Universal Event Rules
These are our Universal Event Rules for all the events that we organise. These Universal Event Rules apply in addition to any event specific rules on the separate event websites. It is the participant's responsibility to know and follow these rules.
- Ignorance is not Bliss: The participant must abide by these event rules. Ignorance is no excuse and failure to comply may result in penalisation or disqualification from the event. Disqualified participants may be required to leave the event at their own expense. No refund of the entry fee will be given.
- Participant's responsibility: Participants should not expect every member of the Event Team to know all the rules – it is the participant's responsibility to know and follow them. Only the Senior Event Team can provide guidance on the interpretation of the rules.
- The Golden Rule: Once registered, each participant must report to the finish of the event (or the finish of each stage if the event has more than one stage) at the Event Centre / Overnight Camp / Finish (and if applicable download their timing data) before departing. This is an important check to account for everyone being safely off the course. Any timing equipment or GPS trackers must be returned. People who register but then fail to start must report to the Event Team and return any equipment.
- Ethos: All participants are expected to enter into the spirit of the event and not seek to gain any unfair advantage. If you come across anybody in need of urgent or emergency assistance during the event we expect you to help, and fair time credit will be given.
- Following Instructions: Participants must comply with our basic safety rules and obey any reasonable instruction given by the Event Team.
- Littering: Any participant seen dropping litter will be disqualified.
- Mandatory Kit: Participants must comply with any Equipment List and carry all mandatory items as specified at all times. Any transgression may result in not being allowed to start the stage/event, a significant penalty or disqualification at the discretion of the Senior Event Team.
- Behaviour: Any participant who acts in a manner that brings the event into disrepute, endangers another participant, member of the Event Team or member of the public, or physically or verbally abuses any member of the Event Team will be required to leave the event at their own expense and may receive a life ban from Ourea Ltd events.
- Community Respect: Participants must treat the rural community with due consideration and aim to cause minimal disturbance to residents or damage to the environment. Participants must not damage any boundaries and leave gates as found. Any accidental damage must be reported to an event official as soon as possible.
- No Right of Way: Participants have no right of way over other recreational users (e.g. walkers and climbers) and should announce themselves when approaching, leave plenty of room when passing and always remain polite and courteous.
- Unregistered Runners: It is absolutely forbidden for people to take part in the event if they have not registered as a participant, and anybody doing so will receive a life ban from Ourea Ltd events.
- Support Runners: Participants are not allowed support runners. Any person attempting this will cause their officially entered associate(s) to be disqualified immediately and all the runners involved may receive life bans from Ourea Ltd events.
- Doping: Participants may not use performance enhancing drugs as described by the World Anti-Doping Agency (www.wada-ama.org). There may be drugs tests at events, which will be stated in the entry terms and conditions. Any participants caught doping will be disqualified, face a ban from all Ourea Ltd events, and may be subject to legal proceedings by the relevant anti-doping authority, sport governing body and other parties.
- Dogs (and other pets): Are not allowed at our events unless specified in the event details.
- Age: Participants must be 18 or over at all events except the ROC Mountain Marathon, Scottish Mountain Marathon, Marmot Dark Mountains and the 5km, 10km and 18km Skyline Scotland trail races.
- ID Check: Participants must bring a valid form of current identification (such as a driver’s license) to registration if stipulated in the pre-event information email.
- Race Numbers: When issued, participants must display one race number on their front at all times and (when issued) a second race number must be attached to their rucksack. Race numbers can be obscured by waterproof clothing only. Race numbers must not be folded.
Access and Course Rules
- Event Specific Rules: Participants must follow all event specific rules relating to access and course specifics.
- Access Land: Provided other rules are followed, on open hills and mountains, which are generally defined as Access Land, participants may move freely. Participants may cross minor walls or fences (provided they are not marked as uncrossable on the map, and that they can be stepped over without causing damage) but are encouraged to use gates and stiles where available.
- Private Land: Participants may not enter any private land (generally everywhere not marked as Access Land) or areas marked as out of bounds on the map. In England and Wales this means that if participants are not on a marked path/right of way, or in open access land, then they are most likely out of bounds.
- Forbidden Entry: Participants may not enter areas which are clearly private, or pass signs forbidding entry.
- Uncrossable Boundaries: Participants may not cross any fences or walls marked on the map as uncrossable (even if they seem to be physically crossable on the ground), except at the designated crossing points.
