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ESSENTIAL EVENT INFORMATION 2023

Due to the scale and nature of Rat Race Events, changes to the event course, structure and timings sometimes need to be made right up until the date of the event.  To ensure you have the latest information and are fully prepared for the challenge that lies ahead, please check back on the EEI before travelling to the event.

 

The EEI was last updated on: 17/04/2023

WELCOME TO DOMINICA

 

Dear Intrepid Toe to Tipper!...

 

We hope you are getting excited to what is going to be an event to remember on the Nature Island of Dominica this summer.

 

Please find our Essential Event Information Document, containing what we hope is a comprehensive outlook towards your journey in just a few months’ time.  If you have not done already, do ensure you are fully conversant with the website and then pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee (or something a little stronger!) and read on….

FILES AND DOWNLOADS:
KEY REMINDERS:

Make sure you’ve read this thoroughly well ahead of your departure date to ensure there are no last minute panics or surprises, if you have any questions after reading this please reach out to us on office@ratrace.com 

SKIP TO SECTION

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TIME ZONE

GMT (-5)

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PHONE CODE

 +1

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LANGUAGE

English & French Patois

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CURRENCY

East Caribbean Dollar. The US Dollar is also widely accepted

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TEMPERATURE

Average July 30 Celsius

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  • Event Detail Form: to be submitted by Monday 22nd May

 

  • Medical Form: to be submitted by Monday 22nd May

  • Snacks: you will need to bring 7 days’ worth of scooby snacks PLUS a day’s contingency. See section below for what we provide at pit stops. Your own snacks are to augment what we provide and make sure you always have something that you fancy.

  • Trackers: Please remember that GPS tracker is not always a-given; you should particularly note this if sharing live links with supporters.

  • Kit: You will need to bring ALL kit that is on the kit list for you to take part in the trip. If your kit is not right the Event team will reserve the right to prevent you starting the event. Don’t worry – there are several more touchpoints before departure to ensure this does not occur. Firstly, the comprehensive kit list is provided with this document, a second Q&A webinar just before we depart to the Caribbean. If in any doubt on kit, please get in touch with us at expeditions@ratrace.com and we can help.

  • Insurance: You need insurance. You will need a medical repatriation and evacuation policy that has a minimum of $500 000 trip cover on it. You will submit this to us pre-event and we will ensure we have the correct number to call your insurer if we need to evacuate you or provide serious medical attention. We also highly recommend a policy that covers you for curtailment and non-attendance.

  • Live Events Decision Making: When we are in Dominica, in all cases whilst on the trip, the Event Directors decision is final. They are at all times acting in the combined interest of the safety of the individual and the group, as their paramount concern.

KEY INFO

PERSONAL DOCUMENTATION
Please use the following as a checklist on what you will require for this trip.
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PASSPORT


(at least 6 months remaining and enough pages for all the required stamps - minimum 2).

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RETURN AIR TICKET


You should ensure you have purchased a return air ticket.   

TRAVEL INSURANCE


See insurance section or event FAQ.   

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PERSONAL MONEY

TRIP MEETING POINT AND END POINT

The dates of the trip are fixed as 29th June – 8th July 2023. These are the dates on which the itinerary commences and finishes.

 

Pick up: You will be picked up at Melville Hall International airport on the 29th June. You will be taken to your accommodation at the southern tip of the island in Soufriere. If you are arriving before 29th please make your way back to the airport for transfer or meet us at our first night’s accommodation. Once we have collated everyone’s flight details we will be able to provide exact pick up times for the transfer.

 

Drop off: You will be dropped back to Melville Hall International airport on the morning of the 8th July. This is where our itinerary ends. If you are staying on to explore the Nature Island, then we can direct you to some reliable transport companies and will wave you goodbye.

WEBINARS


We will do general Q & A webinar on May 4th at 1730 UK time.  This is very useful to attend if you can as an introduction to the event, it will also provide you a live opportunity to ask any questions you may have. It will be recorded and put on the website for those who cannot attend or for anyone to refer back to at a later date. 

TRAINING AND PREPARATION

Dominica Toe to Tip is a substantial undertaking. It is 100miles of extremely hilly and difficult terrain. It is a beautiful island, but it will pack and punch daily. The route is mainly a hike with about 20% that can be run, aim for a pace of 3mph/5kph and you will have plenty of time to finish each day with a Pino colada in hand. Training should now be focusing on consecutive days of hiking; aim for 8 hours of hiking for 3days in a row. Do not avoid hills, hill strength will be the key to success, Dominica is a covered in hills and valleys. If you don’t have access to multiple hills, do some hills repetitions to strengthen the legs. We understand it is by no means easy for everyone to fit in the training, everyone is different, everyone also has different day-to-day pressures, commitments and methods open to them.  

 

Train with the kit you are planning on wearing. You will then be able to check if it is comfortable and fits correctly. Chuck the bag on you is going to be running or hiking with, fill it with some tasty snacks and water, this will help your body to get use to the extra weight on your back. The fitter and more prepared you are for a challenge like this the more you can enjoy each and every moment.

