The Blickling Half Marathon: everything you need to know
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
More than 500 runners will take to the start line for the Blickling Half Marathon this weekend. Mark Armstrong looks at how organisers plan to keep runners safe
The Blickling Half Marathon takes place this weekend and organisers hope it can pave the way for more races to be put on in the region.
More than 500 runners will take part in the event, which starts at Aylsham Recreation Ground and takes competitors along country roads around the town as well as Blickling before finishing in the Market Place.
Organisers are confident of providing a Covid-secure environment with a number of measures in place to keep runners safe and socially distant.
“I think what’s most important to all of us is that we want to show that you can put on an event like this safely,” said organiser Chris Coates, who will be overseeing the event alongside wife, Abby, and race director Steve Hitcham.
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“I know I’ve missed racing and it would be great if this event paved the way for more races to be put on in a safe way.”
Runners have each been given a starting wave based on their predicted times and will have a 20-minute window within that to start their race. Each has a responsibility to wear their own mask, which can be discarded once they have started the course.
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It had been hoped the race could start and finish in Aylsham Market Place but the decision was made to start from Aylsham Recreation Ground to try and prevent large groups of people gathering.
“With it being a rolling start that will really help – people can go off whenever they want socially distanced within their wave,” said Abby. “That will really help in terms of making sure lots of people don’t congregate in one area and that’s why we moved the start from the Market Place in Aylsham to the Rec.
“That was the area where we saw the most risk so that’s why we moved where the start was and it just made sense to have the start and finish areas in different places.
“Then of course over 13 miles people naturally spread out anyway.”
Hitcham added: “We have all the safety measures in place necessary. If everyone follows the safety precautions that we’ve put in place then the event will go off well.”
Runners are asked to remember the following...
- You should have received your race number this week so please turn up to the race with number already attached to the front of your top.
- Face coverings must be worn at all times while you’re within the start area (Aylsham Recreation Ground) and can be disposed at the start line unless you want to carry it with you.
- Bring ID or a photo of your ID as there will be random checks to make sure everyone is running under the right name and number.
- Use hand sanitiser when entering the start area (either your own or the ones provided by the organisers).
- There will be no gathering within the start area under any circumstances. Once you enter the start area, you will be directed to the start line immediately apart from being able to use the toilet on the way to the start line.
- If you arrive early, please remain in your vehicle until you need to head to the start area for your wave time. Note the car parks are about five minutes away from the start area. Your warm-up can be on the way to the start area.
- Download the Track & Trace app prior to the race. The QR code will be emailed to you prior to the race and will also be available in the car parks. Names will be taken as you approach the start line.
- Overtake other runners only when it is safe to do so and you can pass with room. Inform the runner ahead of you that you are going to over take them, when more than 5 metres behind them, so they can move to the side.
- Do not get too close to marshals along the route.
- There will be no baggage drop. You can leave an over layer at the start area at your own risk, which can be collected at the end.
- Once you’ve finished the race, please take one bottle of sealed water and remove yourself from the finish area (Aylsham Market Place). If you need to wait for other runners, please do so in your vehicle. Under no circumstances will you be allowed to wait within the finish area.
- There will be one water station around the halfway point so carry your own bottle if you feel you will need more water during the race.
- If using energy gels, please do not litter the empty sachets.
- As there are no finishers’ bags it is a good idea to have a sugary snack with you or in your vehicle to consume after the race, to replenish your energy levels.
- If you are being dropped off and/or picked up, please ensure the person remains in their vehicle and doesn’t wait for you at the start or finish areas.
- Only bone conducting earphones are permitted.