top of page
_LEO0222.jpg
MaltaLOGO.png

ESSENTIAL EVENT INFORMATION 2023
MCKINSEY LEGAL EVENT

This EEI was last updated on: 27/09/2023

The Maltese Falcon takes you on an incredible journey to cross this archipelago in a single day. Running, kayaking, cycling; you choose how you do it and we’ll support you all the way. Always bathed in the famous Maltese sunshine, this adventure will not disappoint.


This is our Essential Event Information Document, which contains a comprehensive round up of everything you need to know before you embark on this exciting journey through Malta.

Due to the scale and nature of Rat Race Events, changes to the course, structure and timings sometimes need to be made right up to 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 this EEI before travelling to the event. 

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. 

SKIP TO SECTION

TimeIcon.png
TIME ZONE

GMT (+1)

PhoneCode.png
PHONE CODE

 +356

Language.png
LANGUAGE

Maltese / English

Currency.png
CURRENCY

Euros  (€)

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

•    Online form to be submitted by 31stAugust 2023.


•    Medical forms must be filled out by 31stAugust  2023.


•    Trackers: Please remember that GPS tracker accuracy is not always a-given; you should particularly note this if sharing live links with supporters. Trackers are not part of our event safety system. 


•    Kit: You will need to bring ALL kit that is on the kit list for you to take part. If your kit is not sufficient, we 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 and a Q&A webinar just before we depart. If in any doubt on kit specifically, please get in touch with us at expeditions@ratrace.com and we can help. 


•    Insurance: You need insurance. If you are bringing your own bike, please ensure it is insured against loss, theft and/ or damage. You will need a medical repatriation and evacuation policy that has a minimum of $500 000 trip cover on it. You will have to 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 Malta, 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.  

  • GPS:  If you have your own cycling navigation device and/or a GPS watch with navigation function, you should bring these with you. Familiarity of the devices can take some stress away. GPX files will be shared one week ahead of the event.

KEY INFO

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

PASSPORT


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

Ticket.png
Insurance.png

RETURN AIR TICKET


You should ensure you have purchased a return air ticket.   

TRAVEL INSURANCE


See insurance section or event FAQ.   

Money.png

PERSONAL MONEY

TRIP MEETING POINT AND END POINT


The dates of the trip are fixed as 12th - 15th October 2023. These are the dates on which the itinerary commences and finishes.  


Pick up: You will arrive into Malta International airport for our RV at 1800 (or overnight in the local area and meet us back at the airport). We will the transfer the team to the Gozo (1.5 hrs by road and 30 mins on ferry) and check into our B and B. The rest of the afternoon will be your own. We will meet for dinner and everyone can get to know one another over a relaxing local meal.

For those who are likely to arrive after this time, we will endeavour to provide a late group transfer. Depending on what time flights arrive and consequent late-evening transfer time, you may miss dinner at the hotel. We will advise on the plan here once we have collated all inbound flight information.


Drop off:  After a big hearty breakfast we will transfer folk and their gear back to the airport. If you wish to stay around, no problem. We will have some options for extending your stay at the Valletta hotel or simply make your own way out into the city or further afield and explore more of this wonderful island!

STYLE OF TRAVEL

 In general, we will provide lead and sweep staff (and other support vehicles and/or runners, hikers, bikers, kayakers throughout the course). We will establish pit stops along the route, very roughly equidistant between one another and usually a minimum of 3 of these stops per day. You go at your own pace, run/hike/bike with others, or on your own, whatever you fancy.  

 

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 in person on the 13th October. 


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. 

 

For those cycling we will give you your rental bikes (if you have rented from us) or you will build your own machine if you have brought it with you.

ACCOMMODATION & FOOD

ACCOMMODATION

 

Nights 1 &  2: St  Patrick's Hotel, Gozo 

Rooms:  Shared / Twin  

Night 3: Grand Excelsior, Malta 

Rooms: Shared / Twin

If you wish to extend your stay at the Grand Excelsior, please contact office@ratrace.com, we can put you in contact with  their admin team to extend your stay at a reduced rate. 