STYLE OF TRAVEL

On this year Toe 2 Tip event we are a very small team. This will mean we can be adaptable on the trail. In general, we will provide lead and sweep staff (and other support vehicles and/ or hikers throughout the course) and we will establish pit stops along the route. We will be travelling on the trail with guides. The best and safest way is to stick with one of the guides. There will be a guide with a slower and faster group. However, you can go at your own pace, hike with others, hike on your own, whatever you fancy. You will not be able to go in front of the first guide or drop behind the sweeper, this is what we call an ‘envelope’. It is there as part of the safety and support system within the difficult terrain. We will not stop you trekking unless you look unlikely to finish in daylight. As such, there is no formal cut-off time as the daily stages could be influenced by weather, tricky river crossings, or other factors – it is very much down to the judgement of the event team on this basis. That is our pledge to you. For your part, just keep moving forward.

REGISTRATION

Registration for the event is split into a ‘pre-event’ Registration phase, where we will ask for information to be submitted online (See the top and bottom of this document for what and when). This will be followed up by a physical registration process upon arrival in Soufriere on 30/6/22.

We will provide you with a safety procedure to follow in case of Emergency while on each phase of the event. This may differ per stage and the safety and Emergency protocols will be made clear to you prior to the commencement of each phase.

VACCINATION & TRAVEL MEDICINE ADVICE

 

We have provided a handy guide to travel medicine and some Dominica-specific medical guidance, HERE. For vaccinations, you should in all cases seek guidance from your local travel clinic, however we do have a contact who is also available and who is highly experienced in expedition medicine. Dr Patrick Musto’s details can be found in the medical section later in this document and you are welcome to discuss such matters with him, in confidence. See more in the medical section, below.

 ACCOMMODATION

ACCOMMODATION

 

1.   Soufriere Guest House

 

We are here for 3 nights. Participants will be roomed in twin and shared rooms. This will form our registration and preparation hub prior to heading out into the course.We will eat all of our meals at the guest house.

 

2.   Petit Paradise, Wooton Waven  

We are here for 1 night. Participants will be roomed in twin and shared rooms.Our hearty Caribbean meals will be cooked by the owners of petit paradise.

 

3.   Kalinago Barana Aute

We will have 1 night of accommodation at Barana Aute. It is a highlight of the trip, the location is spectacular, the history is vast, and the food provided by Rosalind in phenomenal.

 

This is the part of the trip that is more rustic in accommodation style. You will be under a roof for the night, however, there are not set bedrooms or any beds! Here we will arrange ourselves as a team within the open sided building and use our roll mats, sleeping bags and mosquito nets to create a cosy individual space. There are toilets and washing facility. The best place to take a shower after a hot a sweaty day is under the waterfall. Our meal this evening will be a BBQ.

 

4.Sunset bay

 

We will have 1 night accommodation at the Sunset Bay in Salisbury on the West coast of Dominica. You will be able touch the warm Caribbean Sea on the private beach.

 

We will be eating our meals at Sunset bay.

 

4.Portsmouth Beach Hotel

We will spend our last 3 nights at the Portsmouth Beach hotel. A great place for a dip in the sea after a long day of hiking.We will have our meals at Portsmouth beach hotel. However, our last evening meal will have more of a celebratory vibe. Get your dancing shoes at the ready!

FOOD AND BEVERAGES

 

All meals will be provided whilst you are on our itinerary. Typically, this is breakfast, lunch and dinner at Soufriere guest house and breakfasts and dinner every night when the hiking starts.

For the running and hiking days you will be supported by Rat Race Pit Stops (3 per day, we will try to space them evenly, however the length of days and access points vary), featuring water, small grab and go snacks and other treats. On some of the days we will ask you to carry some additional items in your personal backpack. This is dependant of the trail accessibility by a vehicle on some of the days. At pit stop 2 (if present) there will typically be some more savoury items and ‘lunch’ items such as wraps and bread where you are able to make a scooby snack.

You should look to augment these Pit Stops with your own snack supplies and you should very definitely provide your own hydration, electrolyte and sports nutrition supplies. This will be important throughout your adventure, At t
he end of the trip in Portsmouth, we will provide dinner and some celebration drinks.

 
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS AND EXTRAS

 

Where we provide meals as part of the general event service, we will not include alcoholic or soft drinks as standard, and these must be provided by yourselves. See more on local payments, below.

At the hotels there will be a bar where you can but alcoholic and soft drinks. If you put anything onto your ‘tab/room’ please pay for it before you leave the hotel.  

We will provide you with some beers at certain locations, to celebrate a job well-done. That is a Rat Race tradition! These will be at the discretion of the organisers, however. In general, you should expect to pay for alcoholic and soft drinks.

ABLUTIONS AND HYGIENE

 

There is a mixture of accommodation within the itinerary. It is therefore not guaranteed each evening will have a shower facility. The Barana Aute for example does not have shower facilities but it does have a river and waterfall! Therefore, you should keep to a high level of personal hygiene by using wet wipes, washing with minimal water, and always keeping hands clean. Check wounds, rashes, and blisters regularly for infection. 

