The State Street Caledonian Challenge Marshals' Brief
You have very kindly agreed to help marshal at our great event. It is an extremely important job.
Now you have committed, please let us know immediately if there is any reason or problems which might later mean you won’t be able to make it on the day. We have a huge problem from year to year making sure those that originally said they’d help, actually turn up. It is important that the organisers can trust and rely on the marshals.
Perhaps you might like further details or don’t understand something in the brief. It is better to contact us now and ask, than leave room for an error to occur during the event. Due to the nature of the event and the length in distance and time, the organisers will be extremely busy whilst the event is in motion, we do hope to have Chief Marshals at each check point with enough common sense to make the right decisions, but saying this we might not have time to handle your specific query if you leave it until the day -to be safe, ask NOW. Please, however small or silly you think the question is - being a marshal is a huge responsibility as the walker’s + support teams welfare and safety is in your hands.
By completing an expense form, your travel within reason will be covered.
You are also asked to complete the questionnaire giving your thoughts at an early time AFTER the event. It is simple, but hopefully to the point and we are happy to see other thoughts provided, not covered by specific questions.
Many thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you on the day.
Marshals should be prepared to do the following:-
- Park cars
- Registering, Checking in and out of walkers
- Collect walking wounded
- Assist First Aid, Medics, St. Andrew’s Ambulance
- Being a marker, pointing walkers in the right direction
- Taking charge of internal communications
- Being visible and available to assist anyone who requires assistance
RECOMMENDED MARSHAL’S KIT LIST
- MAP - Event maps will be distributed to each check point, but we advise you have a road map in the car so you can find your checkpoint to start with!!
- Wide rimmed sun hat, sun cream & sun glasses
- Trousers/track suit for night sections
- Basic first aid kit
- Woolly hat
- Mobile phone
- Pocket knife
- Lamp for midnight check point (if you have one!)
- EVERYONE is encouraged to bring sleeping bags, tents and an alarm clock!
- Warm clothes
- Washing kit /Soap
- Spare clothes and plenty of socks
- Spare boots
- Anti Midge repellent, mosquito head net and clothes covering all skin are essential in the early evening, the midges can be a nightmare!
All of these should be in a small rucksack or kitbag.
You will be given meals which will be either a packed lunch or dinner. These will contain a sandwich, piece of fruit and a bar of chocolate. Should you require more, please don’t hesitate to bring your own. Other suggestions include bringing vacuum flasks or thermoses with hot water for making tea, coffee, hot chocolate and nutritious soup; and goody bags of sweets for instant energy. However hot water will be available at the checkpoints.
Top tips for Marshals
- Have a midge net and cream to hand for the inevitable midge assault!
- Keep warm - if your hands are cold, put your hat on
- Get as much sleep as possible when it is your rest period
- Eat properly - combination of lack of food and sleep can lead to misjudgement
- Drink regularly - organise for someone to bring round tea/coffee every hour
Drink and Hydration
You will be standing around for some considerable time. Bring plenty of warm socks, a good pair of walking boots, wellies and trainers.
Most checkpoints have a mains water supply, but do bring your own container. The army will also be supplying fruit, but this is for the walkers only. If you are a fruit lover, please bring your own.
Please arrive at your checkpoint at the times specified by your Chief Marshal.
These times have been set with the assumption that you will need at least 1 - 2 hours to familiarise yourself with the checkpoint facilities, as well as meet your fellow Marshals and Chief Marshal. It also includes some free time in case you get lost on the way. Please report for duty to the Chief Marshal upon arriving at your checkpoint.
Please take note that your help is much appreciated as we have quite an operation to organise with around 1500 walkers and a further 750 plus people in support teams. This is Scotland's biggest outdoor fundraising event and we hope to raise many thousands of pounds. Your help is just as necessary as the walkers taking part; it is their safety you will be in charge of, so it is vital that you pay attention to the instructions you are given now and on the day. If you are asked to get some sleep, please try and do this, as without alert Marshals an accident will be in the making.
It is also vital that the Marshals despite not infrequently trying circumstances retain a high degree of humour and competence. However tired, try to keep up morale not just for the walkers and their support teams but for the other marshals too and a smile is better than nothing. Remember it isn’t you that is necessarily going through a pain barrier. Tiredness is rife, emotions run high, tempers are short - keep clean, be smart, and above all be ALERT.
- Remind walkers they must check in & out
- Keep noise to a minimum in built up areas especially in the early hours
- Drive with caution - you might be awake for 30 hours depending on your checkpoint's requirements, so please make sure you get some sleep before driving anywhere. Other than catching some sleep in the car at various checkpoints, there will be the opportunity to use a bunk house, tent or wigwam.
- Fill up with petrol before the night section in Fort William, Onich, Glen Coe and Tyndrum (Tyndrum is open 7am-10pm)
- Walkers and event officials are allowed at the Water stops, so please ask all others to move on. This is for safety reasons, as congestion at these mainly roadside venues will cause an accident. If necessary, threaten to disqualify their team if they don’t move on - that normally works!
- READ ALL THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, and if you think of any extra ones PLEASE let the organisers know immediately.
- Prize giving will be held at 12 noon, at the Finish, all Marshals (if you have the energy!) are very welcome to join at this final gathering.
- At the finish area, there are NO shower or washing facilities. Do not attempt to swim in Loch Lomond
- Disqualify any walker you find walking along the road, (unless genuinely lost or injured). Do not instruct any one to walk down the road unless specifically instructed by one of the Event Organisers. Under no circumstances will this order come from anyone else.
- Let walkers know about the West Highland Way Marathon runners heading towards Fort William, and ask challenge walkers to give them plenty of room on their 95 mile jog.
- If you are given a report of a walker in trouble please inform the Chief Marshal at your station / checkpoint, failing that immediatley advise the army medics and radio communications centre at your checkpoint. If necessary, the helicopter will be sent to their rescue with a medic. The Event Organisers, the Army Medics and the Officer in command will take this decision at the time. No one should try and influence this and please only report the facts as given.
- Ask the walkers to carry any litter they might have to the next rubbish skip.
- Make sure walkers display numbers at all times.
- Marshals must arrive 1 or 2 hours before the walkers start arriving at the checkpoints to familiarise themselves with the facilities and checkpoint layout. If asked to attend, please don't be late for your designated safety briefings, or radio communications training.
- Remind walkers to inform our marshals or checkpoint staff if they decide for whatever reason to retire from the walk at any stage. If you are given this information immediatley make a note and pass this on to the next checkpoint. For a safety measure ensure the necessary action has been taken. This will save sending out rescue parties and prevent the event organisers and emergency services who might waste time looking for walkers on the hillside.
The Pasta Party is on Friday night and all Marshals are welcome. Tickets will be issued at the Registration desk. Please inform us if you are going to attend. The event will start at 7pm and finish at 11pm. There will be a safety briefing for walkers between 9-9.30pm