I posted this update earlier this morning on the WHW race forum, but thought it would be useful to post it here as well.
Update from the committee
The committee met recently to review the 2010 race. In general the race was considered to be a great success, with thanks due to the many helpers who played such an important part in helping things go so well. As with any event, there were undoubtedly a few areas where improvements could be made, and these have been considered for future years. The main points discussed at the meeting are outlined below.
1. The 2011 race will take place on Saturday 18 June, which is the week after the Caledonian Challenge. It is planned to open the entries on 1 October with the entry process running through to 31 October. There will be no paper entries - all entries will have to be submitted online with payments being made by credit card. The race limit will remain at 175. The criteria for entry will be the same as this year - details have already been published and appear on the website. The cost will be £80 for member of scottishathletics and £82 for all others, including overseas entrants.
2. If an entrant requires to withdraw from the race, a refund of £55 will be paid as long as the withdrawal is notified on or before 31 May 2011. No refunds will be made for withdrawals notified after this date. It will not be possible to carry forward entries to subsequent years.
3. All entrants will be given the chance at the time of entry to request a specific race number. The committee will endeavour to meet these requests on a 'best endeavours' basis, although obviously there can be no guarantees that everyone will be able to be given their number of choice.
4. The first formal checkpoint will be at Balmaha rather than Rowardennan. This change has been made to help ease some of the congestion at Rowardennan, which has a smaller car park. Other formal checkpoints will remain the same as 2010, i.e. Auchtertyre Farm, Bridge of Orchy, Glencoe Ski Centre and Kinlochleven. The same drop bag arrangements will continue to operate for Inversnaid, Beinglas Farm and Lundavra, and a drop bag option will be introduced for Rowardennan.
5. The parking arrangements at Beinglas Farm appeared to work well, although some concern was expressed about the length of time taken for food to be prepared and served. We plan to discuss this with the owners and see if a better solution can be put in place, such as a buffet type arrangement.
6. There was a bit of confusion over the weighing guidelines. It was confirmed that weight gain or loss is only one factor in assessing the fitness of a runner to continue, albeit an important one. Any runner whose weight is outwith the guidelines will be referred to Dr Chris Ellis or Sean Stone, who will take any necessary decision on whether to withdraw a runner from the race on medical grounds.
7. As in previous years, all runners will be required to have 2 support crew at all stages of the race. The committee are looking at ways of ensuring that all runners comply with this rule, such as insisting that support crew sign in at the checkpoints - further details will be provided in due course. The suggestion of allowing unsupported runners was considered, but it has been decided not to proceed with this due to the additional burden it would pass on to the race organisers in terms of participant safety.
8. No dogs will be permitted to accompany any runner at any stage in future races.
9. There was a bit of concern about the level of noise from spectators at the Beech Tree Inn. The owners of the property are happy for us to use their car park, but have asked us to ensure that there is no noise or other disruption. We will remind everyone of this in next year's instructions,and will look at putting a marshall there on the night.
10. The committee are going to look at the issue of race day and post race communication, with an objective of providing regular updates on the website of the progress of the race.
11. It has been decided to make a small donation to the WHW ranger service as a contribution to the ongoing maintenance of the West Highland Way. It has also been suggested that we could hold a 'WHW volunteer day', which would allow people associated with the race to get involved in the ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the route. More details will be provided in due course.