Grouping and Waiting Time Questions
Why must I walk in a group during the night?
The grouping rule is an essential safety measure for entrants walking during the night time portion of the event.
After the defined grouping time, anyone arriving at a roadside checkpoint may only continue in a group of four or more. If there are not four entrants present at the checkpoint, then you will need to wait until more entrants arrive (waiting time will be allowed in this case). If you are at the rear of the event and there are not enough remaining entrants to form a group of four, then unfortunately you will not be allowed to continue.
During grouping, the whole group MUST remain within sight and sound of each other. Failure to do this will result in disqualification for the entire group.
You must stay in the same group and groups can only be restructured at a roadside checkpoint.
During grouping, long trousers must be worn.
It’s dawn so can we disband our group?
Degrouping on the Sunday morning takes place at roadside checkpoints only, and is at the discretion of the checkpoint officer. You will not be degrouped at a hill top checkpoint, the staff at these have no authority to do this, so please do not ask them.
We understand that grouping is something that some entrants do not like. However this is the best way we know to keep everyone safe during the night and we make no apology for having this rule.
When and how is waiting time awarded?
Every year when putting together the results we get people say they deserve waiting time which we cannot verify. So, how does it work?
Point 1 in ‘Instructions to Entrants’ states ‘No waiting time will be allowed whilst taking refreshments or resting at any checkpoint’. This little statement is expected to convey a whole lot more than it seems at first sight: hopefully by the time you read this it will have been expanded.
The idea is you arrive at a checkpoint after grouping, check in, get something to eat/drink, change your socks, apply more plasters, apply more Fellsman makeup (Vaseline to those not in the know) and powder your nose. Then you locate the member of checkpoint staff in charge of grouping (normally the Checkpoint Officer recognizable by his lime coloured hi-viz vest) and inform him you are ready to leave. He should make a note of the time and your number. Once the group is formed and ready to go the number of minutes that has elapsed will be noted and written on the back of your tally. You need to make sure this happens: if the paperwork does not make it back to the finish this is the way we confirm the time. If the time rubs off on your hairy chest/ample bosom we have no confirmation. This year we will inform checkpoint officers to write times on the grouping sheets which your team carries, hand these in at the finish and this will help confirm your claims.
You are in a similar situation if you need re-grouping at a checkpoint because one or more of your existing group are retiring. Wash your socks, etc, then, when your existing group is ready to leave approach the checkpoint staff member handling grouping and they will start your waiting time timer running. In this situation your arrival time is not when your waiting time starts from. If you do not want refreshments etc. when you arrive or are ready to leave before the rest of your group, then approach the checkpoint staff and explain you are ready to leave but are waiting for the other members of your group, they should give you waiting time.