On the occasion of the R4JCV’s 20th edition (2019), we have organised and created the
“Long Distance Walking Award” (BMLD)
What is a BMLD?
This is a new walking event for any walkers who are used to completing long distances in a limited time. The walker completes a non signposted route planned by the organisers. They must navigate the distance without any form of personal assistance. Control points will be set up by the organisers to verify that they have completed the entire course, thereby qualifying for the “brevet (award)”.
The time limit for these distance awards are as follows: 120 km in 45hrs, or 200 km in 75hrs.
The average speed is not important. However these times include stops (e.g. rest, meals, sleeping etc…). To complete the event ,it is therefore necessary to walk at least 4km / h, including during the night.
A route precisely planned by the organiser.
The route consists of all types of terrain: paved roads (avoiding roads with heavy road traffic), forest trails, dirt or grass paths, etc,… These routes are also open to the public.
The route will not be signposted (except, possibly, in some places where the terrain could be particularly confusing). The organisers will include in their circuit sections of GR, GRP or local hiking trails signposts which will help the walker to progress en route.
The organisers will publish on the internet site a detailed map of the route with GPS and also provide the walker with a very detailed roadmap with minimum and maximum travel times.
No personal assistance
Any form of personal assistance (e.g. mountain bike or camper van, meeting with someone to pick up clothes or food etc…) is strictly forbidden. Any breach of this rule results in the immediate disqualification from the BMLD.
On the other hand, the walker can take advantage of: bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, hotels, campsites, homestays, barns, etc…
The organisers can suggest assistance in the form of resupply points, communal sleeping rooms etc…. However these services are optional and are not obligatory
Checkpoints and the “Log Book”
The goal of the walker is to obtain their “award”. To do this, they must complete the entire course in the time permitted and in accordance with the rules outlined. For this, they must be able to prove their progress to “control points” selected by the organisers and indicated on the maps . Evidence of the walkers progress is recorded in the ‘Logbook’ provided by the organisers at the departure.
There are various control methods as set up by the organisers, for example:
· a stamp by a commercial trader or at a town hall … in the Logbook.
· a selfie photo taken by the walker in front of the entrance or exit sign of a local landmark
( the walker can then forward the selfie to the organisers or show these on arrival)
· answering a question about a visible feature in the locality of the control point
· posting a ‘control card’ in the letterbox of a local resident associated with the BMLD.
Finally, the organisers can set up ‘secret checks’ to ensure the completion of the entire course.
At the end of the walk, the walker must leave the Logbook together with all the evidence with the organisers. The Logbook will then be checked and verified and if successful later returned to the walker.
The BMLD is not a competition
The only goal of the walker is to cover the entire course within the allotted time and respecting the rules. The organisers will publish the full list of participants who have successfully completed their BMLD, without indicating times.
During your BMLD you are on a personal walk. For example, as if you were on a pilgrims trail or crossing Corsica on the GR20.
If the walker goes off route they cannot expect to receive help from the organisers. In case of injury or abandonment, it is entirely up to the walker to find a means of transport to return or to request medical assistance.
As the commitment of the organisers is small (plan of the route, provision of guidance documents, establishment of control points), the tariff will also be minimum. However, if the organisers set up additional services (e.g. refreshment stations, meals, sleeping accommodations etc..), then the rates of the tariffs will be adjusted accordingly.
The Organisation of the BMLD
Only clubs affiliated to the French Hiking Federation are authorised to organise a BMLD. Any interested club must first submit their application to the R4JCV, then it will be verified and approved according to the rules.