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Discussion Forum - Hundreds - View from a baggage handler


Author: Alan Warrington
Posted: Wed 30th May 2018, 9:35
Joined: 1979
Local Group: Thames Valley
First and foremost a huge thanks to all the organisers and volunteers for whom we should be most grateful. No volunteers equals no event.

Secondly, the HUNDRED rules have evolved over many years and exist for justifiable reasons. When entrants register and pay for the event they are “agreeing to abide by the rules of entry”. NO ifs, buts, maybe! So those entrants who are ‘blatantly ignoring’ the rules are puttiing volunteers in extremely awkward and challenging situations such as that experienced by the baggage handling, transportation and kit check teams.

The rules are being amended to close a loop hole in relation to the carrying of kit for the duration of the event and organisers having the right to carry out a second and/or subsequent kit check.
Baggage dimensions, weight, handling and transportation will be reviewed further. The breakfast bag (currently sold in the LDWA) dimensions are more appropriate and realistic than the current larger dimensions quoted in the existing rules. Let’s not forget, The purpose of the breakfast bag is to let entrants collect non essential items required to get them to the finish, not items required after finishing! Certainly we will NOT be handling more than 6kg irrespective of bag volume capacity.

Evidence based feedback and constructive comments are most welcome as there is always room for improvement. It is absolutely essential that we create an environment whereby both entrants and volunteers have a superb time and that nobody is put in extremely awkward situations and deterred from entering and helping in future events.

Please feel free to contact me by email 100sCoordinator@ldwa.org.uk.
Your thoughts, ideas and opinions will be taken seriously and if possible and practical rules / guidelines enhanced further.
Author: Peter Jull
Posted: Wed 30th May 2018, 9:26
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Kent
As the person who spent most of Saturday sorting breakfast bags into order at Hythe, it was the shape of some bags that caused the most hassle. Rucksacks in particular, even if they were rules compliant, were reluctant to sit in their allotted space, multiple straps a trip hazard and items in outside pockets prone to falling out; the biggest puzzle, what was the need behind one of those items being a litre size bottle of water.

The baggage arrangements at the breakfast stop were based on an 8ft wide room taking 4 rows of bags with two walkways between. Longer bags encroached into those walkways causing a trip hazard. Allowing for wider bags would have reduced capacity and maybe have even required a venue change.

In defence of hard case airline cabin compliant bags they do stay neatly where you put them even if they limit the number that can be carried to and from vans.

As a linear walk with two reception points and two reception periods that would require staffing one of which would be time critical, trust was favoured over enforcement on this occasion. But for future hundreds, you have been warned...
Author: Andy Todd
Posted: Wed 30th May 2018, 7:56
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
Graham,

No idea which bag belonged to who. However the recurring issues were length (when you have a lot of bags sorted in order in a small space long bags are soon a problem as they stick out) and weight.

How much over weight were you? If it was weight did you look for a lightweight bag? I deliberately looked for and bought 2 lightweight bags (they are capable of being folded into a pocket) for the 100.