FOOD AND BEV

 

The inclusive meals are outlined below as per the website itinerary information: 

12th October:  Dinner 

13th October:  Breakfast, Packed Lunch , Dinner 

14th October: Breakfast, Pit Stops throughout the day, Dinner 

15th October: Breakfast 

On event day, you will be supported by  Rat Race Pit Stops, (3 per day) we will try to space them evenly, on offer there will be small grab and go snacks and other treats. At pit stop 2 there will typically be some more savoury items and ‘lunch’ items such as wraps and bread where you are able to eat something more substantial. 


You should look to augment these pit stops with your own snacks and you should definitely provide your own hydration, electrolyte and sports nutrition supplies. This will be important throughout your adventure. 


At the end of the trip in Malta , 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 buy 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

 

We are staying at quality accommodation throughout which will provide good shower facilities. However, whilst on the event course there will not be toilets available at each pit stop. 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.  


The firm advice is always to ensure you are ‘self-contained’ with toilet roll and with anti-bacterial hand wash gel for the trail. Do NOT leave toilet paper out on the route, please bring nappy bags to contain used toilet roll and dispose of where at a pit stop or at the hotel.

ALONG THE ROUTE

ROUTEFINDING

 

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 watch and a navigation device or application on your phone.  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 GPS already downloaded and you will get tuition of how to use the watch on registration day.  Please contact  office@ratrace.com if you wish to rent one from us. 


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 there are no on the ground changes and we therefore do not end up with version control issues that are hard to resolve.  

CYCLING 

If you need one, we will provide you with a Garmin Edge 830 computer. This will have the route pre- loaded and provides turn by turn satellite navigation. It is mounted on the handlebars of your bike and is very easy to follow – it works like a car satnav, for bikes. If you have your own similar device you are welcome to use this. Similarly, if you are comfortable using your phone for this, you can mount your phone to your handlebars on a cradle and pair it with a battery pack. This is a perfectly  acceptable and very capable set-up. The gpx file will be provided in the 1 week mail in order for you to upload to your own device as you see fit.

We will ask you in the accompany admin form to tell us whether or not you would like a Garmin Edge 830 cycling navigational device.There is no charge for the Edge cycle computer but you must tell us in advance if you need one.

 
RUNNING

The preferred method for navigating on the run is with a GPS enabled watch. The vast majority of running watches have the functionality to upload and follow a gpx file. If you have your own watch, please upload the gpx file and bring your watch to use. Alternatively, if you don’t have your own watch, we can provide you with a coros GPS watch for use at the event for a rental fee of £50. It is possible to use a mobile phone to navigate both runs but you will need to ensure you carry a reasonably sized battery pack with you so that you can guarantee battery life throughout the day. If you’re cycling on Malta and do not have a GPS watch, using a mobile phone for the Gozo run is perfectly fine. We suggest the Garmin Explore app for its ease of use and reliability. Google Maps or any number of other Apps are also totally acceptable.

TRACKING DEVICE

 

At registration you will be issued with your tracker, (in a ziplock bag (with your name on) . It is your responsibility to look after the device once we give it to you.   


Tracking will go live on the morning of the first event day (i.e. the start of the event) at 0300 local time.  


The trackers rely on GSM & satellite 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.   


The tracking website for family and friends is: www.opentracking.co.uk

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. 

RELAY PARTICIPANTS

Some of you have decided to take on the challenge in a relay fashion with friend and colleagues. This is fine and we are geared up for this. On the admin form that accompanies this document there is a space for you to tell us your intentions in this regard. If you are going to do the kayak only, or the bike only, or the Gozo run only (or pick and choose) please tell us here. There are a number of moving parts with this event and this information will greatly assist our planning.

For full clarity for the relay, have split the journey up into the following ‘relay-able’ components.

