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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: 23/06/2024 


We hope you’re looking forward to this epic adventure in September across the stunning Hebridean Isles! This is our Essential Event Information Document, which contains a comprehensive round up of everything you need to know before take on the challenge! Make sure you’ve read this thoroughly well ahead of the event to ensure there are no last-minute panics or surprises, if you have any questions after reading this, please reach out to us on


We’ll see you on the starting line very soon! 


Event Director, Hebrides Tip to Toe 2024.


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



  • Event Participation Form MUST be submitted NO later 19th July 2024.

  • Medical declaration MUST be submitted NO later than 19th July 2024.

  • 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. If in any doubt on kit, please get in touch with us at and we can help.  

  • Live events decision making: in all cases whilst on the trip, the Event Directors decision is final. They are always acting in the combined interest of the safety of the individual and the group, as their paramount concern.   


Registration Info

Date: Thursday 19th September 1100am 

Location: Muthu Ben Doran, Tyndrum, Perthshire, Scotland, FK20 8RZ 


We will do a very quick registration before we depart Tyndrum. Please arrive at the Muthu Ben Doran prior to 1100 so we can register everyone and brief at 1100 ready for a 1120 departure. A full briefing will take place on the ferry, or at the hostel in Stornoway if the crossing is rough/busy. This will be with your expedition team and there will be the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have and get to know your fellow #ratracers! 


We will be doing random spot kit checks throughout the event and may ask you to carry extra kit if the weather dictates. You will be issued with your tracker at the Hostel once we arrive in Stornoway.


To the Pre-event registration -  Muthu Ben Doran Hotel, Tyndrum, Perthshire, Scotland, FK20 8RZ (Please arrive prior to 1100 to load kit into vans/trailers before the 1100 briefing). 


By public transport: despite being a small village, Tyndrum has two train stations (Tyndrum Upper and Lower) and is well served by mainline buses from Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Muthu Ben Duran Hotek is within 7 mins' walk of both train stations, and the bus will stop directly outside if asked. 


If you plan to drive: Muthu Ben Doran agreed to allow us to park for the trip. This is charged at £10 per vehicle per day, so this is £50 for the event's duration. This is to be paid directly to hotel reception on the day. 


We will return to the Muthu Ben Doran Hotel together on the final day (Monday 23rd September 2024) before going our own separate ways and making our own way home from there. 


All transport to and from Tyndrum is included. You need to get yourself to and away from there, we will take care of the rest. 


Our ferry is scheduled to depart Castlebay at 0700 (tbc) with a scheduled docking into Oban at 1140 (tbc) It is then approximately a 1-hour drive back to Tyndrum. Anticipated arrival back in Tyndrum at 1pm.  


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 in person on the 19th September.

We will provide you with a safety procedure to follow in case of an 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.  


The accommodation is mixed and shared. We have a Hostel, an Outdoor Centre, and a few hotel spots. You should all bring a travel towel, as towels will not always be provided. It is recommended that you bring an eye mask and a set of ear plugs that you are comfortable with, so that you give yourself the best chance of a good night’s rest. 


All food on the islands will be included. You should expect to supply your own lunch on Day 1 and may wish to purchase lunch from the ferry on the return on Day 5. The food prepared will be varied, substantial and appropriate for this type of undertaking. There is no need for you to supplement it with additional food, though if you wish to bring specific gels, bars, powders etc. of a preferred sports nutrition provider, please do. You can keep some of this in person and keep spares in your Pit Stop bag. Water will be available at all pit stops and transitions. If you wish to purchase additional food or drinks during the trip, this will be at your own expense.  




Formal Registration for the event is completed in 3 phases. 

1.) Online enrolment, acceptance of terms and conditions, payment: COMPLETE 

2.) Submission of online event details form and medical form (by 19th July 2024)

  • Pre-Event Participation Form - complete HERE

  • Medical Declaration - complete HERE

3.) Physical registration at the Muthu Ben Doran Hotel on 19th July. 


At Registration, there will be one adventure pack issued per person. This will contain: 

​Personalised Race Bib: Surname and Number

You must wear this over all clothing so that it is always visible or attach it to your day pack.

Bike number

To attach to the front of your bike. 

Baggage labels

For your overnight, transition and running/day bag. These must be attached to your bag before handing them over to our crew to transport.


We will issue the tracking device and demonstrate its use

Event T-shirt & Rat Rag

 If you do not select your t-shirt size via the pre-event form in advance, you will automatically be allocated a Large.



The full kit list can be found HERE.


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. The weather in the Hebrides is extremely changeable. 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! 

