One of the biggest challenges that we face in organising London Edinburgh London is setting riders off from the start. When we ask riders what time they would like to start, they usually tell us that they’d like to start as early in the morning as possible. We would love to accommodate everyone’s preferences, but the result would be a huge crush at the first few controls, not to mention a massive shortage of beds on the first couple of evenings. So instead, we set riders off in small groups every 15 minutes throughout the day, making the event smoother for everybody.
This time, to help spread riders out we are going to run the event with two minimum speeds. Riders setting off between 06:00 and 08:00 will have a minimum speed of 14kph, meaning they will have just 100 hours to finish. Riders starting between 09:00 and 16:00 will have a minimum speed of 12kph, giving them an extra 16 hours and 40 minutes to get back to London. There will also be an invite-only group setting off at 05:00, reserved for riders with a history of fast times for similar events.
Of course this doesn’t solve the problem of deciding how to allocate start times, so this is what we plan to do:
- When you enter in January, we will give you access to the rider area on this website. Here, you will be able to select your preferred start time. You will be able to see how many other people have chosen each start time, giving you an idea of how popular each start time is. You’ll be able to change your preferred time until we make the final start time allocation.
- If you’re riding as a group of up to six riders, give us your team name in the rider area and arrange with your group members to choose the same start time. Make sure you all use the same team name!
- If you’ve selected a start time that isn’t oversubscribed, you are guaranteed that start time.
- If your partner or spouse is volunteering to help for more than two days of the event, we will also guarantee your start time.
- If you want an early start with a 100 hour time limit, we’ll guarantee that too.
- If a start time is oversubscribed, we will run a ballot for it. If you’re in a group and the group gets lucky, the entire group will get that start time.*
- All unsuccessful riders will then be placed into a draw for the earliest available slot that still has spare places. We’ll then repeat the process until we have filled every slot and allocated everyone a start time.
- Once we’ve allocated you a start time, you won’t be able to change it.
It’s up to you whether to take the chance of securing a popular time by ballot, or to select a less popular time that you’re guaranteed to get.
If you don’t get the start time you wanted, don’t be too disappointed. Starting late will mean controls will be less busy, making it easier to get some food and to get a bed when you need it. And if it means sleeping early on in the event, at Spalding or Louth heading north, then don’t worry if you’re late arriving at controls the following day. As long as you get back to London in time, that’s all that counts!
* We have a system to make sure that if you’re in a group of 2, you have the same chance of getting your preferred start time as anyone else. For groups of three or more, the odds are less favourable, but only slightly so. Any group larger than six risks being split up or placed in an unpopular slot.