The issue of MCC Night Runs, and whether they should continue, has been raised, yet again, on the Classic Trials Facebook Group – see my previous blog posting on this site.
As someone who loves the fact that MCC trials require tackling observed sections at night, but who hates the Touring Assembly and the hanging-around which this involves (Exeter and Lands End Trials only), I’ve done some investigation:
Exeter Trial (2018 data)
- Average distance from Starts (Cirencester, Okehampton, Popham) to Start ‘Proper’ (Haynes): 85 miles.
- Distance from my house to Haynes, avoiding motorways, according to Google Maps: 80-90 miles according to selected route.
- Distance from Haynes to the first section: 20 miles.
Lands End Trial (2017 data)
- Average distance from Starts (Cirencester, Popham, Plusha) to Start ‘Proper’ (Bridgewater): 94 miles.
- Distance from my house to Bridgewater, avoiding motorways, according to Google Maps: 80-90 miles according to selected route.
- Distance from Bridgewater to the first section: 23 miles.
Edinburgh Trial (2017 data)
- Distance from my house to Tamworth Services, avoiding motorways, according to Google Maps: approx. 70 miles according to selected route.
- Distance from Tamworth to the first section: 48 miles.
So, if I want the ‘adventure’ of the Night Run (= Touring Assembly in my view) as so many competitors claim they do, why can’t I just drive to the Start ‘Proper’, avoiding motorways, by whichever route I choose? I reckon that would save a minimum of two hours of hanging-around time or, more seriously, allow an additional two hours in bed before setting-off. If I chose to use motorways, I could save even more time or get even more pre-event sleep. Maybe even more significantly, my passenger could drive from home to the Start ‘Proper’, reducing driver fatigue still more.
For those who wish to trailer their car to the start, the current system means that the trailer is 85 miles (Exeter), or 95 miles (Lands End), from the Start ‘Proper’, with all the logistic hassle which this involves. Surely the system in place for the Edinburgh is preferable?
Personally, I can see no justification for the current system of Touring Assemblies and lots of good reasons why the Exeter and Lands End Trials should adopt, even if only on a trial (excuse the pun) basis, the same system as for the Edinburgh Trial.