Two Tunnels Railway Races Event Information Bloomfield Open Space, Bath, BA2 2AD - 28th September 2014 10:00am Important Notices
There is no on street parking available for runners on the streets around Bloomfield Open Space (BoS). Please park at Odd Down Park & Ride and catch the bus down to Bear Flat. The postcode for the Park & Ride is BA2 8PA the cost of a return ticked it £2.50. We have arranged for additional and earlier services to be put on specifically for the event with services running from 07:15am.
The Half Marathon and Marathon are taking in some fantastic city centre sites. We are making use of public footpaths and not closing any roads. Therefore there are places were runners will have to cross potentially busy roads. All major crossing points have either Zebra or Pelican Crossings and will also be marshalled. The marshals do not have the power to stop the traffic. You must wait and make your own decision as to when to cross the road. You may have to wait a few seconds for a light to change so please be patient and take the opportunity to catch your breath. Anyone deemed to make an unsafe road crossing by one our marshals will be disqualified. Whilst this is a race, your safety is our highest priority and the same rules of the road apply – do not put yourself or others runners at risk for the sake of a few seconds!
All paths used by the race are open to the general public, many of whom use the routes as their regular walking routes. Please make the event a success by being polite and courteous to the others users of these paths so that the race has a positive impact on everyone involved. Please stick to the left hand side at all times, especially when running through the tunnels.
The tunnels are lit but it still takes a few seconds for your eyes to adjust to the lower light levels. We would therefore recommend runners do not wear sun glasses in the tunnels.
Completing the Course. Half Marathon and Marathon runners will be required to grab a colour elastic band at Feed Station 4, by the weir and Pulteney Bridge. This is to ensure everyone completes the course. Half Marathon runners should cross the finish line with 1 band, Marathon runners should cross the finish line with 2 bands, one from each lap.
There is a cut off of 3hrs for Marathon runners to reach the half marathon/marathon split. This is at approximately 13.7 miles (ie beyond where you cross the Start Line for a second time). If runners have not crossed this line after 3hrs from the start of the marathon event you will be asked to complete the Half Marathon course and you will be awarded a Half Marathon time and goody bag.
Sustrans Sustrans and Relish Running Sustrans, the charity behind the National Cycle Network is our charity partner for the first ever Two Tunnels Railway Races. Without Sustrans we wouldn’t have the Two Tunnels Greenway and the reopened iconic tunnels, including Combe Down tunnel which hosts a unique sound and lighting installation for you to run through! Sustrans has to cover the costs of the maintenance of the tunnels, and so this event provides a brilliant opportunity to raise money to keep them in tip top condition. All funds raised from the event will go directly to Sustrans so they can continue to work on routes such as the Two Tunnels Greenway and keep the 15,000 mile National Cycle Network going and growing. Relish Running is donating £1 per runner to Sustrans but it would be great if you could help raise some money for them too! Here’s some ways how… Bid for an exclusive Two Tunnels Print! Visit the Sustrans stand on the day at the finish at Bloomfield Open Space to find out more about local routes and the Two Tunnels. They’ll also be running a sealed bidded auction throughout the day for your chance to get your hands on an exclusive Two Tunnels print. There were only 60 of these beautiful prints produced by local artist Eliza Southwood for the opening celebrations when the tunnels first opened in 2013 and with only a few left now they’re in high demand.