- Gozo Trek/ Run

- Gozo to Malta kayak (incorporating Comino run/ trek)

- Malta bike: Start to Pit Stop 1
- Malta bike: Pit Stop 1 – Pit Stop 2
- Malta bike: Pit stop 2 – Pit Stop 3
- Malta bike: Pit stop 3 – Finish

OR

- Malta trek/ run: Start to Pit Stop 1
- Malta trek/ run: Pit Stop 1 – Pit Stop 2
- Malta trek/ run: Pit stop 2 – Pit Stop 3
- Malta trek/ run: Pit stop 3 – Finish

CHEER SQUAD

The ‘Plan A’ with the cheer squad is for those who are supporting to ride with the event crew and get hands-on at the pit stops. These are the best opportunities to see the rest of the team and support them on their journey across Gozo, Comino and Malta. However, the beady-eyed amongst you will see that this means a wake-up call of ‘very early’ and a hotel departure of 0300. If you would prefer to RV with the participants at the kayak put-in, once they have completed their run and wave them goodbye on the boats, we can facilitate a late pick-up from the hotel (Well, not late but later!). The exact time of this will be decided once we understand likely numbers for this, but it will look more like 0530 than 0300. We regret that we must pick you all up relatively early however, as once the kayaks leave Gozo, it is a one-way trip towards the ‘mainland’ of Malta and as such, we can’t come back for you.

BOOSTING

If you set out to do the full attempt and you either get injured or you feel like you will struggle to complete the stage you are undertaking, we have vehicles available that can ‘boost’ you forward to the next pit stop. Given the event vehicles are in constant motion on the course, this is not an on-demand taxi service. But we can come and get you, based on vehicle locations relative to your location, if you are struggling. In all cases, it is best to get yourself to a pit stop and be boosted forward from there (for example to the next pit stop) to recommence your challenge. It is not the case that, if you take a ‘boost,’ you must withdraw from the event afterwards. Our mantra is to be as inclusive as possible and if you need our support, we are there for you.

IS THE ROUTE LIKELY TO CHANGE? 


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 ned 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!

EVENT INSTRUCTIONS

EVENT REGISTRATION AND PRE-EVENT ADMIN

 

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 31st August) and online waiver all pre-event. 


3.) Physical registration on 13th October. You will complete a final physical kit check with our event team, do a short paperwork exercise including checking your insurance company contact details, present some ID and do a medical interview. You will also receive your numbers and bag tags, GPS devices for those who need them,  trackers for all participants  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 Rat Race team that will be with you every step of the way throughout the event. 

EVENT REGISTRATION PAC


There will be one adventure pack issued per person. This will contain: 


Run/Trek number: please wear this so that it is always visible. 
Bike number (if cycling) : please attach to the front of your bike. 
Baggage labels: these will be for your overnight bag and your running/trekking pack.
Tracker 

Rat Rag 

T-shirt: If you fail to submit your online form ahead of the deadline, you will automatically be given a Large T-shirt. 

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 in Gozo 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 TRANSI


It is not impossible that your gear may not arrive with you into Malta . In general, the longer you are in Malta, 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 bikes do not arrive, it does not necessarily spell certain doom. Too avoid the chances of total catastrophe, we would recommend that you do travel with some event clothing in your hand luggage: A set of waterproofs, something to wear top and bottom, swim kit, sports bra (if needed) and 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. 

PIT STOPS

Our provision will be made available to you three times on the route  when you reach Malta, there will be a further water stop for all runners on Gozo around mid way through the run.  For those who are choosing to run in Malta we will enhance the 3 pit stop locations with interim water and snack provisions to ensure you are fully fuelled and hydrated. Each of our pit stops 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  – your own trail snacks and electrolytes


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 or transition bags. Please do not skimp in the electrolytes you will need more than you think! 

BIKES


Online bike hire for this event is now closed however, if you have not yet purchased it and still wish to,  it can be done  by contacting Olivia on office@ratrace.com subject to availability.  It is important to know that these will be hardtail mountain bikes (vs road bikes). They are good quality machines and totally bombproof for the challenge ahead for you. But if you are expecting a sleeked-up Pinarello with skinny tyres and drop-bars, this is not what we are providing.


If you are bringing your own bike please keep it in the bike box until we reach Gozo where you will be able to assemble it. If it is within a bike box it is easier to transport. 

BAGS

There are 4 bags you need for this events:

1.) DAYPACK
 

This is the bag you will carry with you for the run on Gozo. It should contain the mandatory kit, preferably spare clothes, food and water. If you are also running on Malta after the kayak phase you may use the same pack, but this will need to go with you in the kayak (we recommend stowing it in a drybag if you do this). OR you may use another separate daypack or vest for Malta, which you can collect when you reach the Malta transition.

