Midweek Distance Running League First Meeting 2000/01 Season - Pugneys 5k
Results & Report by: Ron Needham
29th June 2000 - Pugneys Country Park, Wakefield
The first meeting of the 2000/01 championship was combined with the Pugney's 5k race (in aid of Second Chance, the head injuries unit at Pinderfields). This open event was won by Mark Ridgeway but was otherwise dominated by Harriers, taking 4 of the first 7 places. Mark is, of course, a Harrier in all but vest, having trained with us regularly and consistently since his leaving the club for Sheffield - time you came back, Mark. There were, by the way, no handicap prizes at this meeting event, as this was an open event.
There was, unfortunately, a clash with the traditional Denby Dale Dearne Way relay. These things happen, of course, but we deliberately set our event for a Thursday night to avoid the traditional Denby Dale Tuesday. The Denby Dale event was changed as they have moved from the Travellers to the Pie House, but it's a pity no one thought to check what other events were set for the night. This possibly stems from the non-permit status of the Denby Dale event (had a permit have been applied for a permit, they would have been informed of the fixtures already permitted for that night). As it was, the over-all entry from all clubs at Pugneys was well down, and a number of our own regulars went to Denby Dale - disappointing (especially when we get moans from some members that we don't put on enough events) although understandable as many of our members have been going to the relays for a long time.
My thanks to Sue Millican, Andy Freeth and Jack Hewitt for their very valuable assistance in running the event. These are amongst the people who always can be relied upon to turn up and help - a sobering thought for athletes, if we didn't have such people prepared to give up their time to stand about and take times and numbers (and often the crap that a minority of ignorant prima-donna athletes throw at them), you wouldn't have events to run in, so next time someone asks YOU to help, don't walk away or be busy doing something else, do your share. Thanks also to David Needham for his help on the night.
Talking about ignorant prima donnas, I always believed the veterans were more likely to be understanding of the work going in. My experiences at the Yorkshire Veterans' Road Relays last Sunday made me think otherwise. We organise this event at Methley and have done so for the last 10 years. As a condition of entry, each club is supposed to provide a marshal. On Sunday, we got three from other clubs plus Stuart Anderson from Wakefield. I also managed to persuade three other people standing around on the course to help. Then some clubs had the cheek to complain that "there isn't a marshal at the road end." We also ask people not to park on the course itself, so, of course, many did., and became abusive when asked to move their cars (so that athletes are safer). The night before the event, I drove round it and found 50 metres of the road had been dug up (several very deep holes), so we were down to one lane, on a series of blind S bends, with temporary traffic lights. Two people from different clubs approached me and complained that this was "ridiculous" - yes we know, and we did our best with the limited number of marshals supplied to us to make it safe, but what did they want me to do? - go round and fill the bloody holes in? To cap it all, marshals at the site of the road-works reported they had taken serious abuse from one athlete when asked to stay on the pavement through the 50 metre stretch. It was also interesting to see the reaction of many people standing around at the change over/finish area when John Smith (the guy with white hair who tuns up to organise or help at events, rain, hale or shine - most of you know him, can have a sharp tongue but is salt of the earth and the Yorkshire Vets organisation would never have got off the ground or kept going without him) asked the crowd if someone would take over recording as he had to go and sort out the results. I've never seen as many people so quickly turn their heads away to talk to someone or be doing something else.
My very serious thanks by the way, amidst all this moaning, to Tony Audsley, Alan Stainer and Clive Grace for their assistance in marshalling after they had run, and special thanks to Stuart Anderson who was there very early in the morning to set out the course. Also, if he reads this, thanks to ex-Harrier John Bell who did sterling work in helping control at the road works.