There exists a very real possibility of a runner or pacer in the Alpine Challenge becoming badly lost and/or injured during daylight or during the night somewhere out of mobile phone range. This could happen on either the first or second day of the event, and it could happen to anybody, even the most experienced trail ultra-runner. In such a situation, it is critically important to have all of the Mandatory Equipment for obvious reasons. You must take this requirement seriously. Temperatures below 0°C plus wind chill have been recorded during November in the race area, and this could be accompanied by rain, wind, hail and/or snow as happened in 2016 and 2017.

The Mandatory Equipment must be carried by all runners and all pacers at all times on the Alpine Challenge course. If a runner is found not to have all of the Mandatory Gear, they will not be allowed to start. If a runner or their pacer fails a gear check on the course they will both be disqualified. There are no stores near the course of the Alpine Challenge likely to stock items on the Mandatory Gear list, so it is in the runner’s (and their pacer’s) interest to make sure they have the gear as specified.

If in doubt, contact Paul Ashton on 0418 136 070 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to verify that your gear will be acceptable. It is wise to carry your Mandatory Equipment in a way that allows it to be easily checked by Race Officials to save time at inspections. NB: there will be random gear checks conducted on the course. Avoid the temptation not to carry items of the Mandatory Equipment, or carry items that do not meet the specified requirements.

All participants must provide and carry with them the following minimum safety equipment.

This list has been prepared based on running in good to mild conditions. It should be treated as your minimum safety gear and should be adjusted upwards in terms of quality and quantity of gear depending on conditions. Many runners aim to take the lightest and smallest amount of gear with them. This will not protect you in the Victorian Alps in cold, wet and windy conditions. The 100 mile event has a 34% DNF rate because people continue to underestimate the conditions.

All participants must provide and carry with them the following minimum safety equipment. X means you must have it.

Mandatory Items100/160 km60 km36 km
Waterproof & windproof jacket with hood,(gortex, pertex, entrant, japara, nylon etc) X X X
Waterproof & windproof pants, (gortex, pertex, entrant, japara, nylon or similar) X X X
Spare long sleeved thermal top and long johns (polypropylene, wool or similar). May be worn at the start of the run
Cotton, coolmax, lycra and any compression garment will not be acceptable
X X X
Beanie and or hat and or balaclava or buff (1 only) X X X
Windproof & waterproof gloves (large size dishwashing gloves are waterproof ) X X X
Waterproof map of the area and course notes (preferably laminated or in a waterproof map case or zip lock bag). Spatial Vision—Bogong Alpine Area 1:50,000 or off the website X X X
Compass or GPS plus spare batteries for GPS. Find out how to use your map and compass here  X X X
Lighter or waterproof matches X X X
Whistle X X X
First Aid kit including
  • Emergency space blanket/bag/light bivvi sack (1 only) or equivalent
  • Personal First aid requirements, bandaids, antiseptic, painkillers etc
  • 10 cm elastic bandage for snake bites/sprains
X X X
Fully charged mobile phone and portable mini power bank (1 phone per solo runner/2 per team or relay team - Telstra provides the best coverage) X X X
Torch/headlamp and spare batteries X X  
Back up torch/headlamp (including spare batteries) Y    
Food—for the run and emergency food if lost (energy chocolate is good) X X X
Water—minimum 2 litres capacity. More recommended if forecast is hot X    
Emergency heat pack (provided in race pack) X X  
Race number (provided in race pack) X X X
Tape with race number for pack (provided in race pack) X X X
Ziplock bag – for your rubbish (provided in race pack) X X X

 

Snake Bite - Mandatory Safety Equipment

Please watch this video prepared by trail runner Dr Cheryl Martin.

The crepe bandage on the right is not acceptable. Ensure that, as a minimum you bring an elastic compression bandage 10 cm in width. You can obtain these from most chemist stores. A crepe bandage may assist in covering the bite wound.

Recent research shows that the effectiveness of traditional crepe bandages is significantly lower than modern elastic bandages in treating a snake bite, and even elastic bandages will be compromised if they are not applied at the correct pressure. In most cases it has been found that not enough pressure is applied when using these bandages, decreasing their efficacy.

In terms of bandaging technique, firm pressure bandaging is required to restrict the lymphatic flow of toxins after snake bite. Strict limb immobilisation is necessary to minimise lymphatic flow, since walking after snake bite will inevitably result in the spread of toxins throughout the body, and render any pressure bandaging useless. More detailed insight can be gained from Australian Venom Research Unit – First aid for snakebite.

Warning

In the past a number of participants have tried to take short cuts on safety and equipment. As a result all participants are advised that failure to have the approved mandatory safety equipment at the event and at gear checks during the event will result in disqualification and the participant being removed from the event.

Unacceptable gear

If you bring this equipment, you will NOT be permitted to start

  • Water resistant jackets/over-pants
  • Jacket without a hood
  • “Skins” or equivalent are not acceptable as thermal top/bottom
  • Non elasticised snake bite bandage less than 10 cm

NB: In previous years runners have experienced sub zero conditions during the night run with strong winds, giving a wind chill factor in the area of minus 5/10 degrees. Please prepare well for the night section or be prepared for a DNF.