Pit stops will not contain toilets, so if you need to go out on the course, be prepared.  The firm advice is always to ensure you are ‘self-contained’ with toilet roll and with anti-bacterial handwash gel for the trail. Do NOT leave toilet paper out on the trail, please bring nappy bags to contain used toilet roll and dispose of where at a pit stop or at the hotels.

ALONG THE ROUTE

Our route will take the line from the Southern Toe, Scott’s Head; to the Northern Tip, Capuchin, of Dominica. It is an incredible route of stunning scenery. Taking in the local culture and heritage along with the jungle vibes. A full recce was done of this route in 2021, the inaugural event took place in 2022 but the jungle puts its claws back onto the trail very quickly. This means some of the route has been adapted since the recce in 2021. You must remain open to the possibility that our plan might change due to unforeseen factors, weather, evacuation activity, rising water levels. So, while Plan A is plan A, it is not inconceivable that we may deploy Plan B, C or D if we deem it necessary for your safety.

ROUTEFINDING & GPS

 

We will NOT waymark the route.  Except, for a small sections when our guide at the front thinks it is appropriate to do so or the route has to be diverted due to a fallen tree or similar diversion.

In general, this event is operated with GPS as the main method of route guidance. YOU need to bring a GPS watch and a navigation device or application on your phone.  It is imperative that you are well versed in the usage of your down device and that you are confident in their battery life and reliability.

If you wish to rent a Coros GPS watch from us, that is also possible. At a cost of £50. This will have the GPS already downloaded and you will get tuition of how to use the watch on registration day.  You can let us know on the online form if you wish to rent a Coros Pro.

As stated above, you will get to know your devices intimately on this event. We will also make available route GPX files for you to upload onto your own devices as you see fit. These files will be provided much closer to the commencement of the event, once we are satisfied, we have the final version to share. Experience has shown that we will never share the file until it is the final, final, final version. Or else we end up with version control issues that are hard to resolve.

COURSE CUT OFFS & WITHDRAWALS

This event is not about cut-offs. But, having a ‘cut-off’ and a ‘sweeping’ structure is an important part of our Event Management Plan and Risk Assessment processes. Cut off times are independent of any other factors that occur earlier in the course such as start time, injury, going the wrong way, time taken at Pit Stops, head winds; and whether it is your fault or not. We understand that missing cut offs can be tough to take but please remember this is not the crew member’s fault that breaks the news to you, should it happen to you. Please also remember that if this does happen to you, the Event team’s decision is final.

If you are cut off, there will be no option to re-start from where you were cut off the next day. (The event only ever moves forwards). You may however re-start the next day from the official re-start location, subject to the discretion of the event team. There are a number of reasons why you may be cut-off or withdrawn from the event. These could be medical, pace, kit, personal or other factors. It is OK to retire and to be taken forward to the overnight spot. We’d rather you re-started the next day vs suffer meaninglessly and spoil it for yourself. We call this being ‘boosted. S far as the time available goes to avoid a cut-off, there is no ‘set’ cut off time each day. (i.e.. Time limit or published time). Instead, we require all participants to be at the finish location before nightfall. If this is looking unlikely you will be ‘swept’ forward. That is the cut-off. Above all else, please remember, this event is not about cut-offs. It is about getting the most out of this magical environment. We will not cut you off and sweep you forward unless we really must. And if we do, it is for your own safety.

 

‘Bedding down into the course’

It is probable that when you set off on the Challenge on day 1, the first hours of the first day may be a bit hit n’ miss. Pace, temperature regulation, kit selection, footwear or bag niggles. All to be expected. Embrace that ‘bedding down into it’ phase and listen to your body and to your kit. Expect some unexpected phenomena (not UFOs, just unusual kit or boot issues that you may not have quite been expecting). Use this time to just get used to the environment, the gear and the temperature. Go with it and relax. By Pit Stop 1 or 2, you’ll have worked out enough to be comfortable…

 
TRACKING DEVICE

 

At registration in Soufriere you will be issued with your tracker, (in a ziplock bag (with your name on) inside a small dry bag ). It is your responsibility to look after the device. This device not only allows those at home to follow you on the route, but it also acts as a tracker for us too, meaning we can see where you are throughout the event,

Tracking will go live on the morning of the first hiking day (i.e. the start of the event, at Scott’s Head) at 0700 local time.

The trackers rely on GSM signal to report, (which is generally very good across a lot of our route) but there is a delay on tracking. Sometimes, our team back at base will increase or decrease the reporting frequency, so those watching at home will sometimes not see your dot moving or see you moving very slowly. Or they may see you adrift from others in the group (for example if you have not turned the tracker on!).

It is REALLY important that you ensure anyone watching at home knows this, for their own peace of mind and for our own safety systems. Experience shows that if someone watching at home does not understand this, they can sometimes unwittingly commence full rescue missions by panicking, calling in the cavalry and sparking confusion for us as organisers. As such, it really is a very important point to note.

