From this week there will be a change to the start and finish lines.
Seven years ago there were fields, regularly, of fewer than 100 participants. Now, with fields often closer to 250, it is not enough to just warn athletes to be careful on the first narrow bottleneck of a bend without addressing the issue.
For this reason, and for the simplicity in setting up, the actual course will not change. However, the start line will now be directly outside the park gate on the cliff top. The start line here can be much wider which will be better for all athletes of different paces and others with dogs and pushchairs etc. Also, any public will not be met on this narrow early path. This will be much better for the event to settle down in the wide open spaces down to the coastguard station without any bottlenecks.
This means a distance of just over 200m will not have been run/walked at the start. Some of this will be made up by moving the finish line 70m further along the the current path where the finish is. The remainder of the distance will be made up by a further 69.5m added to the loop beyond the the red flag turning point on the cliff top.
Varying the distance on the loop to the turn is the simplest solution as it can take into account any one off cricket ground activity that may encroach onto the line of the run. It is also the simplest solution for the volunteers setting up the course each week.
Recently there has been just a few people doing this necessary setting up job and it has been made more difficult when things have not been put away properly at the end of the previous event. Quite a few of the runners/walkers now do help to bring equipment back from around the course (especially necessary on a one lap course) but there is little help to put it away properly in readiness for the next week. This makes it more difficult and time consuming to set up the following week. With extra signage for the new start line it is even more important to look after the equipment that we have got and this entails storing it properly for the following week's course set up team.