Before the event starts you will be required to show us a minimum of the following:


  • Waterproof jacket and trousers with TAPED or WELDED seams 

  • A working headtorch 

  • Survival bag (NOT blanket) 

  • A First Aid Kit including a triangular or conformable roller bandage and a separate sterile absorbent material (e.g. gauze or gauze bandage) 

  • Cycling helmet 

  • Working front and rear bike lights 

  • Cycling clothing with hi-vis patches/stripes/hi-vis jacket 

  • A backpack that will be used to carry mandatory kit with you during the event. 

  • Hydration pack and / or bottles, sufficient to carry minimum 1L water. 


Subject to the weather forecast conditions you may be asked to show any other items from the mandatory kit list. This will be communicated in advance if this is the case. If you do not have the appropriate kit with you when you register, you will not be allowed to race. Much of the kit is not for when you are moving but if you become unable to move and are awaiting assistance. It is your responsibility to work with this system and respect the plan put in place by our safety team.  


Tip - You may wish to bring multiple pairs of running shoes as it’s likely they’ll get wet at some point each day! 


 Your bike will be transported by our vehicles when not in use on the trip. So, you do not need to worry about how the bike gets from A to B when you are on foot or in the kayak. It is likely that we will use a bike trailer for all road movements of the bikes, meaning we will not require you to dismantle it each time we transport it. 



We recommend that your kit is packed into 3 separate areas: 


Overnight bag - up to 70L / 15KG: this is your main bag with most of your kit for the trip, including spare kit, evening kit, wash kit etc. You will leave it at the start of each day for transportation to the overnight accommodation. There is a size and weight limit due to the limitations of our transport vehicles and we may check bags if considered bulky and/or overweight. Please do not pack any fragile items or liquids in weak containers as they may leak in transit. Bags should be waterproof as they may be exposed to the rain and may sit on wet ground. 


Pit Stop / Finish Line bag - up to 35L: this is a smaller bag that you will be able to access at the transitions between run/bike/paddle but not necessarily at other Pit Stops. In here you may pack warm layers for quick access when you finish, personal nutrition if you wish to supplement what we offer at the Pit Stops with your own personal favourites, and anything else that you may want or need during the day & at the finish line! 


Race day bag - this is the bag you will keep with you on your person at all times throughout each of the race days. It is essential that you can fit all of the mandatory kit in this bag. We recommend that you train with it before the event so that you know it well and you minimise the chance of kit problems on the day! 


To recap – 1 x 70L bag which you will only have access to at the overnight accommodation (15kg max), 1 x 35L will be transported to the pit stops during the day for you and your race bag. 


2 key points to emphasise on packing:  


  1.  We ask that you bring soft duffel bag style packs only. NO SUITCASES. These are generally bulkier, heavier, and more awkward to pack and transport. This goes for your overnight bag and pit stop bags. 

  2. Please avoid the temptation to overpack. 3 days' worth  of activity kit should not take up too much room, and you really do not need a lot more than that. If your bags are any larger than outlined above, you have too much stuff. 



We have planned a blinder of a route that stretches from north to south across this wondrous archipelago that forms a barrier from the wild Atlantic and Scotland’s West Coast. It really is a belter!



The nature of an adventure is that sometimes, the uncertain becomes certain! That is all part of the adventure. Whilst we will always strive to pull off ‘Plan A,’ it may well be that for any one of a number of reasons, we cannot do so and we need to wheel put Plan B, C or D. We do line up contingencies for many eventualities of course. But it is worth knowing that the course may change if we deem it prudent for your safety or for other operational or weather-based reasons and we must always reserve the right to do so. Ultimately our skill and judgement in organising such events is part of why you are entering, so we must be able to exercise this on your behalf where we deem it necessary. If we do have to make a route change, we will strive to inform you in good time (if that is possible). Usually, these unforeseen changes simply add to the flavour of proceedings and provide for a good story to tell at day’s end!


We will NOT waymark the route. Unless the route must be diverted due to an obstruction or last-minute change.  

In general, this event is operated with GPS as the main method of route guidance. You need to bring a GPS navigation device for both the foot and cycling stages. It is imperative that you are well versed in the usage of your own 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 GPX files  already downloaded and you will get tuition of how to use the watch on registration day.  You can purchase GPS watch hire via the pre-event online form. Similarly, if you wish to hire a Garmin Edge bike navigation device for the bike stage, you can do so via the pre-even form for £35.


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


We will make the GPX files available for you to upload onto your own devices. These files will be provided much closer to the commencement of the event, once we are satisfied there are no on the ground changes, and we therefore do not end up with version control issues that are hard to resolve.  


