This is a bit outrageous. I Can't believe these people thought it acceptable to spray paint rocks. They claim to return to clean rocks but surely a sign would be. easier
Posting here as the main thread is now full and locked.
Seems the promised cleanup has not been successful: https://www.tgomagazine.co.uk/news/luxury-run-organisers-fail-to-clean-markings-on-arran-mountain/
> Yes. NTS can just say no.
I'm concerned this may lead to consequences for other events that are managed more responsibility. Is there anything forum members can do to help ensure the NTS are making the right decisions?
Is there anything we can do to push for a better clean up of the existing mess?
Yes but... with the right sort of carrier bag stuffed with enough notes to make a football manager blush, they could persuade people they'll be better behaved next time. So us being annoyed here may carry less weight than a big carrier bag
They have issued an apology. A "we're sorry you feel that way" kind of apology, which is a condescending way of saying "f*ck you" while simultaneously doing impressions of Harry Enfield's Loadsamoney character brandishing a wad of notes.
"The NTS said it had made contact with event organisers via its solicitor after the navigation markers were discovered last week."
So..... maybe they'll get taught in a language they understand.
Next year the course will be marked by the bio degradable blood of virgins and there will be supplementary serfs to tuck forelocks and point you in the right direction every 50 yards, for an extra fee a local unemployed youth will lie across any boggy patches for you to walk over.
> It feels a bit like ‘we paid extra for fancy chalk’ rather than ‘what’s the best we can minimise impact and clean up afterwards?’
There's also a strong vibe of "we're going to call the stuff we used 'biodregradable chalk' because it sounds so much better than spray paint". It isn't chalk! Chalk is white. It's fluorescent yellow spray paint that contains chalk (among various other things - fluorescent yellow dye most obviously).
They plainly had no intention of cleaning up afterwards initially, or they'd have used flags or ribbons that could easily be collected up the same way other race organisers do. They're just claiming that was always their plan now that they've been forced to make a half-arsed attempt at it.
(Which, from the point of view of lichens and wotnot, may actually be worse than just leaving it alone to gradually weather away over a period of weeks or more likely months.)
Edit to add:
Re. the cost. Big whoop - £6.60 a can -vs- £4.20 a can here:
There was a lot of gas pipe works on my road. Mostly impact mole or lining plastic inside the old pipe so not that much digging. Lots of stuff was marked on the pavements up and down my road for all the services and where they were using "chalk" spray. The people said "don't worry a team will come by in a couple of weeks and jet wash it" After it all finished they came round to do a door to door survey and I asked when it'd be jet washed. They said "no we don't do that, it's just chalk a few big rainstorms and it'll be gone". It took a good 18 months to go.
Has any one tried using Flags, with a small transponder fitted, for route setting on these type of events? Then the route sweeper can be fairly sure to find them all, ie not leave any littering the countryside, as I know happens with flags. At £15k an entrant I would have thought promoting such tech, would get them far better feedback that using florescent paint.
You would be in big trouble if you did that in Norway. One thing having the DNT trails, another having any old 'kendian spraying over the place where they want. And there is a lot of Norway not in Til Fots I Fjellet
Yes I believe they did. That was what made me think of tech. Hence flags with transponders popped into my head, as I have followed flags on Mountain marathons in the past. But I know they can get left behind. I have one as a souvenir, that I picked up walking a section of a route I had raced a few days earlier.
> I'm a bit baffled to be honest, what makes this so special that people will pay 15k?
So you can tell your friends you have done an ultra without quite as much unpleasantness as would normally be associated with one.
Bit like doing the heavily guided trips to Everest and other status trips.
> Status symbol. Just like expensive cars, watches etc.
Never had an expensive car but I do wear a Rolex. I got it about 25 years ago new for £1,800. I wear it every day at work and play.
I never had a watch last longer than 6 months before.
It's battered though, welding wire holding the clasp together, bezel is scratched and glued on and the screen is chipped.
The photos don't do justice to the damage.
That's what popped up this morning and prompted me to go looking for an update on chalkgate. It's awful and irreversible damage, though it did make me wonder about some archeologist 1000 from now trying to decipher the meaning of the strange markings.
There's a big difference though between (what I assume to be) a misguided soul carving a stone out of boredom, and a for-profit business marketing themselves as "most sustainable endurance events in the world" whilst unnecessarily spraypainting up and down a major path in the hills, failing to go back and clean it later, and making half-hearted apologies and misleading statements to the press. The only consequence for them was that they had to go back a couple of times to clean it up, but as they had already said they were committed to cleaning it up, that's no consequence at all.
It's appalling that while we recognize some forms of vandalism as criminal (Police Scotland have been immediately involved for the stone carving issue), the bare-faced greenwashing and negligence of these so-called Highland Kings goes completely unpunished.
Was up goatfell this weekend via the tourist path and didnt see any chalk remnants although im not sure if they marked that part of the trail - to be fair you would have to be blind to not be able to follow the path as its so blatantly obvious !
It's a shame that almost everyone who has left a negative (well, negative words) review on Facebook hasn't worked out that leaving Facebook's option of 'recommends' in place simply improves their score rating. If everyone feels like going and leaving a proper negative score that would be a start in tanking them, although I suspect that there's another company behind this even which is doing its best to keep quiet so they can axe the 'highland kings' brand and start afresh without the negative publicity.
> Seems they've been pulled back by the ears to clean up their mess: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-61308727
From the article; I'm glad the NTS have made clear they never agreed to this and how they were let down...
A spokesman for the NTS added: "We were very disappointed given that we had made prior contact with the organisers and had asked them not to use signs or drones on the hill and were told that there would be no signage at all but people marshals only.
Also this from the article, surely you would take a nice lump of rock in your garden, spray it with the chalk beforehand, let it set, and hose it down to test it first? Where is the 15k going???
"There have certainly been mistakes made. We will never use biodegradable chalk again. This has been a learning curve for us and we want to make sure it never happens again. "
> ... although I suspect that there's another company behind this even which is doing its best to keep quiet so they can axe the 'highland kings' brand and start afresh without the negative publicity.
The operating company is the equally-stupidly-named 'Primal Adventures' - see https://www.primal-adventures.com/
Of course, should publicity ever get too bad, they'll just rebrand anyway.
Edit: I see that access to https://www.highland-kings.com/ now requires a password. They are becoming coy.
> to be fair you would have to be blind to not be able to follow the path as its so blatantly obvious !
There was a running event near me last weekend. On the upside they put out little flags + signs at junction the afternoon before and then removed them before the next evening but jeez was the number of flags overkill. Anyone who thinks "there is a 6ft fence on my left and a 9ft ditch on the right and a clear path ahead. Which way should I go?" deserves to get lost.
> That's what popped up this morning and prompted me to go looking for an update on chalkgate. It's awful and irreversible damage, though it did make me wonder about some archeologist 1000 from now trying to decipher the meaning of the strange markings.
I do have conflicting feelings about that sort of graffiti since there is so much similar graffiti made, especially, by the vikings which gives interesting insights into sort of normal lives in the past.
I agree, I saw some of those flags in the southern Lakes last year (or maybe 2020), along a road every 20m - I thought, surely you carry on along the road until you get to a junction or a path going off at which point the change of direction would be signed or marshalled, massive overkill.