 

2.) GOZO TRANSITION BAG *

 

This contains anything you wish to take on the kayak. You can remove and leave anything you do not wish to take on the kayak and this bag will be taken directly to the finish. I.E. you will not see this bag again until you reach the finish line.

3.) MALTA TRANSITION BAG *


This contains anything you wish to use on Malta for either the run or bike phase. You may also leave items in this bag if you do not wish to take them with you on this phase. This bag will be taken directly to the finish. I.E. you will not see this bag again until you reach the finish line.

4.) 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 run, bike, kayak stages. It must be one bag (not a series of bags). Size is not too important – up to 90l 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. 

* In order to allow you to access the right kit at the right times, we permit multiple bags to be used at the 2 transitions where you will be able to access different kit.

The transition locations are as follows:

 

GOZO TRANSITION

You will carry a daypack to store food, water and other supplies during the run/ trek on Gozo. Please make sure it is big enough to carry all of the mandatory kit items that we describe. You can choose to carry water in a bladder or water bottles. You then get access to a transition bag, available to you after the run/ trek and before the kayak, located at the kayak put-in. TOP TIP: If you think you will complete the Gozo run in significantly less than 2 hours, you should make sure you pack some warm clothes into your Gozo transition bag. At this time of the morning, it could still be chilly.

 

MALTA TRANSITION

This is the change from kayaking to either running or cycling once you reach the main island of Malta, after the kayak. This bag contains anything you wish to access AFTER kayak and BEFORE the Malta bike or run stage (so for example fresh trainers for the run, or bike shoes and bike clothing and helmet if you are cycling). Your bike will also be waiting at the Malta transition for you alongside this gear. The Malta transition will be the location of our first pit stop on Malta so there will be plenty of food and water provisions. 

Transition bags must be soft and not hard suitcase-style cases. We recommend dry bags (so protected from any weather). In all cases, please ensure the transition bags are no more than 30l each in size. Small holdalls, duffels or rucksacks are fine.

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. 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. 

RUNNING / TREKKING STAGES MANDATORY KIT
  • Trail running footwear

  • Shorts

  • T-shirt

  • Ultra vest or small daypack

  • Waterproof Top

  • 2L (min size) Bladder or bottles/ soft flasks to the same capacity (i.e. total capacity of all receptacles: Minimum 2l)

  • Hat – cap or wide brimmed hat

  • Socks

  • Rat Rag or similar - A Rat Rag is provided by RR in the event registration pack that will be issued when in Malta 

  • Snacks of choice

  • GPS handheld device capable of following  a gpx file (phone with Garmin Explore App recommended – see below) or GPS watch

  • Headtorch,  waterproof (preferably to IPX7 standard but can be a lesser standard), minimum 150 lumens + spare batteries (or second headtorch instead of spare batteries). You will definitely use your headtorch in this event, so please do make sure it works well and you are familiar with it.

  • Slow release concentrated electrolyte tablets (e.g. salt stick tablets)  plus dissolvable electrolytes for water. Both are mandatory.  Please bring both types, you will 100% need these on this event.

  • High SPF factor sun cream –  min SPF 30 recommended.

  • Sunglasses with CAT 3 protection

  • Blister care kit

  • First Aid kit (small personal kit with a triangular bandage, steri strips and an adhesive dressing as a MINIMUM). To be clear, this is the mandatory minimum. Other recommended (but not mandatory) items are listed below. Please also always carry your own prescribed personal medication at all times.

  • Recommended: Trekking poles – Personal choice but they are highly recommended for those doing the run on Malta (not mandatory).

 KAYAK
  • All essential and safety equipment is provided by Rat Race; kayak, paddle and buoyancy aid.

  • Your shoes will likely get wet when getting out of/ in to the kayak on Comino so changing to wet shoes/sandals may be what you wish to do to keep those shoes dry. Or just stash a 2nd pair of running shoes in your transition bag and put those dry shoes on when you get to Malta.

  • A drybag is highly recommended to keep your day pack dry if you are planning on taking it in the kayak.

