5x5

Risk Assessment for the 5x5, a cross country 5k race series which consists of 4 races between April and July.

  1. The HQ (Headquarters) for the event is The Longs Arms in Steeple Ashton.
  2. Runners are advised to wear suitable Clothing and Footwear - this is a trail run which uses grass and gravel paths, crosses a grass field and wooden bridges.
  3. Weather conditions will be considered before the event takes place and if considered too severe the event will be cancelled.
  4. The trail consists of rough uneven ground, it may be muddy - or very hard - and care should be taken when crossing the wooden bridges / wooden planks which may be slippery.
  5. There may be fallen trees (including roots and branches) - however the course will be checked the same day before the event.
  6. Tight turns. No turns except the turnround point (at or after 2.5km) are more than right angles.
  7. Jostling. The number of runners is limited to one hundred and this should be reasonable to avoid collisions when passing on the return or outward route.
  8. There are no public (or other) roads on this route. There are, however, a few farm tracks near the turn round point where there will be at least two marshals.
  9. The whole of the route is off road which is a public right of way called the White Horse Trail.
  10. This event takes place in the Spring and Summer months of April to August.
  11. Care should be taken during the later months of fast growing grass and branches which may overhang the course, however the organisers will do their best to ensure that these are cut back as far as reasonable.
  12. It is virtually impossible to cycle this trail due to bridges which consist of two or three planks with a gap in between.
  13. The route is signed both with tape, arrows and marshals.
  14. There are no other events taking place at the time of these races other than those mentioned below, such as haymaking.
  15. This route is suitable for all persons aged 12 or over.
  16. There will be two trained First Aiders present at all time, one near the start/finish of the event and one on the course.
  17. The runners are led to the start of the race from the HQ, along the footpath (unless they choose to make their own way there in advance).
  18. Toilet facilities are (only) available at the HQ, a public house. Men, in a building attached outside, Ladies within the main part of the building.
  19. The route is a public right of way and pedestrians should always be given priority.
  20. The Starting and Finishing points are at the same place which is a wide section of the trail, where water will be available.
  21. Parking is not available anywhere near or on the trail. Competitors and others should park carefully, in the village.
  22. Marshals, arrows or tape will be places at all points where it is considered possible to take a false way (wander off the route).
  23. Fallen trees will be clearly marked with tape and the deviation clearly shown.
  24. The route will be checked about two hours before the event and again by the marshals as they make their way to their marshalling points.
  25. In July and August the route will be cleared/strimmed to avoid fast growing obstacles like nettles or briars.
  26. Long grass may be an obstacle which is considered to be of very low risk.
  27. Bridges may be slippery. Two of these consist solely of two or three planks. The risk is considered minimal but should there be an accident, the first aiders will be there to help.
  28. The first (and last) bridge is raised and has barriers on both sides, however it, too, may be slippery.
  29. Entries and registration will take place one hour before the event at the Longs Arms in a room directed by the management of the establishment.
  30. Runners numbers will also be distributed there before the event.
  31. Prize giving will take place after the event at the Longs Arms.
  32. Local farmers have been consulted about these events.
  33. This event is not suitable for wheelchair users.
  34. Dogs are not permitted due to the risk of tripping or falling over leashes.
  35. Risks due to users:
  36. Risks due to other factors:
  37. Before the start of each race there will be a briefing describing the potential hazards.
  38. Someone will check the course before the event.
  39. It is important that all participants should read the rules of the event.

There is a description of the route on the home page of the event plus photographs taken at very frequent intervals, and even a film taken in 2012.

Scale of risks

HazardCommentProbability of occurringConsequenceRisk
Before each race the risks likely to be encountered will be announced to the runners.
WalkersHopefully they will applaud the runnersVery unlikely that any will be encountered LowAcceptable
Motor VehiclesNone NoneNo impactNo risk
CyclistsVery unlikelyLowLow impactNegligible
Wooden bridgesCould be slippery if wetdepends on the weather May need medical attentionAcceptable
Tripping, rabbit holes and badger setts This is a multi terrain event which passes around fields and over meadows It is believed to be a low probabilityPossibly a twisted ankleAcceptable
Overhanging foliageBrambles, low branchesUnlikelyLow impactNegligible
LivestockHorses, sheep and cattle. Should cause no problem Low impactNegligible
Haymaking machinesMay be present during July and AugustCan be present at any time, day or night Large enough, they should be easily visibleAcceptable

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