Road Runners apathy

Road runners have traditionally taken little interest in the running of their sport. This is in sharp contrast to the fell runners who have a strong organisation the Fell Runners Association who defend the interests of the fell runners valiantly. ALL the money produced by road running (except that required for insurance) goes to pay for a few elite athletes or into the pockets of a few professional race organisers. Yes all the money paid in affiliation fees, soon for membership fees and race levies goes to fund a few elite track and field athletes or to enrich a few race organisers. Your local club races are at risk from increased regulation pushed forward by the professional race organisers.
You urgently need a strong organisation to stand up for you. Tell your club to join ABAC now. ABAC is not profit making and is run by volunteers working for you.


  • it's certainly a problem.
  • Do you have a web link for ABAC?
  • Live each day as if it was your last  give it all you have to reap the rewards.
  • Interesting...

    and thanks for the web site WP (home you are fit again !)

    The ABAC website and articles contained within it interchange and are critical of the UKA, AAA and management of 'English Athletics'. What is the ABAC's take on the other home countries ? eg is membership also being targeted at Welsh clubs - and if so, are there any Welsh members ?

  • ABAC has some Scottish members but no Welsh. It has marketed itself in Wales and has had correspondence with Welsh clubs. It would very much like to have Welsh members. The problems in England are also very relevant to Wales and Scotland. ABAC sees itself as an organisation for all the countries of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
  • Although the FRA is frequently quoted as being the ideal model organisation, there are a couple of things that need pointing out.

    Firstly: The FRA is largely based on individaul membership. Although clubs may affiliate to the FRA, there is not (as far as I'm aware) any levy on club members for affiliation. You have to join the FRA as an individual to enjoy its benefits and to have a say in how Fell Running is organised and run. So if you join a club for (say) £10 per anum you would still have to pay £12 per anum ON TOP to be a voting member of the FRA. (You can - of course- take part in Fell Races without being a member of the FRA, just as you can take part in Road Races without being a member of an affiliated club).

    Secondly: The FRA is committed to working with the governing body of British Athletics (under whatever acronym they are currently operating), and (as far as I can tell) are committed to staying within the central set up if at all possible. We have painful memories of what it is to have a split in the ranks (read Feet In The Clouds for the history of it). It really isn't terribly healthy.

    Thirdly: The FRA recognises that many Fell Runners also compete in other disciplines. To break away from the governing body might (empahasis on might) have unforseen consequences on both those individuals and the disparate branches of our sport.

    Personally I think that the FRA model of individual membership has a lot going for it. If Road Running and Track and Field had to be self financing in the same way that the FRA is then we might actaully have the beginings of a sport that could holistically compete on the world stage.

    I'm against breakaway organisations of clubs because it will always leave power in the hands of the bigger clubs (in whatever organisation). Balkanising in such a way could create difficulties at an individual level with petty vendettas being pursued at national and international level (something else that Fell Running has experienced).

    Sorry- this is a long post for a Monday morning.
  • I might add that the Fell Runners Association has given its Committee the authority to break away from UK Athletics when it feels this is necessary. The Fell Runners Committee have said that they would not take this step without first seeking the confirmation of their membership. This means that the FRA have real clout when negotiating with UKA. In contrast the road runners are disorganised and consequently get taken for granted by UKA. See the move now to pay all the affiliation fees, membership and race levies into a pot controlled by and used by UK Athletics for their own purposes. Of course it would be better if the sport remains united but this does mean that the road runners must be properly treated and considered and not used as a source of funds for track and field athletics and to fund the British public's desire for Olympic success. Road running must stand up for itself. If it does not the sport will suffer severely.
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