  • Optional: Towel

A note about kayaking: The 2 shipping channels the route crosses to get to Malta are always busy. As such, there are rules in place as to when activities are allowed to take place. 1 such rule is regarding wind speed, if the forecast shows a force 4 wind or greater, then kayaking can’t take place and this decision must be taken the day before. We will advise of the decision at the safety briefing. In the event of this happening we will cross both channels by charter boat to get to the run on Comino and then across to Malta.  

CYCLING STAGE MANDATORY KIT
  • Padded bike shorts

  • Cycling top

  • Socks

  • Shoes to cycle in - These can be trainers or bike shoes

  • Helmet  – 100% essential, no exceptions*

  • Cycling gloves

  • Waterproof Top

  • Multi tool

  • Puncture repair kit and/or spare tubes – These are Included with a rental bike

  • If you’re hiring a bike, feel free to bring your bike shoes with cleats and pedals to fit to the bike. However, it is highly recommended that you also please bring a decent pair of shoes/ trainers for wearing with flats in case you encounter a compatibility issue here.

  • Ultra vest or small daypack  to carry mandatory kit items (or use tube bags, cycling ‘bumbag’ or similar). Ultimately, you must simply have a bag capable of carrying the mandatory kit; and water.

  • 2L (min size) Bladder or bottles to the same capacity 

  • Slow release concentrated electrolyte tablets (e.g. salt stick tablets)  plus dissolvable electrolytes for water. Both are mandatory.  Please bring both types, you will 100% need these on this event.

  • High SPF factor sun cream – min SPF 30 recommended.

  • Sunglasses with CAT 3 protection suitable for riding

  • First Aid kit (small personal kit with a triangular bandage, steri strips and an adhesive dressing as a MINIMUM). To be clear, this is the mandatory minimum. Other recommended (but not mandatory) items are listed below. Please also always carry your own prescribed personal medication at all times.

GENERAL
  • Casual clothing, swim trunks, wash kit – general holiday gear

  • Power bank for mobile phone

  • International plug adaptor

 

*For rental bikes, you will be issued with a spares kit , however we would ALWAYS advise you to bring your own helmet. If you do need a helmet from us, we will provide one at no charge. However you MUST ask us for this in advance to office@ratrace.com.

RECOMMENDED FIRST AID EXPANDED KIT ITEMS
 
  • 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 personal medication 

  • Zinc oxide tape  

  • Compeed – various sizes  

  • Lube stick  

  • Sudacrem   

 

CHECK LIST MANDATORY KIT

 

  • Bike (If Cycling)

  • Helmet (If Cycling)

  • Gloves (If Cycling)

  • Water shoes/sandals for kayak stage (or accept you’ll get wet trainers) – either, or is fine

  • Running vest/bag 

  • Capacity to carry 2l of water  at all times on all stages

  • GPS device 

  • First Aid kit with minimum mandatory items

  • Waterproof Top

GENERAL ADVICE ON HEAT

The heat of the day as it warms up can be fierce, so a wide-brimmed sunhat or cap, sun-cream and lightweight and breathable fabrics (ideally with SPF protection) are to be used. Of course it will be dark for a good portion of the initial run stage on Gozo, but it likely still to be warm. As the sun comes up, sunglasses with at least Cat 3 protection are required. There is not a massive level of shade on Malta, so as the day heats up, we will be exposed more to the relentless sun.

The beauty of the support afforded by the vehicles is that we can interact with you many times on the route. So whilst we require you to take a lot of water with you at all times (and always leave a pit stop with full supplies), we can also re-supply you often.

Do not underestimate how much the heat will take out of you. Even if you think you are going well earlier on, as soon as that sun comes up, it’ll start sapping energy. You really do want to ensure you have max sun protection and keep taking on fluids and salts.

For your feet, we would advise trail running footwear for Gozo and then for Malta, if you are doing that on foot too, trekking footwear would also be advised. You do not need a very aggressive chunky sole however. If you want to switch footwear between Gozo and Malta, you will be able to as we will allow you access to transition bags at the end of each stage. See below on the likely transitions and bags required for these.

ITINERARY

DAY ONE / MEETING AND TRAVEL DAY

12th October 2023

Arrival Day: We will meet at Malta International airport (Luqa) ready to take the transfer to Gozo at 18:00. We will meet near to the seating area in the arrivals lounge. It’s about an hour’s to drive to the ferry terminal for the short crossing to Gozo, then a further 30 minutes to our hotel. It is possible that we use 2 buses for this movement. In this instance you will embark the ferry as foot passengers and then be met by another bus at the port in Gozo.

