2020 Dates & Timings
THE NEXT SILVA GL3D™ TAKES PLACE 8-10TH MAY 2020.
This is the Early May Bank Holiday weekend (in 2020 this is Friday-Sunday as opposed to Saturday-Monday) at the beginning of May.
Location of the event centre to be revealed
Sunday 5th April 2020
Deadline for ordering a commemorative event t-shirt
Sunday 26th April 2020
Deadline for entering, ordering food and cinema tickets
Thursday 7th May 2020
1700 – Event Centre and car parking opens to participants. Please do not arrive before 1630 as it will not be possible to access the site.
1800 to 2145 – Registration, shop, & catering opens (maps issued at registration)
1800 to 2200 – Pre-booked meals available. Local beer, cake & extras available to purchase
2000 – Thursday Night Cinema starts (extra tickets available on the door)
Friday 8th May 2020 – Day 1
0630 to 0800 – Registration open (all participants must be registered by 0800)
0630 to 0800 – Pre-booked breakfast available
0700 to 0900 – Expert & Wainwright courses start
0800 to 0900 – Wainwright & Café courses start
2000 – SILVA Raffle #1 + daily announcements
Saturday 9th May 2020 – Day 2
0700 to 0900 – Expert & Wainwright courses start
0800 to 0900 – Wainwright & Café courses start
2000 – SILVA Raffle #2 + daily announcements
Sunday 10th May 2020 – Day 3
0700 to 0900 – Expert & Wainwright courses start
0800 to 0900 – Wainwright & Café courses start
Afternoon – Finishers' meal, goodbye, and see you next year.
2019 event centre location: Pooley Bridge, Eastern Lake District
Grid reference: NY 47470 24267
Nearest postcode: CA10 2NQ
Friday Night Cinema
The Event Centre opens from 1700 on Friday afternoon. Many SILVA GL3D-ers join us on Friday evening after registering, when we will be serving (pre-order only) meals, beer, and holding our infamous cinema session:
- 20:00 Friday Night Cinema - £5: Relax at the Event Centre the night before the journey begins with a selection of inspiring films
Tickets for the above need to be booked in advance when you register to enter via SI Entries and are expected to sell out.
Beer, cake, and other snacks + hot drinks are for sale on Friday night and do not need to be booked in advance.
Participants must register before starting and they can only do this on the Friday evening or early on the Saturday morning. Participants can only register at the Event Centre. At registration participants will be issued with their map, which is pre-printed with checkpoints and control descriptions (for all courses), and their SI card. Participants' Overnight Dry Bags can be left with us at registration on Friday evening or Saturday morning. Ready for transportation.
We recommend arriving on the Friday night so that everyone has an opportunity to relax, meet fellow participants and discuss the following day’s route, whilst enjoying a beer and perhaps watching an inspiring running film courtesy of ‘The Best of Sheffield Adventure Film Festival’.
The night before the SILVA GL3D™ the atmosphere is always good. Camping is available on the Friday night and this is included in the entry fee. Participants may also park their car or campervan at the Event Centre for the weekend at their own risk. The participant's beer tent will also be lively.
Our courses are described as Expert, Wainwright, and Café, to reflect the relaxed nature of the event (in contrast to mountain marathons with a stricter Elite, A, B, C format). Our routes are generally highly runnable (we stick to footpaths and tracks for much of the time) and the navigation is easier (generally mountain summits) than at the equivalent mountain marathon courses at the ROC, LAMM, OMM etc. The course statistics are as follows:
|2017||59km / 3850m||88km / 5500m||108km / 7050m|
|2018||63km / 3050m||90km / 6200m||115km / 7900m|
|2019||~65km / 3000m||~90km / 5500m||~115km / 8000m|
The really exciting component of the SILVA GL3D™ is that participants simply enter the event, and then choose whichever course they prefer on the day. This could Wainwright for all three days, or for instance Wainwright on day 1, Café on day 2, and so on with any ‘mix-and-match’ combination. All participants will still share the same overnight camp.
To appear in the overall results, participants must complete the same course each day. Obviously, on a daily basis, we will publish results for each course.