How to get to the Two Tunnels Railway Races By Car/Park & Ride - There is no on street parking available for runners on the streets around Bloomfield Open Space (BoS). Please park at Odd Down Park & Ride and catch the bus down to Bear Flat. The postcode for the Park & Ride is BA2 8PA the cost of a return ticked it £2.50. We have arranged for additional and earlier services to be put on specifically for the event, with services running from 07:15am. Following the race runners can catch the P&R into town from the same bus stop or they can catch the bus back up to the P&R from the opposite site of the road. Runners need to disembark the bus at the first stop, Bear Flat. This will be easily identifiable by the giant Polar Bear on the roof of the pun next to the bus stop! There will be orange ‘Registration’ arrows signing from the Bear Flat bus stop to BoS, approximately 500m walk away. By Train – Bath Spa Train Station is the main station in Bath and is in the town centre. Bloomfield Open Space is approximately 1 mile away up the Wellsway Hill. This route will not be signed so please use the postcode BA2 2AD to head to BoS. By Train – Oldfield Park Train Station is a local train station between Bath and Bristol. It is approximately 1 mile away from Bloomfield Open Space. This route will not be signed so please use the postcode BA2 2AD to head to BoS. By Bike – We will provide racking for bikes next to the registration gazebos – please bring your own lock as this is not a secure bike compound. All bikes are left at the owners own risk, the event accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage to bikes or any other property left on the race site.
By Foot – The nearest landmark for runners heading on foot is the Bear Pub with giant polar bear on the roof, from there you can pick up the signs. The postcode for Bloomfield Open Space itself is BA2 2AD.
Spectators There are 2 great viewing spots for the race, shown on the map above. We would ask spectators not to travel to the start alongside the runners as there is very limited space for people to gather, instead if you stay by the Registration area you will get much better sight of your runner once the race has spread out as they enter the first tunnel. The first spectating area is by Devonshire Tunnel, we ask spectators NOT to spectate within the tunnel as space is very limited. There is plenty of time to explore the tunnels before and after the races. As there are multiple waves going at 5mins or 10mins intervals we suggest watching in viewing Area 1 by the Tunnel as the runners head out and then moving to Area 2 by the finish line. If you wait for the runners to return along the out and back section (5km & 10km runners) you may
struggle to make it back across the lines of runners, which will by then be going in both directions, and over to the finish line.
Race Registration, Race Information & Bag Storage Please collect your number from the Race Registration gazebo. There will be 6 bays to collect numbers; one bay for the 5km and 500m, 3 bays for the 10km, 1 bay for the half marathon and 1 bay for the marathon. In each bay you can also sign up on the day for each respective race and you will be given an appropriate colour number for your wave. The Race Information and Bag Storage will be in the next gazebo. There will be 5 bays for bag storage; for numbers 1-200, 200-400, 400-600, 600-800 and 800-1,000. Please help us store the bags in a methodical fashion that allows us to swiftly retrieve your bag by presenting your bag to a marshal in the appropriate bay. Luggage tags will be provided. Please write your race number and colour on the tag.
Toilets The main portaloo toilet block is at Bloomfield Open Space. There are also two toilets for the marathon runners as they start Lap 2. There will be several additional toilets by the start line but we would highly recommend using the toilets in BoS as the toilets by the start are there as extra, rather than the main toilets.
Refreshments The Bear Hotel will be opening from 08:00 and will be serving take away coffees, cakes and breakfasts! We will also have a selection of fresh fruit and tasty treats waiting for the runners at the finish.
Race Start Times To keep the runners spread out and to allow the tunnels to remain open to everyday users we are splitting up the events into the following waves. Race & Predicted Time
Arrive at BoS
Gather at Holding Area
Depart to Start
Race Briefing on Start Line
Male 10km (30-50mins)
08:25 – 08:40
08:30 – 08:45
Female 10km (30-60mins)
08:40 – 08:55
08:50 – 09:05
Male 10km (50mins +)
08:55 – 09:10
Female 10km (60mins +)
09:05 – 09:20
09:15 – 09:30
500m runners **
** Runners of the 500m race have their own start line, the other side of the Devonshire Tunnel. They will be asked to gather by the Registration area at 12:15 (see course description below) NB If any runners Male would like to run with a Female friend or family member please can you run in the corresponding female wave eg Male 10km (30-50mins predicted time) can run in Female (3060mins) or Male 10km (50mins+) can run in Female 10km (30-60mins) OR Female (60mins+) as appropriate. Please can it be the Male athletes who move waves rather than Female athletes as this will make it easier to process the results. If these Male athletes would then like their time adjusting on the results please email us after the race and we will be happy to amend it. Thank you. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Runners will need to gather in the Holding Area in Bloomfield Open Space and be ready to leave for the start line 20mins before their race starts. Each wave will then be lead to the start line by the Lead Mountain Bike rider or marshal for that wave of runners, identifiable by the colour coded race numbers. There is an approx. 20min walk to the start line via residential streets. Runners will line up to start the race on the Two Tunnels path on Millmead Road bridge. There is no space for runners to congregate at this location in advance of their race starting, which is why we are holding each wave of runners at Bloomfield before sending runners to the start. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GO TO THE START LINE AHEAD OF YOUR WAVE DEPARTING. The best place for spectators to watch the race is by the entrance to Devonshire Tunnel, right next to the race registration area! Please keep the tunnel itself free from spectators during the race to minimise congestion and keep to the side of the path itself.
