A woman was pulled out of a 20-mile race yesterday for ‘being too slow’. What message does this give to people taking up running to improve their health and fitness?
If you were lurking on twitter or Facebook last night, you might have seen a furore kicking off about the Spen 20 race. According to her account, a lady called Netty was pulled off the course by a marshal after a mile and a half, who told her she was too slow (she was, at that very early point, doing around 12 minutes a mile) and that the race “wasn’t for people like her”.
Let’s get the defence out of the way. Any club that puts on a race is entirely within their rights to set the rules. If they want cut off times so volunteer marshals aren’t out on the course for a very long time, if they want qualifying standards, if they want to attract a certain type of runner – fine. Absolutely their right. Put that in the rules. Apparently there was an “opportunity” for slower runners to start earlier, unmarshalled, and two other entrants did this. Perhaps Netty should have done this too.