Frequently asked questions
Where is the nearest car parking to race registration?
There is no on site car parking available, which is our only negative for this venue. However, there is plenty of free on street car parking available in Durham as there are no restrictions in place on a Sunday. We've attached a map showing free car parking and the radius from race HQ which should help you if you are unfamiliar with Durham City. If you are parking in Durham, please double check where you do park just in case there are any temporary restrictions.
If there are any temporary restrictions in place, there are plenty of car parking spaces in the car parks. Please note the city centre car parks are very expensive, especially if you are planning on a long run. We recommend you car share so that if you do have to park in a city centre car park then it doesn't cost you quite as much per person!!
Please also be aware, we had a few runners last time receive a parking ticket for parking on double yellow lines and also for parking fully on a pavement. The normal parking rules regarding double yellows and illegal parking on verges still apply.
What is the event timetable?
7:45am: Race registration & number pick up starts - this will be inside the Durham Amateur Rowing club where there are toilets available.
9:20am: Race safety briefing at the start / finish area: The safety briefing will be at the start / finish line. This will provide you with details of the course, including any last minute changes.
9:30am: Schedule start time - please note this may change slightly due to Junior Parkrun which finishes approximately 400 metres from our start line. We will ensure that Junior Parkrun has packed up and the course is clear before we set you off, so please be patient if we do start a few minutes late.
4:15pm: This is the cut off time for starting your last lap. However, it will mean you are out after 4:30pm so you may notice parts of the course are being packed up if you are still out at this time.
4:30pm The scheduled finish time.
Where is the race registration and number pick up?
The race registration and number pick up is in the bar area at Durham Amateur Rowing Club.
We will have you split out in alphabetical order. It means there will be a different registration table if your name is Mr Aardvark compared to Mrs. Zebedee. Even if Aardvark & Zebedee are great friends (purely platonic), you will have to pick up YOUR number at YOUR desk. Mr Aardvark will not be able to pick up Mrs. Zebedee's number so please don't ask (unless Mr Aardvark queues up again at Mrs Zebedees registration desk!)!!!!
We will not be using chip timing at this event, mainly due to the number of issues we had with incorrect chip times when we used a third party provider at our last Durham event. In order to be as accurate as possible for a time, please ensure you attach your number to your t-shirt or shorts / leggings at the front so that these are visible.
Where is the nearest railway station?
The nearest railway station is Durham Train Station. It is about a 25 minute walk from the station to the start line. Whilst trains arrive in time to allow you to register and start, you need to be aware you will have to walk quickly! There are taxis available from the station and there maybe other runners who use the train. Please feel free to ask if any one wants to share a taxi on our Facebook Chat Group.
Is there anywhere to leave a bicycle?
There are railings where your bike can be locked to near to the race start and finish line.
What facilities are available and is there a bag drop?
Durham Amateur Rowing Club has a bar and can serve warm drinks, alcoholic drinks and cold drinks during the event.
There are toilets and showers at the rowing club which runners can use.
There is a place near to the start / finish line where you can place a bag. However, this is not covered so your bag could get wet. If the weather is raining, we will do our best to keep the bags dry using a tarpauline. Please be aware, we cannot be responsible for any items which are lost and therefore we recommend any valuables are kept in your car or a safe place.
What else do I need to remember on the day?
As well as your normal running kit please ensure you bring the following:
Clothing suitable for running in temperatures that are predicted to be between 9 to 12 degrees centigrade. We do not have compulsory kit, but its winter and temperatures can feel colder especially if it's wet or windy.
Card / money if you are planning to use the bar.
Change for any merchanise you may wish to buy. We sell reusable cups for £3.00 and buffs for £4.00 which can be bought on the day if required.
Mobile phone with our mobile numbers recorded stored in them. If you get into any difficulty medically then we can respond quickly. Our mobile numbers are 07921 699240 & 07825 835377.
Are there marshals on the course and do I need navigational experience?
You do not need any navigational experience for this course. We will have our course signs on the route and these will be positioned at junctions. Until you know the route, please stay alert and aware so that you do not miss a sign.
We will also have marshals at key areas of the course in order to keep you on the correct course. However, we will reduce the number of marshals on the course during the event in order to increase the assistance at the aid table.
What is the course and how is it measured?
How are our courses measured?
Our courses have been measured using a Garmin and a Jones Counter which has been calibrated to ensure accuracy. In measuring the course, we have taken the shortest route possible. This means if you take a different route or weave to avoid other runners / puddles, your own GPS device will tell you that you've run further. Also, if your device loses signal to the GPS satellites, it will assume you have ran a straight line from where you lost your signal to where it is picked up again. This can make your GPS report a shorter distance.
