As a league, we have been facing difficulties with securing, and then holding on to venues to host races. In recent years we have lost both Boggart Hole Clough and Woodbank Park. Once of our newer fixtures, Kenworthy Woods, also faces a number of new restrictions. Those who ran in the race prior to 2022 will remember that we had full use of the site and could avoid short laps. However, last year, we were restricted to using only the East side of the site, which necessitated a number of short laps around the field, and at the end of the race last year we had issues with people doing too few/too many laps. This is something we had to try and avoid this year.
Furthemore, the League have also had to contend with a number of health and safety issues around the later finish times of some of the male runners. This led to us introducing cut-off times for the Senior Mens race. This is not something we did lightly, but felt that it was the best solution to the problem at the time.
The Working Group are however open to testing other options to resolve the issue. We therefore advise the Clubs that both Senior Womens and Senior Mens distances will be amended for this forthcoming fixture, with the womens race becoming longer than previous years, but in line with the recommended distance, and the mens race distance will be shortened to 8,000m. This should ensure that all men who wish to compete should have the opportunity to run in the mens race, and not be restricted by cut-off times, however we’re also excited to see the impact that this will have at all levels of the Senior Mens race, and it should make for some more competitive finishes.
The race distances in the 2022/2023 Kenworthy fixture was as follows:
U20 and Senior Women – 6,820m (1,180m short from recommended distance)
U20 and Senior Men – 9,170m (430m short from recommended distance)
We advise clubs that the 2023/2024 Kenworthy fixtures will be:
U20 and Senior Women – 8,000m (in line with the recommended distance)
U20 and Senior Men – 8,000m (1,600 short of recommended distance)
The proposed course is here on Strava: https://www.strava.com/routes/3024325186066119386
We wish to point out that this change has been driven by constraints at Kenworthy Woods and is not proposed as a change to all fixtures. We would be pleased to receive feedback from the clubs after the event to understand how your runners felt about the race, and how it could possibly be improved in the future.