As a marshal I am always looking for more efficient ways to carry out my on event duties which will not only benefit you but also benefit the event and its organisation.
These tips are presented in order for you to evaluate them for yourself and to adopt if they suit your method of working.
I would be grateful if you would provide me with your own tips so that they maybe shared throughout HERO’s marshals.
Marshals Tip No. 1
As you know at times you are required to erect control boards at locations using stakes.
In most cases you would use a staple gun and staples to secure the control board to the stake.
How many of you have subsequently ripped your hands and fingers on either the stake or the control board on un-removed staples. I know I have during events and also when ‘cleaning’ the boards prior to putting them back into storage.
A less risky option is to use pre-drilled stakes complete with bolts, butterfly nuts and a washers.
I have graphically illustrated the size of the stakes that are required, with the details of how they should be pre-drilled. I use rough sawn wood but be carefully of splinters!
The bolt should be an 8mm x 50mm crosshead bolt with an 8mm washer and an 8mm butterfly nut.
Using a butterfly nut makes the attaching and removing of the control board easier and can be done with cold hands!!!
Using a 1200mm long stake will allow it to be secured into the ground whilst leaving a good length above the ground enabling the competitors to see the control board more easily.
As these stakes are used frequently winding gaffer tape or equivalent around the top of the stake will offer some protection from splitting.
When fitting the board it looks better if the crosshead bolt is fitted through the front of the control board and then bolt is passed through the stake, washer put on the bolt then the butterfly nut.
Three stakes would be an ideal number to be included in your marshalling equipment.
Using this method means that boards are easily interchangeable without risking nasty hand injuries.
My thanks to Bob Fisher and Joy Hewson who use this method and supplied the tip.
Footnote from Peter Nedin - Clerk of the Course.
The idea is a good one and certainly avoids the lengthy task of removing staples from hundreds of boards after Le Jog. However, one word of caution, control boards can be expensive, and no organiser likes to see holes prodded with a screw driver in a set of new boards. I would rather see a neat hole punched in a board and to ensure uniformity and neatness, all HERO control boards will in future be pre-punched to allow for this mod.