You will be issued with your satellite tracker. It is your responsibility to look after the device until you return it to us at the finish line in exchange for your medal. This tracker allows your supporters to see where you are throughout the race. Tracking can be monitored during the event by those not embarked and will go live on the morning of 20th September. 

The tracker will be given to you turned on and ready to be used. There is nothing you need to do with it. Just put it into your race bag. Please do not tamper with the plastic bag it is in. We recommend you place it in a dry bag with other valuables but please do not bury the tracker too deep under other gear as you will need to return it when you have finished or need to drop out.

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. Any missing trackers will be met with a £150 charge to cover the cost of the item.


As we have stated, the reliability and operation of the tracking devices in this environment is likely to not be 100%, 100% of the time. As far as our safety system is concerned, we know that and we have considered that as part of our other overarching plans and risk assessment.  

For those watching the tracking at home, it is important you explain that the trackers are not always going to give a fully accurate reflection of exact locations. What can happen, (if this is not communicated on the part of the participant to their supporters), is that where people see a tracker displaying erratic behaviour or not moving, this manifests in undue worry. Over a number of days, this worry can turn to panic and raising of unnecessary alarms, from the comfort of sofas in the internet-equipped watching world-at-large. We require you to ensure that, should you decide to share the tracking link, you are unequivocal in this explanation to your supporters. We cannot afford for an international incident to be commenced as someone sitting at home in front of their desktop has decided to contact the Emergency Services as they cannot see your dot moving. It really is a deadly serious point we are making here and we thank you in advance for making this clear to your supporters at home. 


This event is not about cut-offs. But, having a ‘cut-off’ time of some description 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, punctures, bike mechanicals, rolled ankles, bear encounters, 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 that if this happens to you, that it is not the crew’s fault who breaks the news to you.

Please also remember that if this does happen to you, the Event team’s decision is final. You will be asked to board a vehicle and make your way to the hotel at day's end.

We do try and accommodate a wide variety of paces however – that is the Rat Race way. So rest assured, you will not be hassled constantly by a sweeper vehicle (some people call it the broom wagon)  if you are taking longer than other folks on the bike stages.

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 will start the next day from the set location the group is starting from; 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, mechanical, personal or other factors. It is OK to retire and to be taken forward to the hotel. We’d rather you re-started the next day vs suffer meaninglessly and spoil it for yourself.


As far as the time available goes to avoid a cut-off, there is no ‘set’ cut off time each day. (ie. Time limit  or published time). Instead, the general rule is that we require all participants to be done before nightfall. There are some situations where you may finish in the dark, for example if someone is going strong and will make it with minimal time in darkness. This is possible notably on day 1 or 2, both of which are early starts and late finishes for most. If it looks like you’ll be out for the long haul though and completion is looking unlikely, you will be picked up in the support van. 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 experience. We will not cut you off and sweep you forward unless we really have to. And if we do, it is for your own safety.


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 comfort issues. All to be expected. Embrace that ‘bedding down into it’ phase and listen to your body and to your gear. Expect some unexpected phenomena (not UFOs, just unusual kit or run issues that you may not have quite been expecting). Use this time to just get used to the environment, the gear and the terrain. Go with it and relax!


We need 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. 



While these are allowed, we would prefer you to take in the peace and tranquillity of much of your route. If you must listen to music, please control the volume according to your environment. Use your judgement and you MUST turn music players off when on live roads. Please also be aware that if you cannot hear general voice levels you might miss instructions from marshals, other runners/cyclists or approaching traffic. We suggest that you run the leads behind you so that approaching runners/cyclists from behind can see that you are wired for sound. If event staff ask you to remove headphones or turn music off/down, there will be a good reason. Please respect their request. 



We will have a medic with us for the duration of the trip and they are available for you to interact with in confidence if you experience any medical issues. 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. 


At this stage we are inviting 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 19th July. You can do so HERE. 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. 



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 confidentially on and he and his team will assist.



We have made a minimum mandatory Blister kit spec of Compeed (or similar adhesive blister dressings). That is the minimum spec we are looking for. i.e. that you have some blister plasters.

