Participants in the Nairnshire Challenge accept responsibility for their own safety and fitness to participate in the 30 mile event. If any participant is in any doubt about their fitness they must consult with their doctor.
A fit person with some preparation and intending to walk the foot section will take about 4.5 hours for the walk and about 1.5 hours for the bike section, which allows for an unhurried and enjoyable journey of about 6 hours. Note that the foot section crosses open moorland where the weather may be unpredictable and bad, even in June.
The organisers aim to provide a high level of support to participants should they suffer misfortune or should the weather turn exceptionally adverse. Outfit provide effective communication and on-the-spot assistance where needed.
In the event that severe weather sets in on the foot section, the bothies will be used to provide temporary shelter and 4 x 4’s will be deployed for transport.
If a participant is unwell or in difficulty for any reason, they must not leave the route. Each watering station on the hill section has radio communication facilities and access to medical support: if a participant is between watering stations they must ask a fellow Challenger to advise the next watering station of their situation. There is also a sweep team, which travels the whole route on foot and bike behind the Challengers.
Clothing & Equipment
The organisers strongly recommend that partipants take waterproof clothing and an extra sweater/fleece, and wear suitable footwear as the foot section takes them over rough and stony Land Rover tracks.
Although water, bananas and Mars Bars will be available at watering stations, participants should take their own supplies with them if possible.
Participants should be aware of the risk of a long day’s exposure to the sun, should it shine!
Flat-soled tarmac racing shoes are not suitable, because the route across the moor demands grip and a good supportive fit. Take advice on the best type of footwear for running or walking over a rough stony landrover track that may be wet or dry – even when dry the stones can be slippery.
This is not something people associate with Scotland. But even on a dull day exertion will use up the body’s fluid supplies. Participants should use every watering station – do not miss one and do not rush through the change over to bikes without drinking plenty. On the bike section watering stations are at about 6 mile intervals so a water bottle on the bike might be a good idea.
The organisers strongly urge every participant to carry a bum-bag with a windproof/waterproof jacket and some mini Mars or similar because hypothermia is not confined to cold, damp conditions.
Even on a good weather day a sprained ankle can mean having to sit and wait to be recovered, which will quickly lead to chill. A shell jacket can make a huge difference. It the weather is poor then chilling will occur very quickly without one. Give serious consideration to what is worn on the day.
Participants must ensure that they know that they are fit enough to cover the distance in the time that they have allotted to themselves. If a regular runner, have you run over rough paths and landrover tracks? It is a very different experience from pavement running, so ensure that you train over similar ground.
Illness and injury
The organisers want everybody who registered for the Nairnshire Challenge to come and take part, but if they collect an injury or illness prior to the date they should think very carefully before taking part. If a participant is currently taking any medication or is allergic to any drugs they must record it on the reverse of their personal number for their own well-being and to assist the emergency services.
The bike section has potential for serious injury if it is not treated with proper respect. Cycle helmets are compulsory.
Once participants are on the public road at Drynachan they should note that the roads are open to public traffic. At first the roads should normally be fairly traffic-free, but as the town of Nairn is approached there will be more traffic, much of it not local and in consequence may be unaware in advance of the event. Participants have no special rights on the road, the Highway Code applies and they must cycle with care to defend themselves from motorists.
If a catastrophic bike failure occurs or there is the need to withdraw before the final sweep team arrives, there will be motorcycle marshals and support teams in cars regularly patrolling the bike route and they will arrange a pick up as soon as possible.
On the final approach to Nairn, and particularly in Nairn town centre, participants should not let their enthusiasm get the better of them. They should be very aware of the traffic, obey all directions from Police officers, and obey the traffic lights.