Getting to the Start Once you have collected your race number please feel free to make your way to the warm up area. You will be walking along the race route to the start. It is ¾ of a mile away so please allow 30mins to get to the start; 20mins to walk and 10mins to warm up. We will make announcement 30mins before each wave start time to ensure everyone has left on time. Keep to the left hand side and walk in no more than 2-a-breast so as to not congest the path. Races start from 10:00am. Please walk in single file if you are on the path at 10:00am and step off the path when runners approach you. You will be called to the start line 5mins before your wave. Please do not attempt to go to the start line ahead of your wave actually starting as there is no space for extra runners. Please only start the race in your allocated wave, according to your colour coded number. If you think your predicted time has changed since you entered the event, please do not worry about this, we will ensure all times are correctly adjusted for the various start times. It will not be possible to change wave start time on the morning of the race or once start lists have been published.
Race Briefing There will be a 5min race briefing ahead of each wave start at the start line.
Route Descriptions 500m Route Description The 500m race is the only event with a separate start line. Runners will be asked to gather by the Registration Gazebo at 12:15 (not by the finish line like the adult races). They will then be walked around to the start line at the near side of the Devonshire Tunnel by Portrait Bench. Runners start with their back to the tunnels and run down the hill and under Maple Grove bridge. They then make a left turn off the track and loop up and over the Linear Park Path and into Maple Grove Street. They then enter Bloomfield Open Space from the side entrance and head straight for the finish line between the Relish Running and Sustrans flags.
5km Route Description The 5km route will head out from the Claude Avenue Bridge and along the Two Tunnels Greenway path. Runners will go through the first tunnel, the Devonshire Tunnel which is 408m long after a little over 1km of running. Once emerged from the tunnel runners will run along Lyncombe Vale between the Two Tunnels. Just before runners enter the Combe Down tunnel they will perform a clockwise U turn around the cones on the path (sticking to the left hand side) and retracing their route through the Devonshire Tunnel. Approx 200m after the tunnel the runners need to branch left and make a 180 turn from the main Two Tunnels path and onto an adjoining path. There is a slight climb here as the path climbs the embankment and then crosses over the Two Tunnels path at the Maple Grove bridge. Next runners will cut the corner along Maple Grove road and into the side entrance to BoS. Please keep to the right hand side here and on the pavements where possible. Once into BoS runners will see the finish line ahead of them. Keep the left hand side where the route forks and head straight for the finish between the Relish Running and Sustrans flags. 10km Route Description The 10km route heads straight along the path of the Somerset & Dorset Railway through the suburbs of Bath. The first tunnel is just over 400m long and comes about ¾ or a mile into the race. The route has a slight climb up and through the tunnel before emerging out into beautiful woodland the other side. Here the route continues to climb slightly before reaching the longer Combe Down Tunnel which is just over a mile in length. This tunnel loses 14m of height from this end to the far end so represents a great opportunity to get the legs turning fast to make use of this downhill run. Emerging into the light again the other side and you will feel many miles from the nearest city! 500m after you exit the tunnel there is a drinks station on the left hand side, atop the Tucking Mill viaduct. The half marathon and marathon runners branch off left at this point but you keep going along the line of the railway. There is good flat running now and Midford Castle towers above on right hand side. Shortly after you will enter a 3rd ‘tunnel’, which apparently according to engineering definitions is merely a long arch – very long arch if you ask me! Once out from the tunnel you will shortly see the platform for Midford Station. Keep to the left hand side and run all the way to the end of the path. Here a marshal will direct you to hop up onto the platform