For those who are likely to arrive after this time, we will endeavour to provide a late group transfer. Depending on what time flights arrive and consequent late-evening transfer time, you may miss dinner at the hotel. We will advise on the plan here once we have collated all inbound flight information.

 

Once you’re checked in at the hotel, the rest of the day is yours to relax. We will all meet for dinner to enjoy traditional Maltese fayre as we get to know each other a little bit.

DAY TWO / REG, GEAR PREP AND BRIEFING

13th October 2023

After breakfast, we will meet in the hotel to complete

registration and hand over your adventure packs. Then it’s all about getting ready for the next day. We will issue the GPS navigation devices (to those who need them) and demonstrate their use.

For those who have ordered them, we will allocate your rental bikes and there will be a mechanic on hand to assist with set up. For those of you bringing your own bike, this is the opportunity to build it up.

Each of the loaned GPS devices will have a trial route saved to them starting from the hotel. It is strongly advised that you head out on the bike and on foot and get used to working with the devices so that it’s much easier for you on event day. These routes will be short, just a few km, but with plenty of turns so you can soon familiarise yourself with how they work. Once you’ve done all of this, the rest of the day is your own. We can also supply the gpx files for these trial routes for use on your own devices.

 

We will meet up again at 17:00 for the full event safety briefing and to answer any last minute questions. We will dine together again at about 18:00 so that everyone is properly fed in good time to allow some sleep before the following day’s “oh my God ‘o clock” wake up call.

DAY THREE / EVENT DAY!

14th October 2023

0300 – assemble in the hotel foyer to get the bus transfer to the start line. It’s still dark so you’ll need a head torch. Likely still warm but may feel chilly so a long sleeve top might be needed. This first run gently undulates its way across the island of Gozo. It’s 15km and you will navigate by your watch or by an app on your phone (more in the navigation section later) 03:30 is the start time and you have 2 hours to complete the run in order to be at the kayak transition by 0530. This timing is very important, if you don’t think you can make 15km in 2  hours then you need to let us know. Please be honest with yourselves and with us. At transition you will have until 06:15 to change any clothes as you wish and kit up ready for the kayak. It is also very important that you eat something at this point and so you should pack a few snacks in your transition bag. At 06:15 we will get on the water ready to set off on the kayak at 06:30 on the dot, together. This timing is critical. In order to safely cross the water from Gozo to Comino and Comino to Malta we must travel and remain as a group of kayakers with our guides and a safety boat. These stretches of water can be busy at any time. So working back from this hard start time of 06:30 dictates the 03:00 start time and the need to be honest about your ability to cover the distance in 2  hours. Starting earlier is totally fine, being late to

the kayak start is not. After landing on Malta there is a short run (<400m) to the transition for the final leg. This transition will include a full pit stop provision to fuel you up before the major effort of cycling or running across Malta. Remember, you will have been up for about 8 hours at the point and so your normal feeding routines will be all out of sync. TIP: If there’s food around, eat it! From this transition you are free to go at your own pace again. There will be 2 further fully serviced pitstops for everyone and for the runners there will be additional water fill ups available in between the main pit stops. After you’ve reached the other end of Malta and crossed the finish line, picked up your medal and maybe had a swim in the sea, you will jump on the bus back to the 5* Excelsior Hotel in Valletta. Dinner is from their fabulous multi cuisine buffet and the first round is on us for a job well done. It’s time to celebrate!

DAY FOUR / DEPARTURE DAY

15th October 2023

The morning after! And the last day of the event. The hotel breakfast is epic which is just the perfect recovery from the exertions of the day before. For those of you leaving this day, a group transfer will go from the hotel directly to the airport. Once we have collated departing flight information, we will give you a specific time for this.For those remaining for a few days to enjoy the island, your time is now yours and you will arrange your transfer at your own discretion in the days to come. The hotel can of course arrange this for you if you are staying around there; if you so wish.

PARTICIPANT SAFETY ADVICE

GENERAL SAFETY AROUND VEHICLES


This event takes place on the trail and open roads. There are vehicles, this is not a closed road event. Vigilance must be always taken. 