Our advice (and therefore if you wish to pack our enhanced recommended kit), which will provide you with a self-contained treatment and comfort kit for this most important of assets (your feet), we advise the following:

Small dry bag to contain:


  • Zinc oxide tape

  • Self-adhesive dressing tape (e.g. Mefix)

  • Small moleskin patch

  • Scissors or penknife

  • Compeed or similar brand blister plasters - various sizes

  • Rubbing alcohol (to dry wet feet at night)

  • Benzoin tincture or Iodine

  • Pin or scalpel blade to pop/ deroof blisters

  • Lighter or matches to sterilise pin/ blade

  • Lube stick (to prevent blisters by lubing feet pre-activity, particularly at possible hotspot pressure points). Also works wonders for anti-chafing on the bike and kayak stages



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


  • 1 x triangular (or comfortable roller) bandage

  • Gauze or similar absorbent dressing

  • Steri-Strips

  • Antiseptic (spray or cream)

  • Assorted plasters

  • Rubber gloves

  • Prescribed medication (if applicable)


This is a mixed terrain event. On road sections, all roads will be ‘Live’ public roads, private roads, and shared access trails. There are no closed roads, therefore you must always keep your wits about you for your own safety and listen out for other road users around you. You must courteously give way to other users on these routes, whether they are cars, other recreational walkers, horse riders, buggies, older people, hard of hearing etc. Despite pre-event cautions these ambient users may not know that the event is coming through, so slow down, give polite and clear instructions, and take safe passage around them. You should also ensure you’re highly visible for any road sections.

During the off road sections, keep in mind that terrain will often be uneven, changeable, slippery and perhaps boggy. Pay attention the ground ahead of you as well as underneath you and mind your foot placement at all times.

With all of this in mind, bringing poles along is a wise call for this event. Even if you don’t use them normally, you may find that they help you across the uneven terrain. Also, if this is your first multi-day event, you may find that you have a new found appreciation for poles when it gets to day 3 and your legs may be starting to feel very tired!


This event takes place on ‘Live’ public roads, private roads, and shared access trails. You must courteously give way to other users on these routes, whether they are cars, other recreational walkers, horse riders, buggies, older people, hard of hearing etc. Despite pre-event cautions these ambient users may not know that the event is coming through, so slow down, give polite and clear instructions, and take safe passage around them. The use of a bike bell is surprisingly effective. Front and rear lights, as well as some form of hi-vis must also be used/work at all times when on public roads for your own safety


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 regret that we cannot provide any transfers and in all cases, we cannot entertain requests for refunds. It is always recommended for such undertakings that you take out appropriate travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances that may possibly prevent attendance.

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



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 whole heartedly 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:



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


 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.   



Rat Race’s ethos has always been about inspiring folk to undertake challenges in awesome outdoor locations. This is not a formal race environment and there are no winners and losers. We do not award prizes for the fastest folk. We would like to see a team vibe, and everyone supporting each other to the finish on this event. We will not be recording any timings of individual participants, so if you wish to know your times, please record them yourselves.

In delivering these unique challenges we prioritise factors such as safety, camaraderie, and environmental concerns. Respecting the wishes of landowners and environmental stakeholders with our route management and litter policies is vital in being able to bring folk together for this unique experience. In terms of safety, we are often operating routes in exposed and remote locations and putting in place challenges that require clear attention to be given to the directing staff and signage. At times, for the safety of all participants we may ask you to wait and regroup so we can escort you through a key section of the route as a group; or more likely, for certain sections we may ask that you group up into pairs or small running groups, so that you are able to support each other through more tricky sections of the route. Please ensure you have enough warm clothes with you at all times, in case you need to wait or move at someone else’s pace.

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. Caring for fellow competitors, litter control, closing gates and taking care on road crossings are what the event is about, rather than being the fastest across the course.

Rat Race has invested heavily in adding GPS tracking to these event formats. This befits challenges of this nature, adding a strand to our safety system so that we can pinpoint folk that are lost or off-course; and respond with as much accuracy as possible in an emergency. Our tracking platform is therefore primarily for our race and safety management. It is not a race timing system, however it has features we can seek to utilise on top of our safety features and to enhance the supporter experience. That is our commitment: An added safety function first, a spectator service second.

We also need to add that this system is not infallible. There will be times that the trackers may freeze or work on delay. This could be due to being in an area of low reception, or this could be that the tracker has moved in your pack and it is no longer able to receive satellite reception. In any case, we insist that you please make sure any friends / family who may be tracking your progress from home do not under any circumstances take matters into their own hands if your tracker appears to be off route or not moving. Event management will already be monitoring this, and it is critical that we do not have anyone else interfering and potentially sending 3rd party rescue services in under false alarm. We insist on this and appreciate your cooperation here.


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

2.) 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:

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!

3.) A WhatsApp group will be created a few days before departure. This will be the main point of contact leading up to the event itself.


Submitted no later than the 19th July.

Submitted no later than the 19th July.

Pheeeeew! That's it!

See you all soon!


Event Director, Hebrides Tip to Toe 2024

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