Each day participants start between 0700 and 0900 and should expect to spend a long day in the hills. The first two days will be the hardest and the last day will be easier. We anticipate that everyone would have finished by 1500 on day three.
The ethos of self-sufficiency extends to sourcing water en-route from streams. It is each participant's personal responsibility to boil and/or purify all water they consume; if participants choose not to treat water this is entirely at their own risk.
Expert and Wainwright Courses
These courses are definitely designed for runners and only 'speedy walkers' would complete the Wainwright course within the cut-off times. It is not possible to complete the Expert Course if you are only walking.
The SILVA GL3D™ has always attracted long distance walkers, but other than the most able, they have struggled with the long distances and significant height gain each year. Because of this, we launched the 'C Course' in 2014, (now formally known as the Café Course), which is specifically aimed at walkers (or runners wanting a more relaxed weekend). The Café Course has fewer checkpoints each day, and a route more focused on valley traverses and 'middle mountain' terrain between the overnight camps… and time to visit the very best Lake District cafés (or pubs) where possible in the area! That said, the Café Course does of course occasionally feature mountain summits.
We have stopped ‘Timing Guidance’ on the Expert and Wainwright courses. This is because a very small number of participants ignored the guidance and continued late into the night, arriving well after our 2000 Course Closure Time. The knock on impact to our logistics, volunteer marshals and other participants is disproportionate and therefore we have firm Cut-off times on these courses.
On the Expert and Wainwright courses, there will be one checkpoint each day with a Cut-off time associated with it. This checkpoint is geographically determined, but generally approximately midway through the days course. If a participant reaches the Cut-off checkpoint after the Cut-off time, they must follow the instructions explained on the map. Any participants who proceed on the full course after failing to arrive at the Cut-off checkpoint in time will be disqualified from the event. Sorry if this sounds a little draconian but the Cut-off times are appropriate for a 2000 finish at the Overnight Camp, which is the latest possible finish time.
Course Closure Time
All the courses close at 2000 on Saturday and Sunday. Any participants arriving at the Overnight Camps after the 2000 Course Closure Time are automatically switched to an easier course. If you do think you are going to be late, please make every effort to send a message to the Race Director on the emergency phone number printed on the map. The Course Closure Time on Monday is 1500.
Earliest Finish Time
The earliest finish time at the Overnight Camps (Saturday and Sunday) is 13:00, and back at the Event Centre (on Monday) is 12:00 (midday). The start times are flexible and it is the participant's responsibility to judge their start time appropriately relative to the speed they intend to run or walk. This is due to the chance that anyone arriving before 13:00 or 12:00 will not be able to punch the Finish box (if our event transport logistics are delayed) and therefore race time will continue until 13:00 or 12:00 for that person. Runners on the Café Course should make particular note of this 'Earliest Finish Time' rule, and time their start appropriately.
The overnight campsites are usually rural rather than remote but participants should NOT expect any shops, pubs or cafes to be in the vicinity. Facilities will be very basic with water available (this could be river water - in which case participants will be informed in the final event information), and portable toilets rather than a campsite toilet/wash block. We will provide a complimentary cake and a hot drink and optional local beer for everyone as they finish on days one and two, and a large, tasty meal at the end of day three. Hot water will also be available for participants to use for hot drinks but we cannot guarantee availability at all times and participants must bring a stove and sufficient fuel for cooking ALL their own food. We will not provide mugs or any kind of drinking implement – participants will need to bring their own!
The participants' marquee will be available at each overnight camp and can be used by participants to hang-out in, cook meals in (no hot stoves on plastic tables please!) etc.
Whilst family and friends are welcome to stay at the Event Centre campsite on Friday night, we do NOT allow ANY visitors to the overnight campsites on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Please check the final event information for absolute details. Ordinarily, participants should be ready to start between 0700 and 0900 each morning. We recommend that slower participants start early and fast participants start late. An honest appraisal of your own abilities will save you some grief with the cut-off times!
The most important safety rule is that ALL participants must download their SI data at the end of each day with the organisers at the specified end point of that day (the overnight camp or Event Centre), regardless of whether they have completed their course or not.
