This year’s Maravan is proud to partner with AM Electrical.
Ash has been one of the biggest supporters of our fun weekend in Cleethorpes since the event first began, and it would be fair to say that without his support, right from the start, it may not even have happened.
AM Electrical have 20 years in the trade, are fully accredited with Napit, and enjoy glowing reviews from customers, large and small, from both residential and commercial work.
They will always be my first thought for any electrical work I need doing, and should be yours as well.
Well, that last year was, there’s no better term for it, a bummer. Still, I was able to see what way the land lay before too many people got on board, and I’m ever so grateful that every member of the Maravan family chose to defer their 2020 entries to this year, which makes planning so much easier.
Obviously, at the time of writing, we’re still in the throes of a global health emergency, but things are looking up, and I’m very positive for the outlook for later this year.
We had a COVID mitigation plan in place for 2020, and at the moment, I’ll still be looking to employ some or part of this in the risk assessment for November’s event, but as was the case last year, we are in the hands of our hosts at Thorpe Park as to the final yea or nay for going ahead. I have agreement in principle for the weekend of the 20th and 21st November, and so I’ll be booking my room at the Premier Inn as usual on a non-refundable rate, such is my approach to this.
Craig at Event Entry has kindly done the hard work in transferring everyone’s entries over to 2021, and Matt at Timing Monkey has confirmed our weekend. Both these companies are small operations who’ve had their own woes over the lockdowns, so I’m delighted to be able to partner up with them for this year’s event.
I’m conscious that the autumn is filling up for events this year as Spring is now deferring – Liverpool, I’m looking at you – and I know that people are going to be looking to make up for lost time, so I’m sure that events will fill quickly. Remember, that if you enter this and subsequently get into a big-city marathon (and how can I possibly compete?), you’re free to transfer your entry to whoever you so wish so long as it’s done before the end of October so I can give plenty of notice to the chip timers!
So, if you’re willing to take the plunge, entries are open for Maravan 2021. If you entered last year, your entry is automatically transferred to the equivalent event this year. Thanks to chip timing, I can squeeze more people in this year, especially for the Half Marathon or Sunday’s full marathon, but also have more space for soloists on Saturday and for a couple of extra teams. I don’t want the event to be huge and unwieldy, though, I still want to keep the friendly little event that people keep coming back for.
So, chatting to the GM at the park, he’s probably almost as upset as I am. They’ve been so supportive of the event for the past five years.
We’ve agreed that, so long as the pandemic is over, we are absolutely welcome back on the third weekend of November 2021.
So that’s a starting point.
I need a few days off, I’ve also just had to do a last minute escape from France this weekend – found out about the quarantine just after I’d finished online on Thursday night, and I’m absolutely poggered after a non stop drive up from Kent.
Pleased to confirm that once again, we’ll be running under a permit issued by the Association of Running Clubs, which gives £10million of liability insurance and assures you that the organisation of the event meets certain guaranteed standards.
It is therefore absolutely acceptable for the majority of multi-marathon clubs, including the UK 100 Marathon Club.
I’ve put a lot of research into this decision, and we’ve decided to provide a fully chip-timed event this November. This will relieve pressure on me on race day, and provide an even more polished experience for everyone taking part.
There has been a significant thought process which has gone into this decision, as it is adding to the overall costs, but as with the addition of professional medical support last year, I’m happy that the Maravan has taken off and it’s no longer a completely homebrew event with just me, some friends from Northern Lincolnshire and the 100 Marathon Club running laps of a caravan park, and that it has rightly turned into one of the most exciting running weekends of the year in our little part of the world.
I’ve looked at several timing options, but speaking to Matt at Timing Monkey really sealed the deal for me. The Maravan is unique and needed a genuinely bespoke timing arrangement putting in place. Matt has experience in multisport timing, lapped events and multi-day events, so when he told me what he could do for our lapped multi-day festival I didn’t need to think twice. We’ve also discussed the various measures that we may need to take with regard to social distancing, and we can formalise the arrangement we have had in the past whereby run-walkers can begin before the masses, therefore making the event even more inclusive.
So if you’ve never thought to try a marathon before, maybe give the Maravan a go. If you need it, you can potentially have almost the entire daylight hours available to complete the distance this year.
I’ve paid the deposit, confirmed the dates, and now we just need entries.
To that extent, having a professional in will let me increase the entry limits very slightly – not so much that we’ll lose the intimacy of our little event, but enough to give more people the chance to take part – so I’ve increased the numbers for the relay back up to last year’s entry level, 35, and I can make ten or so extra spaces available for each of the other events if we need.
I do need to order the medals by the end of August, though, so any entries between that date, and the end of October, when I need to confirm entry numbers to Timing Monkey will come at a small premium (as the medals cost more to produce after August)
Therefore, we’d suggest that you get entries in sooner rather than later, remembering that, if you can’t run, you can transfer your entry for free to another runner up until the end of October as part of our fair runners policy.
As part of my preparations for November, I’m having to look at whether there is a way that I can implement a method by which small groups or individuals can set off at the same time.
We’ve always had wave starts at Maravan but usually of a more informal nature, where the run-walkers have been able to start when they are ready. It’s always worked, so far at least, but it’s really difficult to time, especially in poor weather, when both the traditional paper and pen method, and the more modern app method both struggle.
I’m looking at possibly needing to implement a more formal wave starting method this year if social distancing is still required, and as such, I’m having to make decisions now that have an effect on the cost to me of organising the event.
I’m almost 100% certain that I’ll use professional timers this year for all events for both days, with timing chips and the cost that that incurs. The advantage to me is that I can relax slightly more on race day without having to panic about times and counting runners.
This does come at a cost, however, but I’m hoping to be able to recoup some of that additional cost with the ability to handle more entries, and especially more relay and half marathon entries – which I really struggle timing.
It would help me, though, as I have to pay a deposit up front, if you’re thinking of entering, if you could do it soon. Remember that you can transfer your entry for free, to another runner, or switch to another event, right up until the end of October.