Just 12 months ago we celebrated the 2019 RRC Club Championships and introduced the calendar for 2020. The excitement of a packed diary of events along with a brand new Fell Championships brought with it a sense of anticipation for the forthcoming year.
Fast forward to the end of 2020, we know that many of you will be feeling a little deflated to have missed the opportunity to take part in so many exciting events.
But let's take a quick look back at some of the events we did manage to complete 'BC' (before Covid):
The 2020 Club Champs started with a bumper turn out at Preston parkrun. A beautiful park setting with a colossal 95 Rams taking part.
This was quickly followed by the East Lancs Hospice 10K, Blackburn Winter Warmer 10K and Standish Trail 10K. With all these 10K’s under our belts it was time to revisit the scenic woodland course at Roddlesworth where, again, another whopping turnout of 47 made a dent in the field of runners.
With many of us with our eyes on the Darwen Half Marathon later in March little did we know we were to be abruptly halted in our tracks by Covid. A tough course that, to give it justice, requires a training commitment so many of us had diligently undertaken only to be left with a feeling of loss with little will to continue training.
The rest, as they say, is history. It was disappointing to have started the year on such a high only to have the rest of the year play out in the way that it did! This isn’t to detract from some of the amazing efforts already put in.
So, against all odds, we managed to complete 5 of the Club Championship races and, along with the two floating parkruns at Witton Park and Alexandra Park, there was a potential to have completed 7 races in a very short space of time.
Amazingly two males, Chris Hughes and Richard Thatcher, completed a total of 5 races with Jeff Pendlebury completing an astonishing 6 races. However, Richard was also one of the 8 males to take part in the first Fell Race of the year thus equalling Jeff in the number of races completed for 2020 across the board.
Turning to the females, an amazing nine ladies completed 5 Races, Louise Geoghegan, Christine Pendlebury, Beverley Walker, Sarah Clarke, Emma Palmer, Janet Rubanik, Catherine McIntyre, Michelle Evans and Tracy Fielding-Martin, with Caroline Evans being the only female to complete 6 races. A total of 6 females completed the first race of the Fell Championships, including Emma Palmer and Sarah Clarke, therefore each representing the Club 6 times for the year.
Turning to the 2021 calendar we looked long and hard at how best we can move forward taking into account a possible sense of anguish amongst some, potential financial and time constraints and the general desire to get back out there, if at all.
So, we felt the best course of action would be to simply re-run the 2020 calendar, where events and restrictions allow. However, we would like to stress that this is a moving target at the moment. With a full calendar of 26 races for the year we are sadly already aware of at least 7 casualties that are either definitely or likely cancelled and there is little we can do about these.
At present we can still run a full Club Championships with the remaining 19 races without too much effect on the competition. We will continue to review this as the months roll by and endeavour to keep you informed as and when the information filters down to us.
For reference we can confirm the following races will definitely not take place in the 2020 calendar:
- Preston parkrun
- East Lancs Hospice 10K
- Blackburn Winter Warmer 10K.
There is also a sense of feeling that the following events will remain on the ‘unlikely’ list although these will very much remain a watch and wait type scenario:
- Standish Hall 10K
- Roddlesworth Roller
- Darwen Half Marathon
- Bolton parkrun
In addition, the Rivington Half Marathon has, at present, been postponed from October 2020 to 20th March 2021 with no plans to give it a second running at the standard October date. So, as it stands, this race will be removed altogether from the 2021 calendar as it sadly does not fit with our March schedule.
We appreciate that there may be some frustration at the unknown nature of things at present, but rest assured we will continue to monitor and inform you as soon as information is made available.
We do have various backup plans should the number of races available to us drop to an unfair level and these are to include perhaps using additional one off parkrun events (should parkrun return first) along with Virtual courses and Club Challenges if necessary.
Just one final mention on the Fell Championships, the general feeling is Fell races seem to be making an earlier comeback than road races, traditionally being a smaller field of runners and on a less formal basis. We will endeavour to keep the Fell Championship races the same as 2020 but, again, will keep you updated once we have further information on individual events.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and bright New Year.
Bev & Ann