I'm not quite sure where to start!
But I suppose that the first thing that needs to be said is a big thank you to those of you who took part in today's race at Lydd.
Those of you who have taken part in the race before will know that we have suffered marshalling issues in the past - particularly last year. Such were the issues then that Cathy and I decided we did not want to organise another Lydd Half Marathon. However, we had a huge response from runners - those that know us and those that don't - that asked us to stick with the event. And so we did.
Just to give a little bit of background, the race is organised by us on behalf of Lydd Town Council who wanted to revive a previously popular event in the town to raise money for the Mayor's Charity Fund. We don't do it for money - we do it for expenses only. And we do it because we want to help bring quality events to runners in the south east. Moreover, as runners ourselves, we have a genuine love for the sport. Those who know Cathy and I will know how much we appreciate the support from friends in the running community - we always try our best and most times we seem to get it right. But, frankly, this event has plagued us from the start. We agreed to organise the race on one condition - that we received full marshalling support from the town. Our stipulation was that a minimum of 20 marshals were needed to put on a safe event. We reduced that to 10 during the week when it became clear that the town couldn't provide the 20 we asked for. Yesterday we were told the town could only provide 8 - and this morning only five of those eight tuned up, including two children (and, by the way, we are very grateful to those five!).
So, what do we do? Our Course Director Steve was adamant that, with the level of marshalling we had, we should cancel the race - which left us in a very difficult position. In the event we managed to beg, steal and borrow a bare minimum number of marshals in order to put the race on - and that was the reason we had issues out on the course. I think that if I had paid money to enter today I would have had issues with the number and quality of marshals - and the toilets (the Sports Pavilion with extra toilets remained resolutely shut throughout the morning despite promises to the contrary) - so please don't think that we don't understand. [CONTINUED}