Southern Spain Trail Challenge

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Register your interest in the SSTC 2018 here

Introduction:
Inspired by the Votwo's UK Coastal Challenges the Southern Spain Trail Challenge is the latest new event in Votwo's original 3 marathons in 3 days format and is open to runners, joggers and quick walkers.
The route starts near Gibraltar and climbs up to the breathtaking clifftop town of Ronda. 
The course follows the GR7 and passes through some pristine Spanish wilderness that conjures up emotions, unlike any other event.  
This event is a true adventure. A challenge, not a race. 

 

Dates:

Travel day: Thursday 22nd Nov.

Day 1: Friday 23rd Nov. Los Barrios - Marchenilla. 42.4km

Day 2: Saturday 24th Nov. Marchenilla - Ubrique. 43.3km

Day 3: Sunday 25th Nov. Ubrique - Ronda. 41.78km

Travel day: Monday 26th Nov.

Event HQ:
The Event HQ is located in a campsite situated at the Northern end of a small town called Jimena De La Frontera. The site is rustic, charming and overlooks a beautiful valley.   Accommodation, meals, briefings, transport, and relaxation all happen at the HQ! 

The HQ area will be tented and will include a chill-out zone with hammocks and inflatable sofas. Perfect for relaxing after a day out.

 
Prices:

  • Individual - All 3 Days -£450
    Prices include in-country transfers*, tented accommodation*, event entry fee, event T-shirt, English speaking medics, finishers medal and food*. Price does not include travel to and from transfer pick up points.
    *please see relevant description 

        Pre-event information pack:
        The 2018 event info will be available approx 4 weeks pre-event. All entrants will be emailed a reminder to read the event information. It is a condition of entry to this event that you participate according to the instructions in the event information. We do not post out information.

        Event Participation Form:
        All participants are required to fill in the form on the following link before they turn up to the event. 

        https://votwo.typeform.com/to/ejIdRm

        Navigation:
        This challenge moves away from the regular Votwo format of coastal footpaths and branches inland following the Spanish GR7. Navigation is via the GR7 trail markers, issued course maps and the navigation app 'GB and Parks outdoors'.


        'Navigation is via the GR7 trail markers'

        The app is used with a smartphone and route data will be emailed to you with instructions on how to use the system. Its fairly straightforward, the route overlay appears on google satellite view with a blue dot denoting your position. The system worked very well on the route recce but does require the spare battery charger to top up the charge during the day. 

        The course is not marked specifically for the event. This is a self-navigation event. 


        The recommended navigation app

        Terrain:
        The route starts at 10 meters above sea level and reaches a peak of 1,025 meters midway through day 3. On Day 1 participants actually finish lower than they started but overall the total elevation climbed totals 3,245 meters (Ben Nevis is 1,345m).
        The route is a real mixture of landscapes and surfaces underfoot. The GR7 makes use of all terrains. Roads, tracks, and paths. 

        GPX Files For The SSTC:
        GPX files will be provided here shortly. 

        Checkpoints (CPs):
        These are located approximately every 10KM. At each CP you will be ‘checked’ in by the CP staff and your time logged. This means we know you are safely on course. 

        All the CPs will be stocked with bars, jelly babies, salty snacks, chocolate, water, squash, coke and hot drinks. At the finish point each day a bowl of hot homemade soup will await you. CP locations are marked on your issued maps and the navigation app. CP close times will be issued to you along with your actions on the emergency card. 

        Checkpoint cut off times are calculated at an average lowest pace of 4km per hour being maintained. So roughly 10 hours per day and 2.5 hours per checkpoint. CP close times will be published in the pre-event pack and will be strictly adhered to. If you fall outside of the cut off time for a CP then you will be returned to HQ. You will be able to continue the overall challenge and start the next day. 

        Transportation:

        Gibraltar Airport Transfers:

        It is anticipated that most participants will fly to Gibraltar Airport. British Airways provide cheap flights from multiple airports around the UK for dates around these events when booked in advance. There is limited car parking space at the HQ. Please inform Votwo if you plan to arrive by car/camper van. 

        Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel.

        On Thursday, Sunday(PM) and Monday(AM) event minibusses will run a minibus shuttle service from Gibraltar airport to the event HQ and vice versa. You will be asked to complete an Event Participant Form in the lead up to the event date. You will be able to book your transfer times on this form. No airport transfers will be made on Friday or Saturday. 

        Event transportation:

        Each day you will be instructed to meet at the event HQ and then be transported to the start. On completion of the day's route, you will be transported back to the event HQ.

        Medical assistance:
        Event medics are available on the route during the course of the day. Every morning at challenge registration the medics will be available to sort out any blisters, tape feet up etc. 

        Running  / walking groups and daily start times:
        Unlike other Votwo Challenges, there is only one start group for each day. This will cater for all abilities, walkers, runners, and joggers. Each daily briefing will take place at HQ at 07:30 with the anticipated leaving time of 08:00 for the minibus transfers to the start. 

