The Midland Counties Athletics Association held its Annual Online Road Running Open Forum on Sunday 16th January 2022 commencing at midday. Despite a big push to get details of the meeting out there only two individuals joined members of the Road Running Committee to discuss potential changes to the Area’s Road Running Plans for 2022.
The Chair welcomed everyone to the Open Forum and advised that this was part of a continuing process to broaden what the Association offered its member clubs and was part of a strategy to come back stronger after the pandemic. He pointed out that 2021 had seen the Midland Counties stage championship races over 5k, 10k, 10-miles and half-marathon. The 5k had included a junior race for the first time and a Junior 5k had been included in the Inter Area 5k in Cardiff on 29th August 2021.
There had been some comments online beforehand, mainly concerning the Men’s 12-stage and Ladies 6-stage, and the following ideas were raised at the meeting:
Do away with the long stage altogether – have 12 stages of the same length (perhaps use the current short stage).
Do away with the long stage all together – look to increase the short stage slightly within the confines of marshalling and safety to an agreed recognised standard distance e.g. 5Km. This would allow equal comparison.
Reduce the event from 12 to 10 stages but also taking into consideration the first two points.
At the meeting, the question of the massed start was raised for the slower teams on the last few legs and it was agreed that this was a matter that needed addressing.
Graham Heeley, the Midland Endurance Officials Secretary, also advised that the Association needed to investigate alternative courses as Sutton Park was becoming congested and a venue that didn’t have public access would be highly beneficial.
Given the lack of attendees at the meeting it was agreed that an online survey be created to get a better feel for clubs and individuals views on the future of the event and this should be out with clubs before the end of January 2022. Given the timescales the event would run in 2022 in the traditional format with any changes being introduced in 2023.
Other items were discussed and were supported by the club representatives and these would be introduced with immediate effect, these were:
a. Include a Masters Women’s race within the Women’s Senior race at the 4-Stage relays in the Autumn.
b. Introduce prizes for the first three senior teams (male and female) in all Midland Counties Road Running Championships (5k, 10k, 10-mile, half-marathon and marathon).
The Chair also explained the process that the Association went through before holding Championship races in events and advised that so far only one race has been agreed for 2022 with the 5k to be held at Mallory Park on Saturday 16th April 2022. Details of the event are at:
If your club is hosting a 10k, 10-mile, half-marathon or marathon and you are interested in hosting a Midland Championship event within your race then please contact the Chair of Road Running, Keith Brackstone, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bids to host would be particularly welcome from clubs/events in the south of the Midlands.