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Eating and Drinking at a stinky ditch in Nottingham.

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Postby Pyro » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:29 am

Alc gel is not the be-all and end-all. A simple solution is to not eat the bits of whatever that you've touched. Hold a toastie by one corner, then throw that corner away. Eat stuff out of wrappers by holding the wrapper. Ask the person with the biscuits to just stuff one in your mouth for you.

The major thing is just to use some common sense. The water may be poor, so minimise your chances of ingesting it. Give your immune system a break, get some sleep, don't get so pissed of an evening, stay hydrated, stay warm, take Vit C if you think it'll help. Use alc gel if you've got it, eat and drink sensibly, and take a bit of thought about what you're doing. It's not rocket science.
"Sometimes you dig your own."
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Postby jh_dempsey » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:31 pm

Move it to the new Lee Valley White Water Course ;-)
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Postby Ross MacLeod » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:01 pm

I'd agree with Matt it does seem to be quite a lottery...

There's a lot of anecdotal evidence kicking around as to why people may or may not have become ill... however staying well hydrated and avoiding alcohol didnt help Alison or Becca (we didnt drink on friday and slept through the party on saturday)! Similarly being fit and healthy didnt help me or joe Poole on the Burrs, where I don't remember ingesting any significant quantity of water, eating food or drinking alcohol. Aside from trent belly, mingling (and bumping uglies?) with students from all over the country is always going to catalise the transmission of colds/flu etc just as freshers week does.

At the end of the day as Matt said I guess the best thing you can do is try and minimise your risk factors. The shower facilities are always going to be a problem at the hot water tanks at the centre arnt geared to deal with hundreds of cold competitors. However improving sanitation on the course and campsite certainly wouldn't be a bad idea the toilets were pretty revolting and washing hands/sanitising wasnt really an option for most people. Bad luck to all of you who are vomming your guts out.
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Postby SarahW » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:39 pm

Ross MacLeod wrote:At the end of the day as Matt said I guess the best thing you can do is try and minimise your risk factors. The shower facilities are always going to be a problem at the hot water tanks at the centre arnt geared to deal with hundreds of cold competitors. However improving sanitation on the course and campsite certainly wouldn't be a bad idea the toilets were pretty revolting and washing hands/sanitising wasnt really an option for most people. Bad luck to all of you who are vomming your guts out.


I'd agree that this was a big problem this year. We had been warned that the campsite toilets would be shut from 8.30pm but that plenty of portaloo facilities would be available to cover the overnight period; however the 6 portaloos that were provided were not at all sufficient for the amount of people we had staying, and the problem was compounded when the toilet blocks "flooded" and were kept locked for the majority of the weekend. I do intend to get this brought up in the feedback with the course as I'm certain that the lack of places to simply wash your hands (which on the campsite were effectively non-existent as the portaloos were not serviced all weekend and so the water tank was not refilled) will have contributed to a lot of people getting ill when they may not have done otherwise.
"You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen." - Paulo Coelho
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Postby Gilo » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:51 pm

Toilets:
The toilet situation on the campsite is definitely not helped by the campsite deciding to lock the toilet block at night, shifting the burden of sanitation for one thousand people onto six portaloos instead of sharing it with the portaloos. Also, to lock the facility when it's needed most - after everyone's had something to drink - is just taking away someone's umbrella when it starts raining.

The toilets at the party obviously weren't enough: girls were fighting to get into a portaloo, guys were letting them get on with it and pissing in the not-so-wilderness right next to them.

And it's been said already but yeah, lights in those things would help a lot.

Washing:
Alcohol gel would be a good idea in a lot of places: at the campsite toilet block (including the outside sinks), strapped to the pedestrian side of the railings by the side of the course for spectators and safety teams, up at Toastie HQ and by the burger van. Perhaps the expense of this provision could be offset if seen as an opportunity for advertising a certain safety and first aid course provider.

Bins:
On the campsite and especially up at the course the bins are overflowing. Can we get more of them for the weekend?

Parking:
The extra road at the campsite this year is welcome but the law of unintended consequences made itself felt when people were asked not to park on the grass. I understand the need to not churn up the grass when the ground is wet, on the other hand lining the edge of the road with cars as people try to comply with this instruction (as if the road was wide enough to park on, which it isn't, so they're still on the grass anyway) makes the campsite inaccessible as the road is fenced off by a line of cars. Either this restriction should be removed, or temporary surface put down to augment the hard standing for cars if the restriction is to be respected without blocking movement unnecessarily.

All these problems are related to handling a large number of people in a short space of time. Defensive behaviours ("not on MY campsite!") that lead to a withdrawal of resources aren't helping, more resources to cope with peak loads are essential.

Dempsey's idea of getting people to return the bibs to the marquee at the campsite is a good one, it has symmetry - call it de-registration, sign-out, whatever. Registration would be improved if it wasn't divided per-uni because when a coach load of people turn up one desk is busy and the others, who are perfectly capable of checking IDs and signing people in, are left idle. I know it's done on paper and that would mean a full list of universities at every desk, but if you did it on laptops that problem would disappear.
Last edited by Gilo on Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SarahW » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:56 pm

I'm going to copy that into the feedback thread, Giles!
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