The normal course at this location is 3.28 miles (5.2km). This means you will need to run 4 laps for a half marathon, 5,6 or 7 laps for a 'mega half', 8 laps for a marathon, 9+ laps for an ultra. We also have a 50km option which is 9 laps plus a shorter out and back to the 50km sign and returning to the aid table. Any runner doing a half marathon or above will receive a distance pin.
We will have a 5km option available for any runners wishing to do a shorter lap and as long as you complete at least a 5km distance, you will be eligable for a medal.
The proposed route map can be found here:
Please be aware, we reserve the right to change the course and route depending on weather conditions and obstructions on the course.
What is the minimum and maximum distances I can run?
As long as you complete at least 1 lap (just over 5km), you will be an official finisher.
You decide how far you wish to run on the day. Even if you have indicated you are going to run a specific distance when you entered, you can still run a different distance on the day. It is completely up to you how far and for how long you wish to run.
You can run as far as you want within the time limit.
How do you know how many laps I have completed?
We have decided to use wrist bands for this event following some of the problems we encountered using a third party chip timing company at the last event in Durham.
We will give you a wrist band for each lap you complete. We will have a number of people handing out wrist bands. Please note, at the end of the first lap it could get busy when we give out wrist bands so we may hand you your wrist band rather than try and get it on your arm!
Please ensure you collect a wrist band on each lap and remember to hand these back at the end!! We will count up your wrist bands at the end of your run.
How do you know when I have finished?
As soon as you have reached your distance or you have decided you have completed enough for the day, you will ring the bell and that will tell us you have finished your run. We will then count your wrist bands and record your time.
For this run the race finish is as follows:
- Ensure your number is visible when coming into the finish area which will be next to our Saturn Running Finish Flag.
- The finish area will be slightly off the path and just past the aid tables and we will try to funnel finishers away from the course.
- The First Finish Marshal (positioned next to the finish flag), will record your finish time.
- After your time has been recorded, please move to the Second Finish Marshal who will record the number of laps you have completed by counting up your wrist bands.
- You can then move onto receiving your hard earned medal and your goody bag!!
- If the weather is particularly bad and if we are able to, the Second Finish Marshal recording the laps, together with the medals and goody bags will be inside the Rowing Club bar area. We would still take your time at the finish line with the First Finish Marshal, before you head to the Rowing Club where we will take your laps.
What type of terrain is the course?
There is a mix of terrain for dirt path to tarmac paths. The vast majority of the course is flat and is therefore a fast course.
What are the risks on the course?
As well as the normal risks involved in trail running, please be mindful and aware of uneven surfaces and tree routes.
Whilst we will start after Junior Parkrun has finished, please be aware that within the first 600 metres we will pass the finish area for Junior Parkrun and there maybe more people, including children here.
Along the racecourse (between the start and Bath's Bridge) there are a number of park benches. During the first lap there is an increase risk that runners may not see the benches. Please be extra careful during the first lap along this section.
The footbridges on the course have wooden sections which can become slippery when wet. The footbridges are also narrower and you will need to be careful of other runners and path users.
Other users of the paths
Our route uses footpaths that are open to a number of recreational users, including anglers, walkers, dog-walkers and cyclists.
Whilst the route is on paths, you do cross a small private road that leads to the Rowing Club and you will also run past some parked cars. Please take extra car during this section of the route.
Re-usable cup policy
We believe we have the one of the most environmentally friendly cup policy of all running event organisers. Our free-to-hire cups are all dishwasher cleaned between events and we don't use any single use plastic or paper cups. Even the most environmentally friendly paper cups are single use by their nature and some of these cannot be recycled or composted as easily as their environmental claims - often resulting in such cups being diverted to landfill. We will have two bins at our event, one for recycling e.g. bottles, cartons etc. and a second one for food waste. If you use our bins please can you ensure you put the recyclable waste in the correct bin so we can minimise landfill.
During race registration you can hire an Orange reusable cup for free (please return this at the end). There is a completely voluntary charitable donation and all proceeds from the cup hire will go to our Charity of the month, which for February is Steps. To date you have raised £1,761 for a variety of charitable causes. Alternatively you can buy a Blue or Pink cup for £3.00 which you can use at any event or you can use a cup you already have.
Please take your cup to the Aid Table and we have our perspex cup holders. We will write your number on the perspex and your preferred drink if you let the marshal at the table know your choice. This means we can have your preferred drink ready for you at the end of each lap, which will minimise your stopping time. Just put your empty cup back in your numbered slot on the cup holder and it will be filled next time you return.
