Berghaus Trail Chase™ 2014 - Race Directors Report

22nd Aug 2014

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Above: Our fantastic volunteer marshals in action over the weekend. © Ian Corless

 

First and foremost I’d like to thank all the fantastic volunteer marshals who made everything happen over the weekend. Without them, it really would be impossible to put on an event like Berghaus Trail Chase™. Our Race Planner, Charlie Sproson, also devised three great routes and dealt with some tricky landowner negotiations, so many thanks to him.

I’d also like to thank, Berghaus who offered to support my radically new race back in 2013. Berghaus’ contribution to the event has been really important, especially in our first year. They supplied all the ‘uniforms’ for the marshals and have helped to promote the event considerably. Our other sponsors: Petzl, Ortlieb, Harvey Maps and Chia Charge have all made a contribution and the free Chia Charge bars available at registration went down well… literally!

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Above: Chris Lines (75) who finished 7th on the Black course enjoys the incredible panoramic views on the second day of the race. © Ian Corless

Success for the Inugral Berghaus Trail Chase
inaugural Berghaus Trail Chase™ took place this weekend in the North York Moors National Park and judging by the flurry of social media comment since then, it was big success!... You can read the race report with quotes from myself, Berghaus, Duncan Archer (the Black course winner) and Ian Corless HERE

As the Race Director, I am always take a harsh look at my own events afterwards and try to ask myself some tough questions about how the event can be improved for the following year. So, on the Monday after the race, Charlie Sproson and I sat down and discussed the weekend in detail and some of the obvious areas that we could improve. They included:

Course Way-Marking
Charlie spent many weeks working on the courses and permissions for Berghaus Trail Chase™ and as a general rule the landowner or their agent granted permission. However as the event unfolded it became clear that these ‘permissions’ had not filtered down to all of the staff, which were removing our marker flags as quickly as we could replace them in some areas. 

As a small example of some of the challenges we faced, on the Saturday morning as registration opened, we discovered that 6km of the Blue courses markers had been removed and over the weekend, we need to replace the flags on the day two red course 4 times and twice on sections of the Black course.

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Above: Stunning Heather covered much of the North York Moors National Park making for spectacular swathes of colour. © Ian Corless

 

As the Race Director, I made the decision to focus our resources on re-marking/flagging the courses as I felt this was the most important aspect of the race for the majority of the competitors. As a consequence of this re-marking though, I needed to remove all the planned marshal checkpoints on each course to resource the people needed to mark, and drop off/collect the people marking. I hope that this was the right decision!

Learning points for us are to 1) ensure that we take responsibility for contacting the landowner’s staff directly rather than relying on the landowner/agent to do this and 2) only to place the waymarking flags in the hours immediately before the start to reduce the chance of them being removed.

Transportation of Competitors Kit
We were delayed returning with our second van of competitors’ overnight kit to the Event Centre on Sunday morning and I’d like to apologise to the competitors who were kept waiting. The bottom line, was that we needed a third van and third driver to minimise the chance of delays. This is noted for next year and we will make sure the ratios of van and van drivers keeps up with any increase in the number of competitors.

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Above: The weigh in! Very few competitors bags were returned for re-packing so many thanks for taking the time to pack carefully! © Ian Corless

Food
The food queues were too long at peak times. Next year, we will take orders for food online and in advance only, so that we know exactly how many people we are catering for. We will also keep the bar and food separate, ensure we have more change (everyone seemed to pay with a £20 note!) and more staff working on the catering. Hopefully this will mean everyone gets their meal with no more than a few minutes of waiting. Thanks for being patient. 

We have a few other ideas but we’ll keep these to ourselves for now!

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Above: Lucja Leonard and Philip Kelly complete the Black course on day one... it's all smiles! © Ian Corless

Customer Feedback - 2014
I also think that the competitors feedback and comments are crucial and I am very keen to know what all the competitors liked or disliked. So if you have any comments – good or bad – please email me. Some of the very lovely feedback we have already received is HERE.

Results
Some minor problems in the results have now been corrected and to the best of my knowledge these results are accurate. Therefore, the final Berghaus Trail Chase™ results are now online HERE.

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Simon Jones on his way to first place on the Red course. © Ian Corless

Winners photo Gallery
We have a gallery of all the winners who were present at Prize Giving HERE.

Links to competitors Blogs
If you are keen to relive the weekend and read each others experience, check these competitor blogs out. If you have written a blog and would like me to include it, please just send me an email.

Film from Freestak
Many thanks to our friends Simon and Julie at Freestak who took part in the first Berghaus Trail Chase and even found time to make this fun, SHORT FILM of the weekend. 

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Above: Linzi Hanlon enjoy the jungle like undergrowth that Red course weaved through occasionally. © Ian Corless

Mountain Run Navigation Training
Charlie Sproson, the Race Planner has a business called Mountain Run that provides navigation training and running coaching based in the Lake District. If you enjoy the transition from straight forward trail running, to having a map to aid you, we can highly recommend his courses. 

Winner Berghaus 'Adventure List' competition
The winner of the Berghaus 'Adventure List' competition held at the weekend was Gina Bailey. We have contacted her direct and she won a Berghaus Vapour Jacket, Vapour Claw Shoes and a Hyper Sac. Nice!

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Above: Finishing in style. The beautiful tracks through the Thimbley Hall Estate lead to the Event Cnetre finish. © Ian Corless

Photography
Renowned Ultra Running photojournalist Ian Corless from TalkUltra was at the event and captured a superb set of images. They are available here:

More than anything else, and as a passionate runner myself, I hope that you had a great time at Berghaus Trail Chase™ and I looking forward to welcoming you and your friends back to the North York Moors National Park in 2015 for the second edition of this fantastic new race!

Happy Running,

Shane Ohly

Berghaus Trail Chase™ Race Director