If we have any issues or snagging with tracker units, our basecamp team can see this, and we will pull them back in and reset them for you. As with the GPS units, you must return this device at the end of the event or whenever a member of staff asks for you to do so (for example to check a setting or to charge it). Do also hand to a member of staff should you drop out on any day. As with all electronic devices, there is a replacement cost. For the tracker, it is £150. 

Looking after your GPS kit and your tracker:

Once we hand you your tracker or rented tech devices, it is your responsibility to look after the devices until you return them to us at the finish line in exchange for your medal.

 

All devices will be given to you at registration, and you will undergo a familiarisation session with them that day. You will also be issued with charging cable and other accessories, and it will be your responsibility to keep the devices charged and functional during the event.

You must return all devices at the end of the event and until then, you keep them with you.

EVENT INSTRUCTIONS

EVENT REGISTRATION AND PRE-EVENT ADMIN

 

Formal Registration for the event is completed in 3 phases:

1.) Online enrolment, payment – COMPLETE

2.) Submission of online event details and medical form (by 22nd May) and online waiver all pre-event.

3.) Physical registration at Soufriere Guest House on 30/6/23. You will complete a final physical kit check with our event team, do a short final paperwork exercise including checking your insurance company contact details, present some ID and do a medial interview. You will also receive your event bib and bag tags, GPS devices, trackers and other items. There will of course be some briefings. If you have rented a GPS watch, we will hand these out at this time also. We will introduce you to the mighty team that will be with you every step of the way throughout the event.

EVENT REGISTRATION PAC

In Soufriere, there will be one event pack issued per person. Your Event Pack will contain:

Race Bib 

This must always be  visible.

 

Baggage Labels

For your overnight bag;  Pit stop bag and your Race bag.

Tracking Device

Event T-shirt

 If we do not receive your size you will be given a Large

PIT STOPS

 

Our provision will be made available to you throughout on the route daily at our pit stops. Each Pit Stop will feature a vehicle, staff, first aid support, comms and of course, some food and drink. Expect the odd cameo local snack appearance, some baked goods from time to time, plenty of sweets and salty snacks and loads of fresh fruit.

 

General note on food – trail snacks
The meal plan above gives you breakfast and dinner each day.

 

Please pack your own hearty supply of snacks and electrolytes that you enjoy on the trail. These can be stored in your day packs and topped up each night when you are reunited with your overnight bags.

BAGS

There are 3 bags you need for this event:

1.   Day pack for the hike/run stages – You will use this bag to carry food, water and other supplies during the trekking. Please make sure it is big enough to carry all the mandatory kit. You can choose to carry water in a bladder or water bottles.

2.   Pit stop bag – You will have access to this bag at pit stop 2 on each day. This just needs to be a very small bag (10litres) that has some spare things in such as electrolytes, spare socks, sun cream etc.

3. Main overnight bag - This should be a soft duffel or hold-all (please, no hard cases) and be capable of carrying all the kit you will not be wearing during the biking or trekking stages. It must be one bag (not a series of bags) but your sleeping bag can be separate. Size is not too important – up to 120l is OK as we do realise all this kit is bulky. In general, we ask that you attempt to get this bag to around the 23kg mark (this is the upper limit for most ‘standard’ airline checked luggage anyway).This bag will be left with our event team each day and you will have access to it each evening.

ID

By entering this event you agreed that you have entered in your own name (not nickname) and will bring photographic ID to event Registration at Soufriere to prove your identity. Clearly, having got on an aircraft in a seat booked in your own name, this should not be too difficult! It is however a requirement for us to know categorically know who at the event, hence the final physical ID check.

AVOIDING KIT CATASTROPHE IN TRANSIT
 

It is not impossible that your gear may not arrive with you into Dominica. In general, the longer you are in country, the easier this is to solve. Once you start travelling away from major airports, getting re-united with lost bags becomes harder. However, it is not impossible and if you do lose bags or if they do not arrive, it does not necessarily spell certain doom. However, to avoid the chances of total catastrophe, we would recommend that you do travel with some event clothing in your hand luggage: A set of hiking/running kit, something to wear top and bottom, a hat, some footwear would be minimum recommended. Indeed, you can travel wearing this gear.

Experience tells us that if you arrive wearing or physically carrying some of what you need, the likelihood of getting you on the start-line increases dramatically, vs those who entire event kit is in their hold baggage, making its way around a carousel in the wrong airport far, far away.

START LIST

01       Stuart               Baird

02        Vicky                Batchelor

03        Rachel             Cullen

04        David               Poole

05        Helen               Sargison

06        Alexandra      Shore

07        Eleni                 Tassi

08        Bodean           Tiernan

09        Donna              Whyte

10        Gregor             Whyte

MANDATORY KIT LIST

MANDATORY KIT LIST

 

Some of the kit listed is to help you have a safe experience and have the best chance of finishing. Some of this kit is to ensure that if you are unable to continue without our assistance then we can be confident of you having the level of equipment required to keep you as comfortable as possible whilst you wait for that assistance. Some of it is simply to keep you from perishing. It is a serious list, and we know everyone knows this, but we ask that you please do work with us on this. Please do not skimp on kit. As we have pointed out in the webinar thus far, the weather in Dominica is changeable. Dramatically so. Spare sets of kit will be worn, you will get wet, and you will want to get dry and comfortable again. As such, do not skimp on kit!

