Thank you marshal
Often heard projected under varying volumes by racers around the world, as lungs struggling to supply muscles with adequate oxygen, are expelled to thank those that stand at the sidelines in order to allow others to enjoy organised events.
They’re out before many will reach the event village or stage start, reliant on what they possess in their bag that accompanies their every move, to bear arms against the weather, hunger, dehydration and fatigue.
They lay and collect courses, providing a yellow brick road of trail for all to follow, before stripping the land of any trace of there existence.
Some do it for the passion of helping out, to give something back to their community. Others to gain a place at a future race, experience part of the course or see what its like on the other side of the tape.
Without them, races cannot happen, they simply would not go ahead, or leave the possibility of competitors getting lost or injured significantly higher.
I’ve been one, I’ve run my fair share of races, I’m friends with many who do it regularly.
But I do have one request
Please ensure the land is clear of all signage, course tape, markings and trace post event.
It can be a tough job collecting; the pack can become a burden, the day out in the elements has worn on you, the pull of the car, hot drink and home comforts at the forefront of the mind.
However, leaving a trace can have significant consequences.
It can lead to land owners, land mangers and parish councils preventing events from taking place and/or future events for unrelated race organisers
Regardless of the make up the materials used, these signs can begin to break down into micro particles and enter the ecosystem. Animals may try to consume part and in extreme examples, could interfere with the land, reducing the fertility of soils.
It can leave a bad impression of our epic communities. We are guardians of our trails and wild spaces, whether on foot or bike, we must show this to all in order to maintain and gain better access to our wild spaces
It’s the right thing to do
This isn’t aimed at any one particular person and I know from experience the 99% are going above and beyond what they have been asked to do in order finish the day with everyone stoked. As more events take place, with mountain biking, trail running and other sports growing in participation, our impact is never more visible, easier to attribute to and the consequences have the potential to be greater.
Protect what we love & live by purposeful adventure, securing the rights for the next group to experience the trail, be it on an organised event or out exploring, to see it in the same way as we have.