- Mandatory Routes: Participants must follow any mandatory routes without deviation (within a reasonable margin of error). Where the mandatory route line on the map follows a path, road or other obvious feature, participants are expected to follow that feature without deviation (e.g. no corner-cutting on zig-zags, even if the line taken would be within otherwise ‘acceptable’ limits of deviation). When the mandatory route line uses a crossing point or bridge (or similar), the participants must use them.
- Marked Mandatory Routes: Participants must follow any marked (i.e. flagged, waymarked or signed) mandatory routes without deviation. They may go directly from each marker to the next, but deviation (such as cutting corners in zig-zags or taking a direct line to a later marker) is forbidden.
- Participants must visit all checkpoints (or other designated points) in the designated order (except score classes when checkpoints may be visited in free order). Failure to do this may result in disqualification or being ranked below all participants who have, regardless of overall time.
- Cut-Offs / Retirements - we reserve the right to retire any participant, at any point during the event should they fall behind our schedule for course completion. This is to ensure the safety of participants and the event team.
- Mistakes: We know that honest mistakes happen – sometimes the map isn't clear, the weather is poor, and people get tired. If participants mistakenly cross an uncrossable wall or fence, or pass through a forbidden area, then they should turn around, retrace their steps and leave the same way that they entered (whilst minimising any impact to the environment) in order to mitigate the error. In some circumstances the best course of action will be to minimise the impact (i.e. damage caused to walls/fences, and the amount of time spent in forbidden areas) by not retracing steps. In this case the participants should decide the best course of action (e.g. get out of the forbidden area as soon as possible) and then immediately inform the Senior Event Team at the finish. The Senior Event Team will assess whether to penalise the participant(s).
Any participant who breaks any of the event rules will receive a penalty at the discretion of the Senior Event Team. The award of this penalty will be discussed with the participant and may include any or all of the following - a strike; a time penalty; disqualification from the stage (although allowed to continue on following stages); disqualification from the entire event. If a participant receives 3 strikes at any point throughout an event, they are disqualified from the stage, and may not be allowed to continue on following stages.
We will take into consideration the nature of the transgression, whether it was accidental or intentional, whether any advantage was gained, whether there was any fault on behalf of the organisers, which class the participant was entered.
Examples of Penalties
At our 'navigation' events (i.e. mountain marathons), transgressions involving crossing uncrossable boundaries and entering out of bounds or private areas are likely to be met with strict penalties – i.e. disqualification or large time penalties.
Time penalties will always heavily exceed the time gained due to the infringement of the rules in order to reflect not only the infringement, but also any potential advantage gained by the participant for the remainder of the event. Time penalties may be pro-rata (i.e. based on the ability of the participant) in order to reflect that a fixed penalty would affect a faster participant more heavily.
At our 'expedition' events (i.e. Berghaus Dragons Back Race® and Cape Wrath Ultra™), not following the mandatory route or missing out checkpoints are likely to be met with time penalties and/or strikes depending on the circumstances.
In any event, deliberate cheating (such as taking a strike on purpose, missing a checkpoint out, crossing an uncrossable boundary or cutting the corner of mandatory route) in order to gain a competitive advantage (such as to make a Guidance time, Cut Off time or Course Closing time) will be met with the strictest penalties, which is usually a minimum of disqualification.
Event Team – this refers to all paid and voluntary team members working on the event – usually identified by the Event Team uniform.
Senior Event Team – this generally refers to the Race Director, Assistant Race Director and professional staff of Ourea Events, usually identified by a special Event Team uniform
For our two expedition events (Berghaus Dragons Back Race® and Cape Wrath Ultra™) we have a ‘Three Strikes And You Are Out’ rule. Very simply, this means that on the third occasion a participant infringes our rules, they will be disqualified from that day’s racing, and therefore be ineligible for an overall result.
We have the ‘Strikes’ system because we have found at our expedition events that most participants just want to complete the journey and are uninterested in their overall result. This is fair enough as completion of the event is a significant achievement regardless of their overall position. However, this approach does mean that a time penalty for an infringement of the rules has little threat. Over the years we have seen one ot two participants per event who consistently infringe the rules, often in minor ways, but their whole approach is that ‘the rules don’t apply to me’. We hope that this very strong sanction will result in greater compliance with our event rules resulting in greater fairness and improved safety.
Any infringement of the rules is likely to result in a ‘strike’ so it is important that participants understand the event rules. The two areas where we see the worst compliance is with following mandatory routes and carrying the mandatory equipment.