The full mandatory kit list can be viewed HERE, please check well in advance on kit. We have devised the mandatory kit list for your protection and safety, and we will not be able to make any exceptions on required items.

MOSQUITO NETS

We have added a mosquito net to the kit list as a recommended kit item. Dominica does not have malaria, but it does have mosquitos. Mosquitos are known to carry various diseases that are present in the Caribbean. We will take the necessary precautions daily, such as wearing insect repellent and covering up at dawn and dusk. All the hotels will have mosquito nets as standard. Whilst staying at the Barana Aute there will not be mosquito nets available to you.

 

A self-supporting mosquito net would be of most benefit, (see kit list for suggestions) however if have a mosquito net that needs to be hung from the ceiling, hooks can be arranged for you during that phase of the accommodation. Please note this item of kit is recommended but is not essential.

JUNGLE BAY KIT CHECK 

 

We would have undertaken another webinar Q&A in advance of travelling to Dominica. However, we will reserve the right to inspect some or all of your kit upon arrival in Dominica.

 

As a minimum we will be checking:

 

  • Sleeping bag and Roll Mat

  • Waterproofs

  • A working headtorch

  • A first aid kit containing the minimum mandatory items (see relevant section)

  • Suitable footwear

 

There is not instant access to sports shops in Soufriere and the ability to ‘fill in any gaps’ is therefore heavily reduced; however, we can assist in the event of major kit catastrophe

KIT HIGHLIGHTS / KEY ITEMS
  • Comfortable cross-country trainers or hiking boots

  • Sun hat and sunglasses

  • Walking/running poles

  • Self-supported Mosquito net

  • 2 season Sleeping bag

  • Camping mat pf thermarest

  • Light weight waterproofs

FIRST AID

Our minimum spec for mandatory medical kit (to be carried at all times) is as follows: 

·     1 x triangular bandage

·     1 x  crepe roll bandage

·     Gauze or similar absorbent dressing 

·     Small set of scissors

·     Pain Killers (paracetamol)

·     Steri-Strips 

·     Antiseptic (spray or cream) 

·     Assorted plasters 

·     Rubber gloves 

·     Prescribed medication 

·     Zinc oxide tape 

·     Compeed – various sizes 

·     Lube stick 

·     Sudacrem  

ITINERARY

The days below are counted from ‘arrival and meeting day’, which is the day we pick you up from the airport and drive to Jungle Bay.

 
DAY ONE / MEETING AND TRAVEL DAY

29th June 2023

Meet at Melville Hall International airport or at Soufriere `guest `house. We will load up luggage and travel approx. 1.5hours to the South. Get you checked in a settled before we have a relaxed dinner together.*Airport pick up times will be provided prior to event once all ‘events details forms’ have been received.

Meals: Dinner will be provided.

Accommodation: Twin and shared rooms in hotel accommodation

DAY TWO / REG, GEAR PREP AND BRIEFING

30th June 2023

 

We will have breakfast and then get stuck into a morning’s worth of registration activities. We will eat lunch and there will be time in the afternoon to stretch your legs and explore the charm of Soufriere, relax, prep kit or head out on the optional excursion to the local hot springs.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided

Accommodation: Twin and shared rooms in hotel accommodation

DAY THREE / DOMINICA TOE TO TIP BEGINS!

1st July 2023

 

We will make our way the short distance to Scott’s Head at the very bottom of the island. You will cover 12 jungle miles today as your first taste of the amazing WNT trail, finishing the day at Bellevue Choplin. Today you’ll take in some of the best scenery the jungle has to offer including enormous riverbeds, hot springs and remote villages. Once you have finished the stage, you will be transported back to Sourfiere. You will be staying here for one final night before our accommodation becomes more rustic for a couple of nights. 

 

Meals: Breakfast, pit stops, and dinner provided

Accommodation: Twin and shared rooms in hotel accommodation

Distance: 12 miles/20km

DAY FOUR / BELLEVUE CHOPLIN TO POINT CASSE

2nd July 2023

Another bright and early start, a great breakfast before heading onto the trail for another 17 miles. You will have a gradual ascent to get you right into the rugged heart of the island. We will be staying at the Petit paradise which is high up in the rain forest, temperatures will be a bit cooler. You will enjoy the forest sound all around.

