Imber Ultra 2016 - Notes for spectators
The race organisers are very supportive of spectators. For Southern England much of the course is fairly remote, so we are very happy if people want to follow/support their runner. From experience at other races we know that following spectators can end up "adopting" other runners as well, as they keep seeing them every few miles. That is greatly appreciated!
The Imber Ultra course is not the easiest to follow in a car and some parts are a long way from the road. We hope the following notes are helpful. You really need an OS or good road map to follow the course by car.
Start to CP1
The route goes through the edge of Warminster. The best place by car to get to the route is up the Imber Road from the centre of town. The route goes a few hundred metres along this road, which should be very quiet on a Sunday morning, before it goes on a footpath over the hill forts.
The turning for this is not easy to find and there is not much parking at CP1.
So we advise you to skip this as a point to meet your runners please.
CP1 to CP2
The only section of this leg that is easily accessible by car is a stretch of back road off the A36 from the village of Heytesbury up to East Farm and the gate for the Imber Ranges. There are places you can stop on the verge on this road. This road should also be very quiet.
CP2 Chitterne to Tilshead
CP2 is a little layby full of the water table and race volunteers, with no room for spectators. The best place to stop in Chitterne is near the Church. If you are coming from Warminster, watch out for runners on the road as you enter the village (no pavement) then take the second left, which is the road to Tilshead. The runners turn down here, then after 20m turn right up Back Lane. This is a good place to stop. Please do not try to follow the runners up Back Lane as it is single track and they very shortly turn off it to go up a mud bridleway.
We have moved CP3 for 2016 and the ideal place to park is across the main road A360 (west) from the petrol garage in Tilshead, which is where CP3 was in 2014 & 2015. There is a big gravel lay by. This is the first place you can conveniently see the runners since Chitterne.
If you drive from Chitterne to Tilshead you will have seen CP3 as you start to descend down the hill to Tilshead. There will be lots of parking at this CP as well.
CP3 to CP4
Most of this is parallel to the main road (A360) and not easy to get to. However at Gore Cross, south of West Lavington, you can turn left (coming from Tilshead) onto the route again. You are now on the route of the race and can drive along it in a normal car for up to 8 miles.
However that can be really annoying to the other runners, who may feel they need to get off the road to let you pass.
Therefore we suggest you see your runner here at Gore Cross, which is a mile before CP4, then drive down to West Lavington and take the B3098 westwards.
On the B3098 out of the village of Erlestoke you climb a hill, on the right you pass Erlestoke Golf Club and immediately after you can turn left up Coulston Hollow. This road goes up the hill and joins the race route again. But when at the top of the hill you cannot go westwards again in the same direction as the runners in a normal car.
This checkpoint is at the Bratton Gate of the ranges. To meet it find the Imber road out of Bratton towards the ranges. Again you can drive from here all the way to the Westbury White Horse,
but we and the other runners would prefer you did not please!
Westbury White Horse
Last few miles, but your support will be really welcome. There is a big car park behind the White Horse, but the route does not go through it. Instead the runners should come along a track to the south, a couple of hundred metres away. So further away from the White Horse than the car park. South east of the car park you can see some farm buildings. If you drive up there you can park easily on the route.
After that we suggest you get back to Westbury as quickly as you can!
We hope these notes are helpful. Any questions before the race or comments after the race please mail
Richard, the race director.
The race depends on the goodwill of the locals for it to run, so please drive and park courteously wherever you are, with consideration for people getting out of their driveways, for example. Thank you for being a vital part of the event!