How Our Routes Are Marked 

Falkland Trail Runners - Home of the Psycho Squirrels

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photo of a marked route

Route Markings.

How We Mark The Routes On Our Events

Falkland Trail Runners’ events are organised within the standards for events organisation set by the Association of Running Clubs which, like UK Athletics, conform to the rules set out by the IAAF. Our events also comply fully with the Guide to Organising Trail Races issued by the Trail Running Association, which supports UK Athletics in the management and regulation of trail running, and also arranges UK Trail Running Championships.

The method of marking the route complies fully with the recommendations in the Guide (pages 12-14). We accept fully the first paragraph of that section.

"Start with the assumption that, except in the cases of events that are navigational challenges, it leads to frustration on the part of runners and embarrassment on the part of organisers, when competitors get lost or take the wrong turning. Everybody gets fed up and irritated. So let's try hard to avoid it."

What we do and how we do it.

Falkland Estate do not want us to use flour to mark the route, so we provide large arrows in compliance with the Guide - "After every turn, or track junction, mark the course [using] arrows printed or stapled on cardboard, correx etc.".

These are large, bright yellow arrows fixed to sturdy wooden or metal posts. They are fixed in ways that minimise the risk of them being turned around by the wind.

graphic of a black arrow on a yellow background showing a typical direction sign
A typical direction sign.

Immediately after each arrow, a "streamer" (of red & white tape) will be fixed to a branch or other fixture to confirm the correct route. When you pass an arrow, look for the streamer and go in that direction.

We also comply, as far as possible, with the item on navigation between turns - "Whilst it may seem unnecessary, have repeater marks to reassure runners they are still going the correct way. The ideal is strips of tape fluttering in the breeze, with each strip visible from the previous one. If the next cannot be seen when walking the course to put them out, the competitors have no chance."

Because our events tend to be twisty and turny, it’s not really practical to fix a streamer at every bend. So, if the trail is clearly defined, we fix them every couple of hundred metres or so. If there is a minor branch in the trail - but not a proper "turn", we will clarify the correct direction by placing a streamer at that point.

We appreciate that some runners might prefer the challenge of working out where they need to go next, but a proper trail race is one that complies with the TRA guide. And that is what we seek to provide - a proper trail race, properly organised, with the route properly marked to minimise the chance of "frustration on the part of runners and embarrassment on the part of organisers, when competitors get lost or take the wrong turning".

Download the TRA Guide HERE

Other Signage.

We place a lot of emphasis on making our events challenging, yet safe.

All trail races should include terrain that needs to be handled with care, and things like tree roots, rocks, slippery surfaces, etc. should all be expected. Some parts of a route might need extra care. Where we think it necessary, we will erect "Caution" signs to alert you to the need to be extra careful. We don’t put these up very often so, when you see one, you can be sure we really mean it - BE CAREFUL!

graphic of a black exclamation mark within a red triangle showing a typical caution sign
A typical "compact" caution sign.

graphic of a black exclamation mark within a red triangle showing a typical caution sign.  It has a caution label underneath
A typical "full" caution sign.

Despite our best efforts, sometimes runners simply don't see a direction sign. At locations where this is most likely to happen, we erect "wrong way" signs. Wherever possible, we try to avoid "false positives" by positioning these signs round corners or other locations which means they aren’t visible from race route. This is because some people might see the sign in the distance and think THAT is the correct route. If you see one of these, you need to turn around and go back to the last junction ... and follow the signs.

graphic of runners within a circle and a bar across it.  Also a label reading wrong way
A typical "wrong way" sign.

If the route crosses or goes along part of a road that is open to traffic, we erect signs to warn drivers, cyclists, riders, etc. that they might encounter runners. For public roads, we use signs that comply with road traffic legislation. Within the estate, we might use a smaller sign.

graphic of a sign reading caution runners
A typical "caution runners" sign.

graphic of a black exclamation mark within a red triangle plus a text panel reading runners in road
A typical "runners in road" sign.

We have a stock of signs that we use to help runners even before or after the race. These tend to be simple and have just text - for example, Race HQ, Refreshments, First Aid, Place Your Chips Here.