Sent: 15 January 2008 00:55
Subject: Please reinstate the Leeds Half Marathon this year
For the attention of Sara Birkinshaw,
By the time you receive this you will already have seen more than 100 emails either sent directly to yourself or sent to the “Your Views” page of the Yorkshire Evening Post.
My personal background is that I have run
8 Leeds marathons and 15
Having had time to read thoroughly your document of 27 December, I’d like to make detailed comments.
Firstly, I would like to know the make-up of the “Recreation Delegated Decision Panel” and know how many Leeds City Councillors were involved in the decision.
I would like to add my own section on background information:
The Leeds Half Marathon has a long
history, dating back to the
NB The last marathon was in 2003, there were only 330 runners, and although sad, its demise was not unexpected.
Leeds has a history of producing marathon
runners, amongst them – Sarah Rowell (Olympics 1984), Veronique Marot (London
winner and British record holder 1985-7 and 1989-2002), Angie Hulley
(Commonwealth bronze medallist 1990),
Now to pick up your “Main Issues”, in turn:
3.1 regarding road closures – this is
going to have to happen for a large race. But other cities manage to have
half marathons in their city centres – including Sheffield, Liverpool,
3.2 regarding the Council’s support - yes of course the Jane Tomlinson event needs the Council’s support. But if we compare the two sporting events – 3,000 people running 13 miles plus another 2,000 running 1-2 miles for Leeds Half Marathon events and 12,000 people running 6 miles for JT – then logic says the Sport Development section of the Council should be providing almost equal support to the two events. You already have the processes in place for organising the LHM (as do the JT organisers for their race), so the workload for 2008 should be less than 2007.
3.3 regarding Corporate Challenge – the main corporate challenge in the JT involves adding the times of 3 team members; there are also competitions for most runners and most sponsorship. All runners are running 10k. This is completely different from the LMH relay race which involves 6 team members who are running a shorter distance (there is a wonderful atmosphere at the handover stations in the LHM relay).
3.4 regarding the Fun Run – rather than
“hoping a Fun Run will take place in 2008”, I would have expected you to be a
lot more positive – suggesting a venue and time of year – before cancelling the
Leeds Half Fun Run. But I am sure that the participants enjoy running up
the Headrow far more than a lap of
3.5 you mention
3.5 regarding the date – you say “summer would not attract many participants and October would be too close to the Abbey Dash”, which begs the question, why not September? And for 2009, put the JT race on in May and the Leeds Half in June, and people can run both, with athletes using JT as a form guide for the LHM.
3.6 regarding “encouraging potential Half
Marathon entrants to enter the Jane Tomlinson 10k” – you know by now, they are
different events. They may well enter JT. But they will probably
(also) go to run Sheffield (or possibly Blackpool) half marathon at the end of April
3.6. regarding the “best 10k in the
country” – Leeds could have the two best 10ks in the country, JT the best 10k
run and Abbey Dash the best 10k race. But
To comment on your conclusions
You have come to your conclusion without any feedback. Why do you want to have a “review of options for the half marathon reinstatement in May 2008”, when you will know no more that you do now – you already have the runner feedback, you won’t be any wiser about the Jane Tomlinson 10k run, and you won’t know any more about road closures. And according to you, in May, you’ll also be busy with your involvement in the Jane Tomlinson 10k. Why not hold the review now?
Please reconsider your decision of 27 December! You have lost less than three weeks, so it must still be possible to put the Half Marathon back on its originally scheduled date of 11 May (the date is still free in everyone’s diaries). Or, if May is not possible, then this September.