RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE RING OF FIRE
Taking part in the Ring of Fire includes taking on risks. With preparation and care these risks can be minimised so that you have a fun and safe event experience.
• Bridges/ steps/ barriers / board walks
• Chemical sprays, poison baits, predator traps
• Cliffs/ banks
• Getting lost
• Heat stroke / Hyperthermia
• Hikers / cyclists / mountain bike shuttle buses
• Low light conditions
• Medical problems
• Poor fitness
• Renal shutdown
• Steep slopes
• Vegetation spikes, prickles, sharp leaf edges
• Vehicles/ public roads / competitors/ spectators hit by traffic
Some Key Hazards:
HAZARD: Trips and falls on rough terrain causing injury.
COMMENT: There are some very technical sections of the course including the Cascade waterfall climb, the Wahianoa Gorge and dropping off the Tukino Road into the valley. Much of leg one and two have a very uneven running surface.
MANAGEMENT: Take care with where you place your feet and the pace at which you run. Use a good quality headlamp in the dark. If it is technical, slow down to pick your path.
HAZARD: Hypothermia from the cold.
COMMENT: Symptoms include shivering, cold fingers and toes and skin colour change.
MANAGEMENT: You need to take enough gear to star warm while running or walking and enough gear to keep you warm if you stop and can not continue. Take all of the compulsory gear and put it on BEFORE you are cold or wet or both.
HAZARD: Traffic collision.
COMMENT: The event uses short sections of public road. Although we do have a Traffic Management Plan in place, none of the roads are closed. Please note: there are NO competitor or supporter vehicles allowed up the Tukino Access Road from the entry point of the Desert Road.
MANAGEMENT: Treat all roads as public road. Take care, run on the shoulder, heads up and watch out for traffic. There is no access to the Tukino road for event entrants or supporters. Supporters must also take care when driving on the roads.
COMPULSORY GEAR REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL ENTRANTS
The specific gear lists required for each distance can be found on the respective distances page.
- All compulsory equipment will be checked at the pre event registration. (If the entrant does not show the correct safety gear, then they will not be permitted to recieve timing transponder/race number)
- All compulsory gear MAY be checked on race day at the various start lines. (If the entrant does not have the correct safety gear, then they will not be permitted to start the race).
- All compulsory gear MAY be checked on race day at random checkpoints around the course. (If the entrant does not have the correct safety gear, then they will not be permitted to continue in the event).
Regardless of what is on your event distance list, it may be sensible to carry more layers of clothing than the compulsory list, so a backpack capable of carrying all of your equipment will be essential. We recommend using a drybag or sealed ziplock bag to make sure your stuff stays dry inside your pack. We recommend considering using hiking poles. Black Diamond make some excellent light weight and strong poles.
The reason the compulsory gear is required is because the event takes place in an Alpine environment which can pose extremely harsh environmental conditions (wind, rain or temperature.) There is also very limited access to the course i.e. access is by foot or helicopter. If you get injured (and are unable to move) it may take event staff two or more hours to reach you. If we cannot use a rescue helicopter to evacuate you (i.e. through poor visibility, night time) then you may be on the mountain for a long time, either being carried out on a stretcher, in one of the huts, or a tent with a medic.
See our sponsors, True Fleece Merino for official merchandise including base layers, thermal tops and beanies!
Mt Ruapehu is an active volcano. Although extremely unlikely, we are prepared for the risk of a fire, lahar, eruption or landslide.
In most cases your best response is to move away from any danger.
Always follow all instructions from staff who may hold you at certain huts or locations.
What to do if you are injured / ill or just can not continue to run/walk:
1. Stay calm.
2. Contact one of the two phone numbers on your race bib. Or;
3. Stop the next runner going past you and ask for help.
4. Apply first aid to yourself.
5. Put on all of your clothing.
6. If you are in an exposed position, but can still walk, try to get out of the wind. Often you will only have to move 5-10 metres to be in a more sheltered spot, but make sure you are not hidden from the track so that staff can not find you.
7. Get into your survival bag.
8. Wait for assistance.
We have Field Medics plus other Marshals on course, many of whom have alpine tents and sleeping bags. These medics will get to you as soon as they can. Once the medic has assessed you, you will either be assisted out by the medics to a road end or a hut. A rescue helicopter MAY be able to extract you. But if the helicopter cannot fly/land, then there is also a chance that you may spend an extended period on the mountain. Remember that at this point – you will have a medic with you and will be in a sleeping bag and in a tent.
What to do if you are lost.
• Think, can you retrace your steps to the last known track marker? If yes then do so.
• If you cannot retrace your steps then stay put.
• Blow your whistle.
• Follow steps 1-8 above (excluding steps 3-4)