 

Accommodation: Twin and shared rooms in hotel accommodation

Meals: Breakfast, pit stops, and dinner provided

Distance: 18miles/30km

DAY FIVE / CULTURAL EXPERIENCE DAY

3rd July 2023

After a restful night sleeping with the cacophony of jungle sounds, we are greeted with fresh coffee and local fruits before hitting the trail straight from our accommodation. The trail passes some of the most stunning scenery on the island and the famous emerald pools. Have a quick dip before you continue! The route journeys through dense forest into more open an expansive terrain of the Kalinago territory. Grab yourself a fresh coconut harvested from one of the local tribe members before continuing towards the coast; the sea breeze will cool you down for the last few miles. Throughout the day we will be accompanied by some local guides who will be telling stories of the local heritage and mythological stories associated with this truly special island.As you arrive on the East coast you will be greeted warm smiles with the smells of a feast being cooked by the locals. We will enjoy the local hospitality before heading back to the headquarters for our last roughing it.

Accommodation: Barana Aute. Rustic accommodation where we will use our roll mats, sleeping bags and mosquito nets.

Meals: Breakfast, pit stops, and dinner provided

Distance: 20miles/33km

DAY SIX / PONT CASSE TO PETITE MACOUCHERIE

4th July 2023

Today will give us a little bit of rest bite compared to the previous 3 days on foot. We head off the standard WNT trail to explore the West of Dominica. The terrain is both on trail and road throughout the day. Ascending down to the West coast along the Layou valley before heading back through banana plantations and farming land before hiking up to Macoucherie. From here you will be transported to the town of Salisbury to enjoy a great night’s sleep with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.  

 

Meals: Breakfast, pit stops, and dinner provided

Accommodation: Twin and shared rooms in hotel accommodation

Distance: 13miles/22km

DAY SEVEN / PETITE MACOUCHERIE TO
COLIHAUT HEIGHT

5th July 2023

After a very short section on road the trail turns North and back into the jungle. The trail today may be the shortest, but it is very undulating as it takes you through the foothills of the Morne Diablotins. Once you have finished your day at Colihaut heights you will be whisked away to a lovely hotel in Portsmouth where you will be spending the next 3 nights.

 

Meals: Breakfast, pit stops, and dinner provided

Accommodation: Twin and shared rooms in hotel accommodation

Distance: 8miles/13km

DAY EIGHT / COLIHAUT HEIGHT TO BORNE

6th July 2023

You are back into the dense jungle for the majority of the day, however the first 5 miles of the route is quick, this will be a good chance to shake out the legs before heading into the more remote section of the jungle and through ancient estate lands. Descending towards the lower slopes of the west coast and the area around Portsmouth. You will head back to your hotel for a solid nights sleep.

Meals: Breakfast, pit stops, and dinner provided

Accommodation: Twin and shared rooms in hotel accommodation

Distance: 12.5miles/21km

DAY NINE/ BORNE TO CAPUCHIN

7th July 2023

Your final day on the trail brings together all of the elemenst that make the WNT so unique. You will beb in the jungle, along some small roads, be cooled down by the sea breeze and see wide vistas of the the Caribeean sea and the island itself. The final day will bring you to Capuchin (Cape Melville) at the very northern tip of the island. After high fives all around, a good Caribbean welcome and a beer you will be transported back to our cosy hotel for a well-deserved celebration dinner and drinks.

 

Meals: Breakfast, pit stops, and dinner provided

Accommodation: Twin and shared rooms in hotel accommodation

Distance: 13miles/22km

DAY NINE/ DEPARTURE DAY

8th July 2023

After a final breakfast together, we will transfer you back to Melville Hall International airport, or you may have chosen to stay on the wonderful island for longer. This is where we will say our goodbye.

 

Accommodation: N/A

Meals: Breakfast provided

 

Please note all distances and ascents are approximate due to the rugged nature of the island.

MEDICAL OPERATION & PARTICIPANT SAFETY 

MEDICAL OPERATIONS


Our team is there for you in case you have an incident with which you require assistance. The team will shadow the progress of the Challenge each day in vehicles and on foot; before establishing a med centre each afternoon at the location to which we are heading for our accommodation. Whilst the medics are there for ‘what ifs,’ they are also a great source of preventative advice; so please do use them to ask questions and check best practice, particularly in suspected foot injury or issues such as blisters. We will also have medical staff on foot with you for some specific sections of the route.

 

MEDICAL PRE- SCREENING 

We have invited you to have a medical screening process, which can be completed via the link below. Please complete this as soon as possible – and certainly please, no later than 1st June 2023. If you do have any condition that you feel we should know about, however small you feel it may be, please do share this with our Medics. Experience has shown that early pre-screening can assist both us and you greatly in enabling the care you need pre and during the trip. If you do not share information on conditions which are likely to affect your participation or decide to share them very late in the process, we are all under pressure and we will always reserve the right to cancel your participation if we feel there is a medical issue that may affect yours, or others’ safety. So please, do share anything and everything you feel our team should know about, at the earliest opportunity.

 

 IMPORTANT NOTE ON SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS AND MEDICAL INFORMATION:

We are very fortunate to have an excellent Medical Director providing oversight, planning and screening on all of our international trips, who in turn engages seriously professional and qualified staff to join you on the trip. Rat Race also conforms and has been audited to the rigorous BS8848 standard of expedition management. This means our approach to all things safety and medical is extremely thorough and it is designed throughout with your best interest at heart.

