run.
- On course marshals will record and report to the Race Referee any runner who appears to be carrying no, or inadequate, kit
- Kit checks will be carried out immediately on finishing for all runners in class-leading positions and on a random basis for all other competitors. Do not transfer your kit to the outgoing runner to whom you are handing over as you will be deemed to have not carried the necessary items. Anyone found to be non-compliant will render their team disqualified and will be subject to possible further disciplinary measures on reporting to the Race Referee.
Do not CHEAT, Carry the kit.
And Finally ........
We hope everyone has a marvellous day and that you thoroughly enjoy these Relays.
Thank you for coming along and for your sportsmanship.
We have many people to thank for their support and co-operation – including the following:
High Sports, Shrewsbury
2nd Longmynd Scout Group
Mr Pete Jones of Wrekin Orienteers
Pete Bland Sports, Kendal
Stretton Hills Mineral Water Company
SPORTident UK Ltd
The National Trust
Church Stretton Town Council
Church Stretton & District Chamber of Trade
Mr Alan Garner and Church Stretton Area Tourism Group
Shropshire Hills Buy Local
Diane Chadwick, Victoria House and Jemima’s Kitchen
Mark Jones, Raynet
Mrs Madeley, Church Stretton
Church Stretton Town Mayor Cllr. Tom Beaumont
Mr John Woolmer, Church Stretton
Mr Phillips, Landowner
Police Sgt. Adrian Woolley
Michael Burton, Burtons Estate Agents
Stuart Wright, Wrights Estate Agents
St Lawrence Church Administration
Mrs Jacqueline Stewart
Jamie Todd, Remote Area Paramedic
John Corfield, South Shropshire Journal
Richard Bishop, Freelance Photographer
Alastair Tye, fellrunningpictures.co.uk
John Richards, uksportpictures.com
Diane Spencer, Coed y Gwynt Sports Massage
Mike Perry, Sports Massage
Don Hale, First Aid
Members of Mercia Fell Runners