Obvious question... If you felt that the size/weight limits were insufficient did you contact the organisers in advance or did you just assume that volunteers would cope?
Author: Phil Bedson
Posted: Wed 30th May 2018, 1:04
Joined: 2012
Local Group: East Lancashire
As bags come in a wide range of styles and sizes could the volume size not be a standard?
This weekend I personally used a 20L and it contained a spare pair of shoes, two changes of socks, 2 clean t-shirts, a pair of shorts, underwear and toiletries/towel.....I sent a holdall to the end with my other stuff in for travelling and overnight before/after the event which obviously was essential but nothing was needed on the event (although putting my vaseline in the wrong bag caused some chafage issues!). I just planned ahead and ensured my bags complied with the rulings by trial and error as to how best to pack. It's simple.
Personally I can't understand why a 25L max limit would be a problem to anyone.....
Author: Phil Bedson
Posted: Wed 30th May 2018, 0:59
Joined: 2012
Local Group: East Lancashire
As bags come in a wide range of styles and sizes could the volume size not be a standard?
This weekend I personally used a 20L and it contained a spare pair of shoes, two changes of socks, 2 clean t-shirts, a pair of shorts, underwear and toiletries.....I sent a holdall to the end with my other stuff in for travelling and overnight before/after the event which obviously was essential but nothing was needed on the event (although putting my vaseline in the wrong bag caused some chafage issues!). I just planned ahead and ensured my bags complied with the rulings. It's simple.
Personally I can't
Author: Graham Jones
Posted: Wed 30th May 2018, 0:15
Joined: 2013
Local Group: Northumbria
One of the bags photographed was mine. I have just measured it and it is 4 inches too long, but 8 inches shorter than the given allowance. So I assume the problem was the weight. So let me explain why i had so much stuff:
1. Clothes for the Friday night and overnight bag.
2. I have particularly troublesome feet. I HAVE to carry lots of stuff to cut and repair insoles and replacements for lots of weird and wonderful things in my boots.
3 I have to carry lots of socks, and i carry changes of clothes.

If i could not carry this stuff I simply would not enter the event.

As it happened, the Stanley knife I had came in handy when the St. Johns ambulance people refused to treat my blisters. On a walking event. Yes, really.
Author: Andy Todd
Posted: Wed 30th May 2018, 0:00
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
I would personally take the view that wheeled bags make life harder, not easier. You want to be able to easily grab 2 bags in one hand.

As to problem for entrants who are non compliant with the rules and find their bags are refuse, that is the entrants problem to solve, not the event.
Author: Andy Todd
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 23:46
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
The rules probably need thinking about given that the LDWA Breakfast Bag does not comply with the size rules!

Unfortunately when it came to being at the breakfast stop (which is where Wilts were) the bags were already accepted and delivered, so there was no option but to deal with it. If they had been enforced then baggage at breakfast would have been a lot easier.

My view would be along the lines of "single duffel/holdall bag (without wheels) not more than 40 litres, maximum permitted size not exceeding X*Y*Z in any dimension, maximum weight 6kg." ... "No items to be attached to the outside of the bag other than the supplied tag" ... "If after the breakfast stop any bag is found to no longer comply with these limits then the entrant will be disqualified from the event"
Author: Simon Pipe
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 23:29
Joined: 2006
Local Group: Heart of England
The size guidance relates to breakfast bags. I assumed the same rule applied to my finish bag, which had to be transported from Hastings, but this was not stated. This meant I chose not to put in a sleeping mat. The floor of that gym was hard...

I considered using an airline-style bag (a small-ish one) for my finish on the basis that the wheels might actually be helpful to the baggage handlers, so I can understand why others might have done this.

Refusing to accept over-sized or over-weight baggage is a potential problem on linear routes. What does one do if one's bag is rejected at the start - abandon the 100?

Future 100 organisers, please factor in these thoughts in discussions (though as far as I know, the next few hundreds start and finish in one place).
Author: David Morgan
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 22:12
Joined: 1994
Local Group: South Wales
I should just add, the limit on the bag size is already included in the rules, so the baggage staff would have perfectly in their rights to refuse to accept oversized bags. It's covered in Section 10.

****

10.1 A single small bag marked with the entrants walk number should be deposited in the area provided at (NAME OF HQ HERE), and will be transported to the breakfast stop at (NAME OF BREAKFAST CHECKPOINT HERE). It will then be taken back to (NAME OF HQ HERE) for collection at the finish.

10.2 A numbered tag will be supplied which should be secured to the breakfast stop baggage.

10.3 Entrants need to undertake not to leave cash or valuables (e.g. mobiles/GPS) in it.

10.4 Entrants MUST keep the size and weight of your bags within a maximum permitted size 56cm x 46cm x 25cm (22” x 18”x 10”) and maximum weight 6 kg (13lb).

