Friday, 18 January 2019

Information for GLCL XC Race 4, Sunday 3rd February 2019, Hosted by Usk Runners.

Usk Runners are hosting the Gwent Leisure Centre League Cross Country Race on Sunday 3rd  February 2019 at 11am. Parking at Usk County Hall, A472.
Below you will find all the information you need for the race.
Usk Runners Cross Country Briefing.
Location- Usk County Hall and agricultural land behind Colleg Gwent in the vicinity of Rhdyr Bridge and the dismantled railway line running alongside the A472 in the direction of Pontypool.
Usk Runners are hosting the fourth cross country event of the 2018-19 season. We are sending this information around to all clubs so that it can be circulated to members.
This is the third consecutive year we have hosted the event at Usk College Farm and we hope it will be as successful as our first year in 2016 .  It is challenging but suitable to runners of most levels. There are areas of extended ascent and descent as well as a long, flat intervals.
1st Aid will be provided by St Johns Ambulance. There will not be any post race refreshments provided. Runners should bring their own fluid to consume in the college grounds on the opposite side of the road by the parking area  but are requested not to bring this on to the farm itself due to hygiene regulations.
Start of race
The race will start on a dismantled railway line accessed via Colleg Gwent farm which is located alongside  the Pontypool bound carriageway of the A472. The land is entirely private, owned by Colleg Gwent. The route includes a dismantled railway, Rhydr Bridge, hills and a wooded area in the vicinity of Berthin Brook and Coed-y-Bristley. High pasture land dominates the route. Stewards will direct you to the start.
The start and finish will be on the dismantled railway line in the vicinity of the college farm.

The Route
Spikes are suitable for this route  – unless the conditions are unusually dry exposing a hard surface to the disused railway track. Spikes need to  be carried across the hard courtyard surfaces of the farm/college/road and put on at the start.     
The course will be run over laps of approximately 1.7 miles with men and women completing 3 laps.  Although the route is mainly agricultural land it is considerably diverse in elevation and type. A dismantled railway line, fallow fields, woods and high pasture give this route a stunning  visual panorama as well as  constantly changing terrain underfoot.
The start of the course will consist of several hundreds of metres of flat, dismantled railway line. The ground is very likely to be muddy. The route crosses through a gate into what appears to be a fallow field with a pond at its centre. The route will take the runners along the edge of the field well away from the pond.      The runners will be taken to a small wood and there begins the elevated section. Undergrowth through the wood will be cut back and hazards either removed or indicated. Tape and stewards will point out the route. The route climbs steeply through the wood and enters pasture land that may contain sheep. Runners should run alongside hedgerows  until the top of the field where they will be directed through a gate. Here the land flattens out before descending back to the dismantled railway line via the nearside fence before finishing near the starting line.  Stewards will be present throughout the route to highlight perceived hazards and direct runners.
The initial section of the race is long, straight and flat- but only narrow road width. Faster runners should access the front and slower runners the rear.  This should encourage runners to stretch out. Once clear of the railway line, apart from the wood where stewards will be present  the route is almost entirely visible to observers situated on the high pasture.  This area is readily accessed via a dirt track from the college farm and would be a good vantage point for St Johns ambulance personnel, subject to conditions and preference. (see course map)

Parking is located at the new Monmouthshire County Hall in Usk. The car park should be able to accommodate a large number of vehicles but runners are encouraged to car share. The post code for Satnav users is NP15 1GA. This is a new postcode so if you have an old Satnav use the college code of NP15 1XJ. (see location map)

Changing facilities and refreshments
Toilet facilities are available on the farm;  no refreshments are provided for runners. Runners should change in the car park and are encouraged to follow the directions of stewards to cross the road at the pelican crossing opposite the college farm.

A final word of caution. The college farm has generously lent us their facilities and land and it is Usk Runners’ wish that we treat their property with due care. We do want to use their facilities in the future. I would ask that all participants and observers treat the college facilities and surrounding farm land with respect.  Please do not bring dogs to this event. The farm yard contains cows in the barns and sheep are on the pastureland.  Unfortunately there is no scope for GLCL runners to run the course beforehand – but most will now be familiar with the venue.
Please read risk assessment.