Printed on the map is an emergency telephone number that participants can use in the case of an emergency or if they are running late and may miss the specified Course Closure Time.
Once the specified Course Closure Time has passed the organisers will make a judgement based on the participant's experience, chosen course, and other factors as to what action to take. This may include contacting the participant's next of kin to try and ascertain any information about their whereabouts. The police and mountain rescue will NOT be automatically informed unless there is a very specific reason for alarm.
In the unfortunate circumstances that a participant must retire, it is essential that they notify us if they have been unable to reach the overnight camp. We would recommend that participants have sufficient money to enable them to get a taxi back to the overnight camp and/or Event Centre if necessary. We may be able to provide bus times and taxi numbers, but cannot transport retired participants.
Transportation of Participants' Kit
We will transport participants' overnight kit from the Event Centre to each of the campsites on day one and two, and then back to Event Centre on day three.
However, we will ONLY transport drybags of a maximum size of 60L and weight of 13kg . Although other drybags are available we highly recommend this Ortlieb drybag. We insist on a standardised drybag for all participants for four reasons:
1) Fairness - Every participant has the same maximum weight and sized bags.
2) Safety - We need to lift and manoeuvre several hundred drybags twice per day.
3) Transport – Drybags must be very similar sizes for optimum stacking and packing whilst they are transported AND there is a maximum load limit that each vehicle must stay within.
4) Weather - Once at the overnight camp/finish, the drybags are stored outside, no matter the weather conditions!.
There will be a weigh-in before participants' drybags are accepted for transport!
Participants will quickly find that packing for the SILVA GL3D™ is a skill that requires careful selection of food, equipment and clothing.
Some good and bad examples of drybags are included below.
A = Acceptable
D = Unacceptable (this is a lightweight drybag that will be easily damaged)
|F & G = Unacceptable (the drybag must be sealed)|
Kit & Equipment
The SILVA GL3D™ is an informal event and we don’t want to be overly prescriptive about what kit you take. Also, as an experienced mountain runner or walker, we expect participants to be able to make your own decisions about kit selection. Participants will need two bags: one hill bag and their overnight drybag. We do insist on the following minimum safety items being carried at all times in participants' hill bag:
Mandatory ‘Hill’ Kit
The following kit must be worn or carried by the participants in their ‘hill bags’ at all times:
- Waterproof Jacket or Smock (with taped seams and a hood)
- Waterproof Trousers (with taped seams)
- Survival bag (not a blanket)
- Map (supplied) and compass
- Headtorch (with spare batteries or an entire spare unit e.g. Petzl e-Lite) - with sufficient light to be able to navigate in the darkness and longevity for around camp in the evenings.
- Sufficient food
- Spare warm top (A spare top is not spare if it is being worn at the start of the day!)
- Hat and gloves suitable for the weather conditions
- Water bottle and / or hydration system
- Fell or mountain running shoes (road trainers are NOT acceptable) for runners and appropiate mountain walking boots for walkers
- Money (a combination of plastic and cash is best)
- Waterproof pen/pencil
Recommended ‘Hill’ Kit
The following kit is also recommended:
- Mobile Phone (Although we recommend that all participants carry a mobile phone there is no guarantee of phone reception along many sections of the route).
- Altimeter (Very useful aid for navigation in low visibility conditions).
- GPS (For participants who are not completely confident of their map and compass skills in all conditions).
In is worth noting that possession of a GPS and / or mobile phone is no substitute for sound mountain judgment on behalf of the participants.
Mandatory ‘Camp’ Kit
The following kit must be included in participants' max. 60L Overnight Dry Bag:
- A complete change of clothing that can be worn at the overnight camp.
- Warm sleeping bag (3 Season recommended)
- Sleeping mat (ThermaRest style inflatable mat recommended)
- Tent (if attending as a pair, this can be shared between two participants' dry bags.
- Stove, sufficient fuel for three days, lighter/matches, pan/bowl and any cutlery you may need (Note that NO mugs etc are provided for use with hot water - you will need your own!)
- Personal First Aid kit to include plasters, blister treatment, antiseptic ointment and painkillers as a minimum.
- Sufficient personal food for eating on the hill each day, three breakfast meals and 2 large evening meals.