        Running Kit list:
        Whilst taking part in the challenge it is compulsory for you to carry the following equipment. Each day at challenge registration you will be asked to prove you have certain pieces of kit on the list. If you don’t have this kit you will not be allowed to participate in the event. We will be enforcing the policy of: NO KIT, NO RUN. If the worst happens to you any of the below kit could really make the difference to your survival and wellbeing. There will be random spot checks.

        Essential kit (to be carried on your person or in your rucksack)

        • Issued maps for that day in an easily accessible place.  
        • Make sure these maps are tied in some way to your kit, one gust of wind and they're gone!  
        • Useful numbers, checkpoint timings, and lost procedure (issued at registration)
        • Whistle  
        • Compass (make sure your compass is attached to you or your kit)  
        • Waterproof top  
        • Long trousers or tights  
        • Gloves (waterproofed in a plastic freezer bag)  
        • Hat (waterproofed in a plastic freezer bag) 
        • A chocolate bar or similar  
        • Small torch with spare batteries  
        • More than 400ml of water or other drink  
        • A lightweight piece of warm clothing (waterproofed)  
        • A fully charged working mobile phone (waterproofed)  
        • A notepad and pencil with your name and your mobile number written on it (waterproofed)
        • Day Bag (to leave on the bus to go to the finish line) 
        • Buff/Sunhat (the weather is going to be very hot so we advise to bring something to protect your head from the sun

        You must carry all the kit on the kit list. No exceptions.

        Camping Kit List:
        Single person tents and air mattresses are provided as part of the entry fee. Please bring following items in order to make your stay as comfortable as possible:
          • Sleeping bag  (Average night time temp is 10c)
          • Camping Pillow
          • Knife, fork, and spoon
          • Bowl, mug, and plate (washing up facilities will be available)
          • Warm jacket and trousers for the evenings 
          • Phone charger (USB power points available in HQ area)
          • Quick dry towels (washing line to hang towels on will be available)
          • Wash kit: shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, Sun cream, SPF Lip salve, deodorant, aftersun, antibacterial hand gel
          • Torch and Spare Batteries
          • Earplugs
          • Personal medical kit: Painkillers, Diarrhoea relief, Antihistamine cream and tablets, sufficient supply of any personal medication.
          • Passport and copy of passport (6 months or more until expire date)
          • Travel Insurance details printed out

        Accommodation:
        As part of the entry fee to the event, accommodation is included. This is camping in single man tents. This will be provided for you complete with air bed mattress. November in Southern Spain has the same climate as an English summers day and should be a very comfortable temperature. There is an opportunity to upgrade to log cabins. These are available to groups of two and three. To find out more details on this option please click here

        Food:
        Whats included?
        Breakfast Friday-Monday
        Evening Meals Thursday-Sunday 
        On the trail CP's Friday-Sunday

        All food is freshly prepared on site and served in the dining tent in the event HQ. The emphasis is on quality and quantity! Traditional Spanish food in the evenings and a simple filling breakfast. Menus will be produced as part of the pre-event information pack. Participants with dietary requirements must check with Votwo before entering as not all requirements will be catered for. 

        Food on the checkpoints will be a mixture of cereal bars, jelly babies, salty snacks, chocolate, water, squash, coke and hot drinks.

        South Spanish Trail Challenge clothing:
        Event branded clothing will be available for purchase.


         

        Average weather in November - South Spain:
        'A typical November day in Andalucia will be about as warm as a typical British summer's day. Temperatures reach an average of 20°C (68°F) during the daytime over most of the region while falling to a minimum of 10°C (50°F) overnight. It generally tends to be warmer near the Mediterranean coastline than it is inland.'

        Results:
        Event results will be posted here at the end of each day.

        https://votwo.co.uk/pages/results

        Partners:

         

        Course Overview Maps:

         

         

         

        Challenge Event 2017 Feedback:

        Debbie B "Just to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for an outstandingly awesome ACC! I did the JCC this year also and loved it so mush..... I'm hooked, I shall be there every year now to BOTH!! Such fantastic organization and support and the friendliest people you could ever wish to meet in event volunteers to participants, I made so many great friends...... EXCELLENT food and massage,,,,,, Did I understand you were planning on doing another three day event?? I'll be IN if you are! Thank you for a truly life changing event and the weather was perfect on all three days.... I love the rain - Liquid Sunshine! See you a the JCC I'm already entered with my buddy Caroline Taplin x x x x"

        Carol M "Just to say a huge 'thank you' to everyone involved in organizing the ACC. A fantastic event, amazing support and brilliantly organized. I loved every minute of it!!! Well done!!"

        Carol G "Dear Ben and team, I just wanted to offer my thanks for this weekend's Atlantic Coast Challenge. The toughest thing I have ever done! I felt very well cared for from the moment I registered. The Votwo staff and volunteers couldn't have been more helpful and kind. I appreciated the high standards around safety, especially given the weather and terrain. And I am convinced that Votwo employ time shifting Ninjas - the same people seemed to pop up everywhere from registration to the most remote checkpoints, doing all sorts of jobs with infinite patience and cheerfulness. Thank you so much and I hope you're all getting at least some rest this week."