Friday, October 16, 2009

'Code of Conduct' 24 hour track race

This 'code' is to make the event fair to all competitors at all levels of ability during the 24 hours of the event.. Before the event starts all competitors need to identify and make themselves known to their lap recorder. These will be situated in a tent on the home straight opposite the Start/Finish line. This is very important, as you will need to be known to each other throughout the event. You will need to arrange how you will let each other know that a lap has been completed, usually by the runner calling the recorders name as they pass. Also you will need to arrange how you will either 'signal to' or tell your recorder when you have previously left the track for any reason before reaching them or that you are going to before completing the lap you are about to start e.g. a toilet break.

Distance over time is a different discipline to time over distance. As implied the objective is to cover the greatest distance in a specific time period. The overall distance is calculated from the number of recorded laps or part laps by each contestant during the time period. The greatest recorded distance for any runner during the time period is the one that wins the event. Overall distance is the criteria and the winner does not have to be on the track at end of the time period. In a track race the lap used for calculation purposes is the inside lane lap, which is 400 metres from start to finish line. Any distance run outside of the inside lane cannot be included in the calculated overall distance. This effectively makes it imperative for all competitors to use the inside lane. If the right 'code of conduct' is followed by all competitors for all 24 hours this can be achieved.

As soon after the start as possible all competitors should get into single file running at or on the white line marking the outside edge of the inside lane. This single file position at or on the white line should be maintained throughout the race. This will leave the opportunity for overtaking on the nearside, the shortest route for anyone travelling faster or accelerating to overtake the person in front of them. If at any time a competitor finds two other competitors side by side in the inside lane in front them they should shout the word 'Track' in sufficient time for the inside one of the two to accelerate in front of the other so resuming the 'single file' position.

There are a potential 45 persons who will be on the track at anytime all travelling at different speeds all wanting to achieve their maximum distance. If all competitors make it their intention to comply with this 'code of conduct' throughout the whole 24 hour time period there should not be any problems or reason to cover extra-unrecorded distance. Because racing positions will change constantly MP3 players will not be allowed to be worn at any time in the INSIDE LANE. All competitors should be able to hear anyone calling 'track' at any time and/or any other instructions they may need to be given by race officials. They should also be able to hear the presence of other competitors behind them. This 'ban on MP3 players in the INSIDE LANE' as a possible cause of problems during the event will be listed in the race 'risk assessment', and enforced by the Race Referee. (They can be worn in any other lane if the competitor is prepared to stay in that lane). All unaccompanied competitors by necessity will have to take their drinks and/or food from a table in a stationery position. To maintain consistency anyone accompanying a runner must also give any drink or food to their runner from a stationery position. Any other assistance given by a helper to any competitor, on foot and moving, must be from alongside or from behind the competitor. Any action by a helper that could be construed as 'pacing or unfair assistance to their runner' could ultimately lead to the disqualification of the competitor e.g. on the move, in front of them.

The toilets are situated on the home straight side of the main changing rooms building. Any competitor taking a 'toilet' break' must leave and return to the track using the same route from the track and back again. Any time a competitor leaves the track must be recorded. When verifying overall distance, laps by an individual competitor usually maintain a steady average. When suddenly there is a very extended difference in lap times it is usually one of two reasons. They are either, one completed lap has not been recorded or the competitor left the track during a particular lap. For this reason this communication between competitor and lap recorder must be maintained the whole time so there can be no subsequent doubt as to why the vast difference occurred. Any competitor that is off the track for more than 2 hours without giving an explanation of absence, or off the track in excess of 5 hours (with explanation) to Race Director or Lap Recorder will be retired by the Race Referee.

This 'Code of conduct' when conformed to by all entrants has been proved successful in other events and gives all entrants the opportunity to achieve their maximum distance for the time period.

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