The Organisation of The Allen Trial

Carlie & Pete Hart, Mark Tooth & Tim Adams

Although the route is planned and authorisation is applied for back in May, the real work begins in September when the route is driven to assess the trimming, filling, and repairs needed. From then on at least one day each weekend is spent preparing the hills (this takes the form of an all day picnic with recognised points for coffee, lunch & tea). Back at base, the paper work begins with invitations being sent out to the ACTC, ASWMC, local photographer and Stewards. The permit and Bowring insurance is applied for, and the Regs. and entry form updated. Early October is spent compiling the mailing list and sticking labels and stamps on envelopes (220 Regs were sent out this year). The Regs. are sent out on a Wednesday and the event usually fills up within days. Then comes the nasty bit, having to return entries and inform people that they are on the reserve list. The database is updated, and the entry list is compiled taking into account requests made on the entry forms and where people ran last year. Basically, if you request to run in the middle along with over 80% of the field you can expect to run between late teens and low sixties. Lists are then produced and sent off to meet the requirements of the ACTC Championship and other requests.

In early November, marshals are contacted and PR’ing begins. We are lucky to have a number of local clubs and/or friends who not only run hills well but also deal with getting enough marshals to man them. A fortnight before the event the route is driven and the route card checked, this year by Mark’s Mum, who for the last ten years has been signing competitors on and off. While the amended route card is being printed, final instructions are sent out and any last minute changes to the hills are made. The week before is spent sorting out and distributing the kit for each section and finalising the paperwork. The day before the event the boys set off to lay out the sections and decide on restart lines and tyre pressure limits.

The day of the trial starts early by driving up Tog Hill to put out cones, and then onto the Crown to set up scrutineering and signing-on at about 7 am. We each have our own jobs clearly listed, and we have mobile phones in case there are any problems. Signing on is hectic, with the added hassle of returned Allen & ACTC Awards. Having sent all the competitors on their way and taken the cups home for safe keeping I take the passenger changes to Chew Valley so that Zoe (Tooth) can put the names on the certificates; then I go and watch on Burledge before returning to the Crown to start feeding results into the lap-top. Course opening (Tim this year) leads the way with a landrover full of every possible need. His biggest problem this year was to relocate the Chew Valley Control when faced with a padlocked gate. Course closing (Mark), having started all the competitors, follows them round closing the sections and collecting all the kit, results and route markings. Results are sent back to the Crown; the last Three hills are phoned through so that the results can be worked out and printed before the last competitor signs in. Pete sets off with about car 10 and goes to the possible problem hills, Guys, Elwell, Burledge and John Walker, or anywhere else where there is a problem.

During the week following the trial, the results are checked and sent out, and the required monies and forms are sent to Bowring and the RACMSA. The kit is sorted out, cleaned, and put back into storage. A week after the trial the Whisky Run takes place, assessing the impact of the trial on the hills and distributing thank you presents to landowners whose fields we used, or to farmers that had trimmed sections for us. We then have a meeting to assess the trial and make suggestions for improvements next year.

Carlie Hart (2002)