Never say Never Again... Apart from this time

I'm a simple soul at heart...

All I really want from a race is good organisation, and some form of thing for finishing... Yes I'm a medal whore, but I've a set of mugs, t-shirts and even a small number of cuddly toys...

Good organisation however is not something I tend to negotiate on, yes if its organised by a small charity and there's a cock-up I may be diplomatic. However, when your t-shirt claims you are the Premier Road Race in Liverpool then you have zero degrees of freedom in providing good organisation.

A long time ago, I swore I wouldn't run a BTR event again - the endless arguments that I should get a t-shirt when I finished (the excuse always being someone else took them), the times they ran out of water (always due to someone drinking too much) and the marathon that started 50 minutes late with no explanation, water stations closing down and the final indignity of my bag being left in a muddy puddle (that was all Merseyside Police's fault).

I would love to run more in Liverpool, its my adopted home and has been for the best part of thirty years.  As much as I hate the headwind on the Prom, I love the sense of achievement of making it over the top of Upper Parliament Street, and the beauty of Princes and Sefton Park.

Talking to friends they said that BTR had cleaned up its act, t-shirts were there, water was always available...

And so, with a little trepidation but with hope in my heart I entered...

The course is the course, the bits I love, the bits I hate... But at three miles there was no water... a couple of trestle tables regaled in the sponsors logos and flags proudly flying.  Now, some will argue that three miles isn't needed - apart from the guidance for race directors says that its should be there (for any run over 10k) and its being a lovely spring day, there would be a knock on effect... as people got thirstier as they got further around the course...

And boy was there an impact - no water at nine miles... and a narky steward who when I politely asked where the water was who said there were 4 tonnes of water, so it wasn't his fault.

At which point I moved from run-walk to walk-jog.  I'm not anywhere near as fit as I like to be, and I'm not going to drain myself completely because a run director is unable to provide what they are required to do, or what they said they would.

So, half the water stations didn't have water... and the last one was looking rather low when I went through (not last - and that shouldn't matter anyway).  Not one being low, as does happen in some races, but two not being there...

The reason given for the first station not being there - the lock broke and this was outside of the director's control... rubbish, a race director should be in control, that's the definition of their job.

In terms of the provision of water again it's clearly stated:

Race Licence Standards require on-course drinks stations to be provided for races of 10km or greater, at approximately 5km intervals. On-course drink stations must be clearly signed in advance and not situated on the running line. Drinks must also be provided for the entire field at the end of the race.  Race Director's Handbook

So, what sanction is there... The Race Director says it isn't his fault, the sponsor says talk to the Race Director.  My only sanction is to say never again, and not run a BTR event ever again.  Maybe this was just unlucky, but I've run in probably over an hundred races now only those from BTR have ever run out of water.

I only hope those also affected don't view the issues or the lack or adequate response as indicative of my home city... Trust me its not, the kid who offered me his coke can, and the Race Angel running back from the last water station to try and get water to people - they're indicative, not BTR.

So, I'm angry... and disappointed...

Paul

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Heroes

The end of an era...