10.5 Bags may be weighed and measured and bags exceeding the size or weight specified above will not be transported. No plastic sacks or bin liners will be accepted, nor items other than those wholly contained within the bag. This includes walking poles.

10.6 Baggage may also be left at the (NAME OF HQ HERE) for the duration of the event. A label with the entrant’s number will be provided.

10.7 All bags must be collected by 11.00am on Monday (DATE HERE).
Author: David Morgan
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 22:09
Joined: 1994
Local Group: South Wales
This post has been duly noted.
For what it's worth, Y 100 Sir Fynwy will enforce the allowed baggage size and I will bring this thread to Alan Warrington's (100 coordinator) attention so that this subject gets the focus it needs. There was focus in 2013 / 2014 and it does seem that there has been a slippage so that larger bags have reappeared.

David Morgan
Author: Annette Merchant
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 21:25
Joined: 1984
Local Group: Cornwall & Devon
Andy,
When C&D group organised the Camel Teign, we got together with Ian Sykes over the problem of breakfast bags. Ian explained that each bag was handled no less than 13 times during the course of a 100. The size and weight of acceptable bags was incorporated into the event rules. We re-iterated this on the website and in the final details.
We also had our own marshals allocated to Ian's baggage people, armed with fish scales, to enforce the rule. This helped (we think) tremendously, people knew we meant business and we only had a few oversize/weight on the day, but they were rejected. We had bin bags available for people to put their excess items into and leave at Base.The finish bags don't move much so size and weight is less important.
I had thought that this set a precedent but is appears that this has slipped. Ensure that the organising group include weight/size limits in the event rules and ensure they will have someone to help you enforce it.
Author: Michael Jones
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 21:24
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Heart of England
"Kit check items left in breakfast bag" is a possibility which hadn't occurred to me. Perhaps we could introduce a second kit check, some time after the breakfast stop? That would mean anyone who tried it would get DQed without the need to weigh their bag.
Author: Andy Todd
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 20:17
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
My view (based on the weekend) is that it must be strictly enforced (otherwise no one will do the job)

If the bag does not meet the rules it is rejected at the start. If the bag is accepted, and later if when it is returned at breakfast found to be in excess of the rules (kit check items left in breakfast bag) then DQ.

My logic in saying 65L duffel bags/holdalls (personally feel 40L should be sufficient) is that it is easy for people to understand and buy such bags.
Author: Michael Jones
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 20:04
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Heart of England
Andy - firstly, many thanks for your work over the weekend. I can fully sympathise with your situation, having worked in a left luggage office for 9 years and had to deal with many bags/cases of unreasonable size and/or weight. And unlike me, the baggage handlers on the 100 don't get paid for doing it! I can't imagine what some of those could have with them - beyond the basics of a change of clothes, towel and maybe some extra food, what is it essential to have halfway through a 100 which you aren't carrying with you already?

I agree - rules on kit check are strictly enforced (there's no "OK, you haven't got a map, but we'll let you off"), so why should rules on baggage not be? Perhaps if we threatened the Ryanair approach - charge an exorbitant fee for any bag over the specified dimensions/weight - that might encourage people to stick to the rules.
Author: Andy Todd
Posted: Tue 29th May 2018, 18:58
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
For the first time I have seen the work associated with baggage and I have to say a significant number of entrants clearly are unable to read the rules as to their breakfast bag.

Some exhibits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. These were just the first 6 offenders I found when I decided to take some photos, but there were many others which did not meet the rules.

Within our group this caused significantly more effort than expected, and really was unacceptable, and there were comments that some would never want to do baggage again as a result.

My view is that baggage rules must be strictly enforced, or the bag rejected. I would also limit bags to duffel bags/holdalls (without wheels) and make it clear that the bag must be less than 65 litres. I would suggest a airline style hand luggage box that the bag must fit in.

Comments?

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