We can also accommodate runners who bring their own cup, bottle or hydration pack which can be refilled with any of the drinks we offer at the aid table.
What refreshments are available at the aid station?
We believe we have the most extensive and best stocked aid table, with goodies suitable for all runners.
We have a wide selection of sweets, savoury items, cheese, fruit, crisps, cookies, nuts, pretzels and watermelon! Our section for vegans includes fruit, nuts, crisps and sweets. If you have a gluten intolerance there will be items on our aid table which you can have.
Please do inform us if you have any food allergies and if your food allergy is severe we recommend you bring your own fuel with you and not to use the food on the aid table. This will prevent any cross contamination from runners who may well have their own food items with them and use our aid table. For instance we are aware some runners bring items with them such as nuts and we cannot guarantee items that our "nut free" items on the aid table would not become cross contaminated.
The aid station will have water, squash and fizzy drinks which are available for all runners.
Please note we do not routinely have gels or sports drinks, however, we occassional receive free samples from various entities and where we do we will place these on the aid table. If you rely on gels, please remember to bring your own with you.
Please do inform us if you have any food allergies and if your food allergy is severe we recommend you bring your own fuel with you and not to use the food on the aid table. This will prevent any cross contamination from runners who may well have their own food items with them and use our aid table. For instance we are aware some runners bring items with them such as nuts and we cannot guarantee items that are "nut free" items on our aid table would not become cross contaminated.
FIRST AID & EMERGENCIES
General first aid assistance (non-emergency)
We have out-sourced professional medical assistance to deal with both general first aid and emergency situations.
If you have a medical need on the course then please call George or Charlotte and we will get assistance to you as quickly as possible. If you are unable to call us, for instance you do not have a phone, then please stop another runner and ask for assistance. If you are a runner and notice another runner in need of assistance, then please stop and help.
We recommend, even if you are able to return to the aid table without receiving assistance, that you inform George or Charlotte so that we can get the relevant first aid items ready for your arrival.
If you are unable to return to the aid table, but your injuries are not serious or life threatening e.g. a sprained ankle, we will get our first aid team to you as soon as possible. There are access points onto the course at various locations and in most cases we should be with you within 10 minutes.
We suggest you carry a mobile phone with you in case of an emergency and for you to store our mobile numbers in your contacts. Charlotte can be contacted on 07825 835377 and George on 07921 699240. If you are in need of general first aid assistance, please call Charlotte or George.
In the event of a medical emergency you should, if possible, call the emergency services on 999 first before contacting Charlotte or George. Please also pass a message onto the next runner so they can relay it back to race HQ and other marshals on the course.
As a runner, if you see another runner with a medical emergency then please check their situation, call 999 and care for them to the best of your ability and knowledge. You should be given guidance as to what to do in the situation from the 999 operator.
Following this, and as long as it is safe to remain with the runner requiring medical assistance, call George or Charlotte if you can and stop other runners to assist you in caring with the runner requiring medical assistance.
Life threatening emergencies may include respiratory distress, severe chest pains, cardiac arrest, rapid irregular heart rate, uncontrolled bleeding, shock, choking, hypothermia (cold core body temperature) and hyperthermia (hot core body temperature) and hyponatraemia (excessive water intoxication). Please also be aware that people in a serious medical condition can be disoriented or violently aggressive.
How do I know where I am on the course to direct medical assistance as required?
We recommend runners download an App called What3Words. This will pinpoint your location and provide you a unique three letter phrase specific for your exact location. It can be used to help emergency services find your exact location or the location of a runner in need of medical assistance.
Both George and Charlotte have the app and it will also help them pinpoint where you are in non-emergency situations.
More information on What Three Words can be found at the following web addresses:
Medal and goody bag
All finishers will receive a medal and a goody bag. You can select some items for your goody bags. If you are vegan please let us know at registration as we have vegan products for your goody bag which are not available to all runners. During registration we will mark your number so at the finish we will give you a vegan goody bag.
The current weather forecast is expected to have temperatures ranging from 9 to 12 degrees. There is a 19% chance of rain during the event, with a gentle south westerly breeze. However, the conditions can change and we recommend runners continue to review weather conditions the day before the event.
Please ensure you have suitable clothing for the expected weather conditions.
You can see the latest weather forecast at the following link:
We will be taking photographs during most of our events which we will post on our Facebook Saturn Running Chat Group. This will be the only place you will be able to view your photographs.
If you like your photos, you can use them for free. If there are any photos you want us to remove, then please send us a copy of the photo and we will find it and remove it for you.
Equally if there are photos you like, then you can have them for free - we can also email you a JPEG version as long as you let us know which photo you want.