 

Your medical screening details will be sent direct to our medical team and under medical confidentiality rules, this will only be shared with our medics and no-one else. If they decide this is info that is in the best interests of everyone for us as organisers to be privy to, they will seek and gain your consent before doing so. It is therefore important you complete the link to the medical survey only which can be found HERE; do not send Rat Race medical information direct. If you have any queries at all on the medical side of things in relation to this event, you can email our Medical Director, Dr Patrick Musto and his team directly and confidentially on office@trailmed.co.uk and he will assist.

 

TRAVEL MEDICINE ADVICE

As well as being a practising NHS Emergency Care Doctor and Expedition Medicine Specialist, Dr Musto is also a qualified travel medicine practitioner. Our advice is and remains always to seek guidance from your local travel clinic in respect of applicable vaccinations, however Patrick is a go-to resource and can also assist, if you have direct questions. To view some handy vaccination info we have prepared in relation to the destination, please view the PDF HERE.

 
GENERAL SAFETY AROUND VEHICLES

This event takes place on the trail there are some points that we crossroads or run for sections along the roads. Whilst traffic is extremely light!), there are still vehicles. We do of course have our own event vehicles operating and you may therefore come across our own vehicles or others. Vigilance must be taken at all times.

 

LITTER

We want to show that this event has exemplary control of littering. Please help us achieve that. Pack your litter into your pack, pockets or nearby bin bag (trash sack) at a vehicle. No exceptions Dominica is a beautiful environment, and our absolute commitment is to keep it that way.

 

EMERGENCY PROTOCOL

In the event of a true emergency or serious incident you will be notified of protocols at the orientation in Soufriere. If you are with an injured party whilst on the route, stay with the casualty and await assistance. In the event of a non-emergency incident but for which action is requested from the organisers, then you should place a call (we will give you numbers) or if no phone reception, you should send a message forward to the next Pit Stop with another participant if possible and/or await an event crew member approaching via vehicle/or on foot from behind. This might be medical, logistical or kit/ equipment breakdown as examples. We politely ask that you stop and help someone that is in difficulty – you will be the first person to find them – remember to take note of time, place (number of km, or minutes/ hours from last Pit Stop) and participant number/ name at the incident site. Remember we are all in it together and we are in effect one big team.

 

MUSIC PLAYERS

While these are allowed, please control their volume according to your environment. Always use your judgment when listening to music or audiobooks. Please also be aware that if you cannot hear general voice levels you might miss instructions or warnings from crew, other participants or approaching vehicles. We suggest that you run the leads behind you so that persons or vehicles approaching from behind might be able to see that you are wired for sound.

 

 EVENT BIB

Ensure your Bib is attached to some of your clothing and visible at all times.

INSURANCE FOR YOU AND YOUR EQUIPMENT

 

We have asked that you have in place Travel Insurance cover and specified Evacuation cover to last for a minimum period of the event duration for the days you are with us on the published itinerary. Evacuation and medical expenses cover should total no less than $500 000. We recommend that participants have insurance to cover damage, loss, theft, injury and non-attendance. Rat Race cannot accept any responsibility for the loss of, theft, or damage to any Participant property or the circumstances of Participant non-attendance. Within the 12 week departure window, we cannot provide any transfers and in all cases, we cannot entertain requests for refunds. We respectfully remind all participants that unforeseen circumstances preventing attendance is what travel insurance is designed for and is the reason for this as a strong recommendation on such undertakings. You should  submit copies of your insurance via the Event Details Form. Alongside this, we ask that medical screening is completed, plus an online waiver. Please see the actions list at the bottom of this document for details.
 

Some suggested providers are as follows:

For UK and Channel Island residents Rat Race’s own insurer brokers have a brand-new product: 

https://www.mannbroadbent.co.uk/sports-travel-insurance/.


Note: This is Rat Race’s UK-based insurance broker, specialising in the leisure insurance market. This is a specialist sports travel cover product; however Rat Race is neither an insurance broker or underwriter. We can recommend Mann Broadbent wholeheartedly as good people to deal with, but please remember that this is not a ‘Rat Race product’ and we have no say whatsoever on claims decisions made by the insurers, in the event that you raise such a claim via one of these policies.
 

Other Providers:

www.battleface.com

www.bigcattravelinsurance.com

www.internationalsos.com

 

Note: We have no relationship with any of these providers, but previous customers have found them reasonable to deal with regarding some of our similar Bucket List challenges.

Note: For all insurance, please remember that cover is offered based on several factors, (the nature of the event disciplines being one of them), but your own insurance profile, age, health and other details form a big part of this. As such, we are always happy to provide details to insurers in support of cover requests from customers, but we cannot influence their decisions as to whether to offer cover to individuals.

 
 
POOR WEATHER CONTINGENCY

 

Dominica in July is known for its varied weather conditions. Please be prepared for the multiple weather conditions and temperatures ranging from hot to colder at the higher elevations. The terrain and altitudes along the route will also have an effect on the temperature.