and return in the opposite direction along the top of the platform. There is a slope at the far end of the platform which brings back you on to the railway with a gradual descent. The route from here heads back the way you have just come, past the drinks station, through the Combe Down Tunnel which will climb ever so slightly against you on the way back and through the Devonshire Tunnel opposite Bloomfield Open Space. Upon exiting the Devonshire Tunnel you will be heading downhill and will need to perform a very tight 180 degree turn to the left onto a path which joins the main Two Tunnels path. The path then climbs up and over the Two Tunnels path and onto Maple Grove. Here you will need to stick to the right hand side and on footpaths were possible as you enter BoS from the side entrance (and from where you departed to the start line). There is only final little rise to the finish, keep the left hand side where the route splits and head for the finish line between the Relish Running and Sustrans flags.
Half Marathon & Marathon Route Description The Half Marathon and Marathon follow the same course, with the Marathon being 2 laps. Both races start by going through the Two Tunnels, firstly the shorter Devonshire Tunnel at 408m long followed by the longer Combe Down Tunnel at 1676m. Shortly after exiting the Combe Down Tunnel there will be a feed station on top of the Tucking Mill viaduct. Immediately after the feed station runners need to turn left through a kissing gate and down the embankment in the shadow the viaduct (2.5 Miles). Once down from the viaduct runners will need turn right and right again to run along the footpath to the side of the lake. Here you will out onto Tucking Mill Lane. Please keep to the left hand side along this section of road and follow the instructions of the marshals. This road is not closed to traffic so please be careful. The roads wind through the picturesque village of Monkton Combe following the National Cycle Network Signs. The route runs alongside Monkton Combe School (please stick to the correct public footpaths) and onto a lane which was a track bed of the Bristol and North Somerset Railway (3.75 miles) which met the Somerset and Dorset Line (the line through the Two Tunnels) in Midford with the Bristol and North Somerset Railway line passing beneath the Somerset and Dorset Line and each line having it's own station. The route now crosses into the car park for the Dundas and Canal Company and it is here where we are positioning out second Feed Station (4 miles). This car park will be in use by visitors to the canal and National Cycle Network routes so please be careful and follow the instruction of the marshals. The footpath from here runs alongside the sole remaining spur of the Somerset Coal Canal. This canal served Bath with coal from nearby North Somerset Collieries before it was bought out by the Great Western Railway Company who built the aforementioned Bristol and North Somerset Railway over the line of the canal as a speedier way of transporting coal into Bath. The Somerset Coal Canal quickly merges with the Kennet & Avon Canal at the beautiful Dundas Aquaduct which is over 200 years old. If you look to your right after the second Feed Station you will be able to see the Aquaduct through the trees. Once on the Kennet & Avon canal the route contours around the hills of Bath through the beautiful Limply Stoke valley. Keep an eye for great sites along the way; Warleigh Weir and Warleigh Manor and Brown's Folly up on the hill top on the right hand side. The 3rd Feed Station is on the approach to Bathampton just after the stone hump back bridge at 7.5 miles into the race (exactly on the turning point of the Long Half Marathon and Marathon of the Bath Running Festival routes for those of you who have taken part in that event). The race runs back into Bath through Sydney Gardens with ornate bridges running over the canal. The canal passes underneath Cleveland House, where canal boats used to pass their toll payment through a hole in the roof of the tunnel. There are a couple of road crossings as the canal descends into Bath to merge with the river Avon. Runners cross over the canal using the bridge over the Lock Gate, the 2nd deepest Lock in the
