Event Route Descriptions – How do they do it?

Over the past few days I’ve been making notes, scouring websites, running through my memory of the route for the Leighton Ultra I’ve set in motion for 18th October. Last night and today I’ve attempted to write up a route description document.  I’ve managed the first six miles of the route from the start to Tilsworth. It all seems so simple, turn left here, go down there, turn right here and keep on running. Right? Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good challenge and the route descriptions for events can be a challenge on their own without adding the trail conditions. For those of you who have run with me you’ll know I rant and rant about how a yellow post could be one of many yellow posts along a route! How could someone miss that vital piece of information from the route description and so on.
I humbly apologise to anyone who is responsible for writing up route descriptions. You have to be familiar with the route to be able to do this but because you’re familiar with the route you miss things that are obvious to you because you know the route.   To someone who is unfamiliar with the route simple things like the number of yellow topped posts can be a very important step that’s missed. Not only is the simple things that get missed but you have to reduce the instructions to what is needed rather than something that anyone could follow but would then be carrying around a book instead of a few pieces of paper. I take my hat of to you route description making geniuses.
Here’s the first six miles of the Leighton Ultra. I’ve got another 26 miles to go! I’d rather be running it!! Haha!!

Key:
AH – ahead, TL – turn left, fpath – footpath, CP – checkpoint, L – left, TR – turn right, bway – bridleway, GR – grid reference, R – right, cont – continue, WP – waymarker post, X – cross, BL – bear left, junc – junction, opp – opposite, SLOT – same line of travel, BR – bear right, yds – yards, thru – through, Imm – immediately, KG – Kissing Gate

GR SP91570 25183
Section A – Tesco Car Park to Tilsworth

TR out of car park onto canal path. TL at second gravel track slight L from canal path, follow gravel path thru KG, follow gravel path to 2nd KG. X Bridge, TL follow path to Plantation Road. TL and then TR at junc, Carnation Close. Cont to Heath Road, X at traffic lights TR and then TL into Northcourt and take first R. Follow road showing rear gardens to houses. (1) At end of houses TL follow path to Winston Close, follow road to T-Junc to Churchill Road. TL follow road to T-Junc to Nelson Road. TL and take first R. Follow path on R between houses to Vandyke Road. X road, TL follow path past Gilbert Academy & Vandyke School. When path finishes take care & cont on road. (2) Cont past Xroads. Cont past entrance to “Redland”, take fpath on L opposite the end of narrow gauge railway station.

GR SP94125 27483

Follow fpath to treeline, TL & follow path thru trees. (3) At WP TR over wooden bridge. Head for tree in middle of field. At tree head for gap in trees to the L of farm buildings ahead. Cont on fpath to gravel road. Cont ahead on gravel road. Slight L, slight R following road. (4) At 2nd L turn, cont slight L thru KG in hedge. Follow faint fpath to KG. Cont ahead uphill to KG. TL follow fence to hedge, thru KG, cont ahead to gate, TR onto road. Follow road around to L. Take first R onto Church Lane. Take care, follow road to T-Junc. At T-Jun (TAKE CARE) TL follow Leighton Road to 1st R, Woodcock Lane. TR (TAKE CARE) follow road (5) to farm. Follow road R to wooden post. Fpath sign hidden by hedge. Follow fpath between paddock and brown farm wooden building. Thru gate, head towards kennels (dogs barking). To R of Kennels over stile, over bridge thru KG. Cont ahead to KG. Cont ahead to KG in hidden in hedge. Slight R, if path not visible head towards brow of hill (6). At top of hill BL towards hedgerow ahead. Look for line of trees, thru KG follow fpath downhill towards gate, cont ahead, thru KG onto road, Blackhill.

GR SP97901 24430
Section B – Tilsworth to Dunstable Downs Centre

Keep on running
Helen

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