Some Stuff About Me ......

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I live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire with my wonderful wife and soul-mate Helen. I have two incredible sons - Evan and Matthew - who are occasionally show up at home, usually when they're hungry or need money. The three of them are the best thing that ever happened to me and I love them all. I spent over 24 years in the Royal Navy, but since I packed it all in and got a proper job my life has gone from strength to strength and I've never looked back. I am a die-hard soul music fan and this remains a serious passion, but in recent years my life has been dedicated to running on the fells and trails of Northern England, it's what I was made for. Please read about my adventures and experiences ...

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Daylight Robbery

A friend of mine is shortly to do the Manchester marathon as part of a team of two, he's been telling me about some of his experiences with the organisers and I have to say I'm truly appalled. OK, so I don't run on the roads much nowadays so perhaps I'm a little out of touch with how things are, but the cost of running this race (and indeed, anything associated with it) seems nothing short of daylight bloody robbery. Can race organisers really get away with this sort of thing nowadays? Apparently so - get this:

- It's cost his tag team £50 each to enter. Yes, you heard that correctly. Fifty quid to run a half-marathon on a dull and particularly uninspiring inner-city route. Additionally, they were charged a £5.00 "handling fee" for their entry.

- It's going to cost £10 for his parking spot at Old Trafford

- If that wasn't bad enough, my mate's partner has been diagnosed with skin cancer and can't now compete, so he has found a replacement and is being charged £10.50 as an additional "admin fee". They refused to waive the fee, even in spite of the distressing circumstances.

Now, I know there is a demand for local events and I also know that people like mass-participation races like GNR, London etc and there's nothing wrong with that, but when the organisers start to take advantage of competitors it gets ugly. There are others out there that truly do exploit people, often masquerading behind a charity banner (I think the Jane Tomlinson one is the most brazen), but this particular event has shocked me. The entry fee and associated costs are outrageous and would make a serious dent in most working families' budgets. Whatever happened to running being an accessible sport for the masses? Not any more.

It really does make you wonder if some race organisers are a bit complacent? There is one well-known ultra distance race in the Lake District that is always sold-out and it's my (and others) opinion that the organisers know they've got a sinecure and treat the competitors with a level of disdain that is quite shocking. People who love the race(s) leap to their defence, but scratch a bit deeper and you realise that Joe Runner really is being treated like the proverbial dog poop. Runners are my favourite kind of people and I hate seeing them exploited. It seems this is happening more and more.

If you're daft enough to have entered the Manchester Marathon, well, I apologise if I've upset your sensibilities. Or did the organisers already do that?