country – please WALK over this bridge if it is slipper! (if it is in use we can cross the road - it is a little too far to jump ;-)). Shortly after the canal and river meet and the runners head right along the river bank into the heart of Bath for the 4th Feed Station at 10 miles. The feed station is right on the river, by the world famous Pulteney Bridge and Weir. With Bath Abbey over looking this spot, it may be tough for runners to leave this prettiest of Feet Station stops. Make sure you grab a colour elastic band at this feed station – this is to ensure all runners complete this out and back section of the course. Half Marathon runners should cross the finish line with 1 band, Marathon runners should cross the finish line with 2 bands – 1 from each lap. The next few miles are along the river Avon heading pass old warehouses with original crane houses still intact. The route goes under the original railway line of Green Park Station (11.2 miles), the terminus of the railway line, which now hosts a variety of small businesses. As the route heads out of Bath there is one final river crossing to complete the loop back into Linear Park and rejoin the route of the Somerset and Dorset Railway. There is a crossing of a potentially busy road. Please use the zebra crossing and follow the instructions of the marshals. You may have to wait for a moment for the lights to change – please be patient and take this time to catch your breath. Through a couple of streets and the route rejoins the Two Tunnels route in Linear Park. The route then goes back under the start point at Claude Avenue Bridge and towards Devonshire Tunnel. Half Marathon and Marathon runners need to turn right off this path and onto a path which loops runners up and over the Two Tunnels Path and emerge onto the Maple Grove Street. Here you will need to stick to the right hand side and on footpaths were possible as you enter BoS from the side entrance (and from where you departed to the start line). As you approach the finish line Half Marathon runners need to bear left (straight on) at the split and head for the finish line between the Relish Running and Sustrans flags. Marathon runners need to bear right at this point to start their second lap.
Marathon Cut Off – 3hrs It is at the point that the cut off for the marathon is applied – marathon runners must have reached this point within 3 hours of the start of their wave. If you do not reach this point you will be asked to complete the Half Marathon course. The cut off point is at approximately 14miles, not 13.1 miles. Shortly after this right turn, and close to the Registration gazebo, will be a Feed Station for the marathon runners before the rejoin the Two Tunnels path and turn left to run through the Devonshire Tunnel once again. The route for the half marathon is 22.5km long and the marathon is 43.7km long as we had to include all these beautiful features of Bath's history and we couldn't bring ourselves to make it any shorter!
Feed Stations There are no drinks stations out on the course for the 5km race. There is 1 Feed Station, visited twice on the out and back 10km course. There are 4 Feed Stations on the Half Marathon course and there are 9 Feed Stations on the Marathon course.
Each Feed Station will offer water in cups or bottles (please only take a bottle if you will drink the whole bottle). There will also be water with the electrolyte Nuun tabs added (this is electrolyte only, there are no calories provided). There will also be a selection of food including; jelly beans, jaffa cakes, flap jack, chocolate, salted crisps, malt loaf, orange slices and bananas. There will also be flat (full fat) coke available for the marathon runners on Lap 2 of their race. The first Feed Station offering flat coke will be the Feed Station in Bloomfield Open Space after they split off the other routes (the 5th Feed Station on the course).
First Aid There is a First Aider at each Feed Station as well as the Finish. If you do not feel able to complete the course please stop at your nearest Feed Station and we will arrange for you to be returned to the Registration area at Bloomfield Open Space.
Finish After the race all runners will be awarded a medal and goody bag. All runners will also be provided with a buffet of fresh fruit and sweet tasty treats as provided at all our feed stations.
Prizes There will be prizes for the 10km, Half Marathon and Marathon in the following categories for men and women; top 3 overall, 1st U20, 1st 40-49, 1st 50-50, 1st 60+. There are no winner’s prizes for the 5km or 500m. The prize giving times will be approximately 11:45 – 12:00 for the 10km, approximately 13:00 for the Half Marathon and 15:00 for the Marathon.