We drove 'goodness knows how many miles' to Thirsk last Sunday only to be told their 10 mile North of England, Yorkshire and Yorkshire Veterans Championship race had been cancelled. Spit! I'd rung the organiser on Saturday evening to ask if the course was runnable. He assured me it was and said he'd just run round it to check it out. Furthermore he said it was a good forecast for Sunday in his neck of the woods. And he was right, it was good. There was no more overnight snow, Sunday dawned absolutely beautiful, cloudless skies and roads perfectly clear all the way to the race venue in Thirsk. Perfect racing weather. All systems go, or so we thought....
Some time after I'd phoned it seems the organisers had spotted a bit of ice on some part of the course and the consensus of opinion was that it was too dangerous to race. To say I was livid was an understatement, I'd to drag myself away before I exploded. I'd trained hard for this race, intent on consolidating my position at the top of the 2010 MV75 British 10 mile road race Rankings. Admittedly, I'm a fell runner so a a few patches of ice might add to the excitement but in no way keeps me from doing what I love doing. Were they frightened of being sued in the event of an accident? Surely not because at the bottom of the Entry Form we all had to sign this:
A bit of ice - up Hebden ghyll
"Declaration – Please enter me for the race as indicated above. I agree that the race organisers will in no way be held responsible for any injury or damage caused to me during the course of the run, and that I am fit and healthy to run".
A much better solution would have been for the organisers to warn runners of any possible danger at whatever point on the course, then left it to the runner's discretion whether to run, or not. Well, that's the way I see it. I certainly would have run. We drove home disgruntedly, to say the least, and went for a long run up the Ghyll where it was REALLY icy, then out onto the moor before a fast mile down Moor Lane to work things out of our system! Latest news is that the race date has been re-scheduled to March 20th, 2011. Hope I'm still around to run it!