Thanks to Tony and Graham for organising this monthís event. Thanks especially to Graham for sacrificing his run to ensure the women at the rear of the event were safe. We all really have to come to terms with the fact that we are a mixed club and that this series is intended to cater for all members. If women donít feel safe in the event, they wonít take part - and we are trying to encourage participation by women members, not discourage it. We all of us need to acknowledge that. I was dismayed at one suggestion after the event that a degree of harassment is to be expected and that if women want to take part, they have to accept risk. That is a selfish attitude and, if I believed that members generally felt that way, I would not wish to take part. However, talking about it afterwards, I was reminded of the number of times men athletes had gone back round the course to pilot in and ensure the safety of the ladies and Iím sure the vast majority of the men taking part are as concerned as I am. What we have to do in the dark months is to be more thoughtful with course planning - out and backs along well lit safe roads seem to be the answer, otherwise we face the prospect of running round and round a track again.
Enough of the soap-boxing - on to the real stuff. Craig Heppenstall continued to show excellent form and led in Steve Tibbs, Dave Needham and Adam Cooper. With Richard Westís enforced absence through police duty, the positions at the top of the league are starting to look very interesting indeed. In the ladies section, the fact that Dot Hand was unable to be with us for the event has made things a little more equal in the table.
The handicaps were messed up by the proposed 4 mile distance becoming about 2.5 on the night and I had to do some frenetic re-calculations in the pub to proportion the handicaps accordingly. Stuart Anderson continues to beguile me by inconsistent times and he took the menís prize quite easily whilst lower down the field, things were much closer, with a tie for second between Mike Logan and Steve Wilkinson. Sue Needhamís victory in the womenís event proved the value of getting lost in the last event and coming back with a much slower time than true form.
Welcome, by the way, to Richard Little and Jim Geddes, making their debuts - hope you enjoyed the experience fellers and that weíll see you at the next and subsequent events.