 The event will proceed in many conditions, but if it is deemed unsafe to continue due to weather conditions, the event will be halted at the current hotel or accommodation location. If required, we will await more favourable conditions to re-commence. This may result in some stages being cut short to achieve daily mileages within the time available. In all cases, the decision of the Event team is final in these matters. We will monitor weather throughout, and rest assured that any decision we do make in this regard is only ever made with the safety of event participants at its core.

 

EVACUATION PLANNING

You have already been made aware that this is a serious undertaking in remote terrain. We have vehicles in support throughout the trek, there are some locations to which we can get a vehicle but in general, these are far less accessible. Whilst helicopter evacuation is possible for the most serious of matters, it is not always a-given that a helicopter can fly (night, weather, wind, lack of landing spot or winch capability). You need to be fully aware therefore that an evacuation from the event where vehicle access is not possible is an extremely serious undertaking. In the event that such an undertaking is deemed to be required, it may be that YOU become part of the safety system. We will reserve the right at all times to call upon members of the Event, alongside crew, to assist in any evacuation activity whatsoever required in order to remedy the situation as quickly and decisively as possible. This may involve diverting off the route, assisting with casualty-bearing and load-carrying, or other duties.

You should also know that the evacuation time at certain parts of the course could be considerable. It is important that we state unequivocally that we cannot remove all risk from such an undertaking, nor would we state such. You are entering an area where the remoteness of the undertaking and the slowness of possible evacuation could result in Death. Mitigation of such scenarios is our number one priority. Your ability to reduce the risk posed by trauma is key: Taking your time, particularly on steep descents, descending rough ground in a carefully controlled manner is all part of this mitigation against injury. Your use of trekking poles for example will also help on the trekking section. You must take your time, undertake each event phase very much with a clear understanding of the environment you are in and come to the table with a team mentality on this one. That way, we will stay safe, and we will mitigate and reduce the risks outlined above.

 
 
 
 
 
 

OTHER ADMIN MATTERS

EVENT ETHOS:
‘RACING’ AND OUR FINISH TIMES SERVICE


Completing not competing. Rat Race’s ethos has always been about inspiring folk to undertake challenges in awesome outdoor locations. Dominica Toe to Tip is just that, taken to an epic level. This is not a formal race environment and there are no winners and losers. We do not award prizes for the fastest folk. There will be no splits. Indeed, there will be no timings. Rat Race totally appreciate the incredible commitment of those taking on the challenges we lay down and each participant is as important as the next regardless of how fast you can cover the distance. This is akin far more to an expeditionary undertaking than anything else.

In delivering this unique challenge we prioritise factors such as safety, camaraderie and environmental concerns. Respecting the wishes of local stakeholders with our route management and litter policies is vital in being able to bring folk together for this unique experience. Safety above all else is paramount, as you will fully appreciate. To reasonably balance all these factors, we emphasise that the event is not a formal race environment, rather it is a challenge in the great outdoors where great folk come together with a common purpose.


 
LOCAL PAYMENTS

Most locations in Dominica take credit and debit cards. Having some local currency is a good idea however. When we are staying in hotels, you may charge incidentals to your room if the hotel has that facility. All room accounts should be settled prior to leaving the accommodation in each location. If hotel room bills remain unsettled Rat Race will reserve the right to charge your nominated card, plus a $20 admin charge per unpaid bill.
 

Comms coverage and data 

You will most likely have phone reception on Dominica itself. There should be WiFi for the majority of accommodation, it can however be unreliable in Dominica.  The event will not be providing satellite data or phone services as standard unless for EMERGENCY USE.

CONTACT DETAILS AND ACTIONS CHECK LIST

1.) For ALL pre-event email correspondence prior to departure: 

 

expeditions@ratrace.com  - Challenge-based questions, kit, training, route, prep 

 

office@ratrace.com - Admin-based questions

 

office@trailmed.co.uk  - Medical-based advice or discussion on medical conditions in confidence

2.) For specific arrivals and pre-trip issues to Dominica in the immediate day’s pre-arrival – We ask that you use the Facebook group in the first instance and assistance shall be provided by a team member best placed to assist. You will also be issued phone numbers for this arrivals period which will be issued much nearer the time.

3.) Emergency correspondence from people who need to get in touch with you (i.e. from those who need to contact you) IN EMERGENCY ONLY while you are embarked on the event: events@ratrace.com

The originator should quote ‘Emergency correspondence for (yourname)’ in the email title and they must provide a phone number for return comms. This will be patched through to our crew’s mobile phones, (or satellite messaging platform if we are out of reception) from our office and a satellite phone will be made available for you to return the comms to the originator. We would aim to provide a suitable response period of within 24 hrs for this service to the originator.Please, please, please do tell your family and supporters not to contact us about Tracker Emergencies!

FINAL CHECK LIST 

Submitted no later than the 22nd May. 

Submitted no later than the 22nd May. 

1730 UK Time - 4th May 

That’s it. Pheeeww! See you in Dominica…

Abbi Naylor, Event Director
Rat Race Head of Expeditions

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