9.1 The 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series and the Race Organisers reserve the right to add, modify, cancel or change the course at any time.
9.2 While competing in a Race, you must stay on the marked course. If you inadvertently leave the marked course, you must re-enter the course at the exact place where you left it. If you intentionally cut or leave the marked course (as we or the Race Organisers may determine at our sole discretion), you may be disqualified or be given a time penalty.
9.3 If you leave a logical or obvious course or direction between course markings, you will be deemed to have intentionally left the marked course. Where two course markers are visible, you must go to the closest marker. If a logical or obvious route is evident and both visible markers are distant marks (i.e., one that is evidently not the next mark in sequence) you must proceed on the logical route. Unless directed to do so by a course marking, cutting switchbacks on paved or dirt courses is considered intentional course cutting.
9.4 The course may be changed by the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series or Race Organisers for any reason including, but not limited to, weather, safety hazards or darkness and we may, at our absolute discretion, adjust stage finish times to reflect any course changes.
9.5 Mandatory stops may be issued at any time due to climate, weather conditions or other factors. You must stay at the checkpoint indicated as a mandatory stop for the full time indicated. Failure to do so will result in a time penalty.
9.6 Staggered starts may be issued for any stage of a Race. You will be notified of staggered starts before the beginning of the relevant stage of a Race. Any request to begin a stage of a Race at a start time other than the one assigned to you must be approved by the Event Director or the Medical Director.
9.7 Under no circumstances may you sleep alongside any part of the course.
9.8 The course will be marked by signs, arrows, ribbons, chalk, paint, lights, flags and other devices.
9.9 The course will be marked with devices at intervals of between 25 and 100 meters depending on terrain and visibility. If you do not see a marker for 100 meters and you are not on the obvious or logical course, you must immediately return to the last known marker to find the correct course.
9.10 Two or more course markers placed together indicate an abrupt change in course direction. Multiple markings will be placed so that they can easily be seen while following the intended course. Markings will be placed between foot and head height, and may be placed on the ground, trees, bushes, walls, buildings or other stationary objects.
9.11 The course will be marked by lights and other illuminated marking devices at night. You are required to carry a light that is sufficient to find unlit markers in the event that lights and other illuminating devices are covered, fail or go missing.
9.12 Course markings will generally be visible under normal lighting conditions. Abnormal conditions may include sand, dust, mist, fog, smoke, rain, snow or any other condition that reduces visibility (other than darkness). If abnormal lighting conditions occur, a stage of a Race may be modified, delayed or cancelled until normal visibility conditions return.
9.13 The 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series and the Race Organisers will make every effort to keep the course markers in place for the duration of a stage of a Race. However, it is possible that markers may be taken, buried, blown over, covered, destroyed or otherwise rendered difficult or impossible to find. It is your responsibility to pay attention to the makings and to make intelligent decisions when following the course, or to remain where you are in a safe location at the last course marker you saw.
9.14 You are responsible for (a) staying on the course; (b) slowing down to pay attention to the course markings or the absence of course markings; and (c) waiting at the last course marker seen if you cannot see the next one.
9.15 If you are using a GPS, you must follow the marked course. You may not travel directly between checkpoints unless the course markers take that route. Cutting the course is against these Rules as they could be dangerous or lead to dead ends or impassable terrain. Cutting the course will result in disqualification or a time penalty being issued.
9.16 If you remove or change the location or direction of course markings, you will be disqualified. If the offending competitor is part of a team, the whole team will be disqualified.
9.17 At approximately every 10 kilometers / 6 miles along the course there is a checkpoint where staff, volunteers, a medical doctor, water and shelter are available to competitors.
9.18 All checkpoints must be completed in the designated sequence. Missing a checkpoint will result in the individual or team being disqualified unless they backtrack to the missed checkpoint. The individual or team must then proceed from the first missed checkpoint back through all checkpoints as per the mandatory sequence (even if the individual or team has passed through that checkpoint before).
9.19 You must not spend more than 15 minutes at a checkpoint unless approval is given by a member of the medical staff.
9.20 During the Long March, several tents will be erected at a selected checkpoint called the ‘Overnight Checkpoint’. You may only sleep at a designated ‘Overnight Checkpoint’ or risk disqualification. Hot water may, if reasonably practicable, be provided at the Overnight Checkpoint. You should, however, be prepared to eat without having access to hot water.