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. Malta is a beautiful environment, and our absolute commitment is to keep it that way. 

MUSIC PLAYERS 

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 their 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.

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. Evacuation and medical expenses cover should total no less than $500 000. Please bring a copy of this cover/ covers (if separate policies) is required.  

UK citizens should have a valid EHIC for travel to Malta. This will allow you to receive basic and emergency healthcare for the same cost as a resident. If you do not have a current and up to date EHIC you can apply for a provisional replacement card (PRC) on the NHS website.  An EHIC is NOT however a replacement for travel insurance, it will not cover medical repatriation and rescue. We have asked that you have Travel Insurance in place 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.

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.

SUGGESTED PROVIDERS

Mann Broadbent: For UK & Channel Island residents

Battleface

Big Cat Travel Insurance

NOTE ON INSURANCE 

 

Mann Broadbent are 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, if you raise such a claim via one of these policies.  We have no relationship with any of these providers, but previous customers have found them reasonable to deal with regarding some of our similar  challenges.  
 
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.  

EMERGENCY PROTOCOL 


In the event of a true emergency or serious incident you will be notified of protocols at the orientation in Gozo. 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.   

POOR WEATHER CONTINGENCIES

  

Malta is going to be hot but  can be known for varied weather conditions. All four seasons can be felt in one day. Please be prepared for the multiple weather conditions and temperatures ranging from hot to cold. The event will proceed in many conditions, but if it is deemed unsafe to continue due to weather conditions, the event will be halted. If required, we will await more  favourable conditions to re-commence. This may result in some stages being cut short in order 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.  

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.  

 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.  Its ok to to retire and be taken forward to the next pit stop,  we  would rather you restarted further down the course than not at all, we call this being ‘boosted. For Gozo we have already explained there is is a cut off time on the run at 0530 due to time available for the kayak stage There is no formal cut off in Malta other than we expect everybody to finish by darkness. 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. 

*Gozo Run / Trek - what if I think I am too slow? 

 As we have explained, Rat Race is not about times and places. And it’s not about unnecessary cut-offs. The run/ trek on Gozo gives you 2 hours to cover 15km; and there is a reality or speed, distance, time here that we must be on the water promptly for that sunrise kayak stage. But, that does not mean you’re under undue pressure, even if you think you’ll be slow. Firstly, you’ll go faster than you think. The event atmosphere, the cool of the morning and the sense of adventure will see to that. Secondly, if you do think you’ll struggle on these timings, talk to us. Several people have done this section and had fun doing it, when they thought they’d struggle. If you really think you’ll struggle on the timings here, our event team will make a plan to ensure that you can give it your best shot and not feel overly pressured. So don’t worry, let our event team know when you arrive that you’re concerned about the time available on the run/ trek stage and we will make a plan to ensure you get where you need to be, by the time you need to be there!

​‘Bedding down into the course’ 

 When you start in the darkness (and hopefully cool) if the early Gozo morning, Adrenalin will be high and you may feel a little off-balance. It’s dark, it’s the middle of the night and you’re traversing across an entire Meditterean archipelago under your own steam! Embrace that feeling! Take this early time to just get used to the environment, the gear you are using and the temperature. Go with it and relax. By the time you have crossed Gozo and are staring across the channel at Malta with the sun coming up, you’ll have worked out enough to be comfortable…  

OTHER ADMIN MATTERS

LOCAL PAYMENTS


Most locations in Malta take credit and debit cards. Having some local currency is a good idea. 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.  

COMMS COVERAGE AND DATA


You will most likely have phone reception in Malta and Gozo. There should be Wifi for the majority of accommodation. 

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. Malta 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. 

CONTACT DETAILS AND ACTIONS CHECK LIST

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


expeditions@ratrace.com for challenge-based questions, kit, training, prep

 

office@ratrace.com for admin-based questions   


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


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: 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!


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.

FINAL CHECK LIST 

Submit insurance details and complete online waiver to be submitted by 31st August 2023.  

Medical forms must be filled out by 31st August  2023.

That’s it. Pheeeww! See you in Malta…

Jim Mee,  Event Director
 

bottom of page