Participants should be careful not to underestimate the quantity of food they should bring as there will be no additional food available to purchase at the overnight camps. Anticipate approximately 1/3 of your drybag being filled with food!
Other Recommended Kit
The following equipment is strongly recommended for increasing your personal comfort (and would need to be included in your overnight bag):
- An insulated ‘duvet’ jacket
- Travel pillow or pillow case
- A fresh set of running clothes for each day
- Sponge and cloth for washing and drying your plate etc
- Personal washing things and towel
- Ear plugs
- Anti-chaffing / lubrication ointment
- Wallet, credit card and / or sufficient cash to enable you to return to the Event Centre early if needed.
- Note pad and pen
- Any luxury food items you want.
As the overnight camps can become wet and muddy (and windy!) we recommend that participants have a spare pair of waterproof shoes and consider taking an insulated jacket and spare waterproof top and bottom.
For participants who are used to two-day mountain marathons and small sacks, you may think that a 60L drybag is huge. However, participants will quickly find that packing for the SILVA GL3D™ is a skill that requires careful selection of food, equipment and clothing.
SPORTident Chip Timing
The event will use digital SPORTident timing; known as SI. At registration participants will be issued with their own SI Card, which must be ‘punched’ into the SI timing boxes at each checkpoint and at the finish. For those unfamiliar with this simple and reliable system, full instructions will be given. The SI system is an important safety feature of the event and when participants ‘download’ their SI data at the end of each day, we generate a record of who is safely off the hill. For those who are interested, we will display daily and cumulative results each evening.
Whether running or walking we expect you to have sufficient fitness and mountain experience to safely complete all three days. Typical experience would include Mountain Marathons, long fell races, Long Distance Walkers Association events such as The Fellsman and experience of long mountain days.
If you have any doubts about your specific experience, please just contact us to check it out. We're happy to help you decide what's best.
The expert course is definitely for runners and it is not possible for walkers to complete the it within the cut-off times.
The Wainwright course is aimed for those who can maintain a solid pace (perhaps only walking the ups and 'scampering' along on the flats and downhills). 2017 reports indicated that it was possible for 'determined' walkers to complete the Wainwright course comfortably within the cut-off times (in dry weather and good visibility!)
The SILVA GL3D™ has always attracted long distance walkers but other than the most able, they have generally struggled with the long distances and significant height gain each year. Because of this, ever since the 2014 event we have included a 'C course' (aka the Café class, which has from 2017 become entitled as such!) which is specifically aimed at walkers (or slower runners) and will have only a few checkpoints each day to allow participants maximum route choice between the overnight camps… and time to visit the very best Lake District cafés where possible in the area!
Under 18 Participants
The SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day™ follows the guidance issued by the Fell Running Association on the participation of U18’s in Mountain Marathon type events. These rules state that:
For paired Mountain Marathon style orienteering events, over one or two days, where one of the two runners is under 18, the other runner must be over 20 and must also be the parent or guardian of the junior runner. The minimum age for the junior runner is 14, and the following straight line distance limits must apply for each day of the event:
- Under 16 = 20 km (12.4 miles)
- Under 18 = 25km (15.5 miles)
As the SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day™ is a 3 day event and the minimum optimum distance (i.e. the planners route) on the Café course will exceed 20km, we do NOT allow those aged 16 and under to participate. Participants aged 17 may participate in the Café course so long as they are accompanied by parent/guardian aged 21 years or more and that the parent/guardian signs a parental consent form. Participants aged 18 and over may compete in any course.
A few - very well behaved - dogs have completed the GL3D™ over the years! If you would like to bring your dog, you will just need to ensure they are always under control i.e. on a lead or harness when out on the fells AND at the overnight camps.
We will need a number of volunteers to form the event team at the GL3D. Tasks could include manning a checkpoint, supervising the start or finish, putting SI controls out or collecting them (depending on your navigational experience of course!), serving cake, cooking dinner (for the marshals) or just generally helping to organise the overnight camp. We will pay some expenses for our team and feed them over the weekend and you would also be entitled to event credit* equal in value to a full price GL3D entry.
*For more information head over to our volunteering pages.