Thanks Supershins - I understand and as we would have had hefty travel and accom costs (were we still running) then agree with the Sat decision.
I had already cancelled due to Mrs W injury - looking on the bright side perhaps if it is re-scheduled or entries deferred we may get chance to run yet !
I also understand those people upset at missing a hard trained for run.
Hey ho - life goes on and we are very lucky to be able to run.
On a different topic - Wednesday morning I decided a foot of snow was too much for the car and ran the 9 miles to work, it took a little longer than normal. I figured it was hard work but I could get the train back - unfortunately I only managed 3 miles on the train coming home due to cancellations and also needed a detour to buy 6 pints of milk which was quite heavy to carry for the last 3 miles. Still it was a great challenge and the mile or so along the canal in glistening white was probably some of the most beautiful running I have ever done. If I had still planned on running Sunday there was no way I would have done such a hard slog !
Take pleasure where you find it
Thanks Supershins. Damn shame, tough call, but the right one. Well done.
I look forward to Luton 2011 and hope you apply the same criteria to whether or not the race can take place in the event of any adverse conditions, be it weather, traffic accidents or acts of God!!
For a few of the people that were wondering about refunds, just thought I'd point out number 5 on the declaration you signed upon entering, didn't anyone ever tell you not to sign something unless you've read it first!
(5) I understand that if I am unable to run or if the event is cancelled then no money will be refunded.
I was dissapointed that this didnt go ahead, I have run 3 of the last 4 (did Hastings the year it was cancelled by a stroke of luck).
But, I can see why it was. A few months ago I was due to run a very small marathon organised by a friend. It was called off the night before due to unforseen circustances. I was very dissapointed and had already bought train tickets which of course are non refundable.
So what I did, was go out the following day, and run 26.2 miles round the streets where I live. I did loops so my porch could be my drinks station. There was no medal, t shirt or goody bag. But I had run a marathon and had plenty of time to think about why I am so glad people choose to give up their time to put them on
The Luton marathon organisers may choose to stick to the terms of the entry or they may choose to make a gesture to their customers who may feel a bit let down.
My own suggestion would be to issue a money off voucher for next year's race. A year is a long time and circumstances change, so in practice this will not cost them a great deal.
Taff boy,Apology accepted.
I went down to Luton for the weekend anyway as I had train tickets and I have friend there and went out for a run on Sunday, only about 6 miles but didn't see any snow at all Dave but if that photo was taken anywhere on the route then I feel much better.
I agree with the comment above, appreciate we all signed up to a 'no refund clause' but a roll over till next year place would be appreciated, I don't claim to know anything about the costs of putting on a marathon though so am not sure if this is possible or to what extent all of the funds will be been spent regardless of it going ahead or not.
Anyway - onwards and upwards. Liverbirds on NYE it looks like it will be for me!
The final kick in the teeth for the organisers was the sudden thaw over the weekend. The pavements were particularly icy on Friday and the route goes up the A6 on the pavement and back through Luton on the pavement. So this would have been a major factor. It was forecast to finally get above zero on Saturday but the extenmt of the thaw was unexpected, however this put a lot of water down which was expected to freeze on Saturday night and it didn't. I had another to go to on Sunday and planned to leave an hour earlier in case of frozen roads (and i was thinking motorways). In the event the pavements were clear in Luton. Couldn't have anticipated that but no doubt left the organisers cursing on Sunday morning.
Nearly all races have the clause about unforeseen circumstances and the ONLY one I remember refunding was .... Luton a couple of years back when the car overturned. However I think they were insured for that occurence. Weather is more expensive to insure against and generally you just don't do it unless you are organising a 10,000 attendees outdoors concert or something..
Just about all the costs are laid out before the day.
We are looking at all the options open to us, and will be making a further official announcement soon. But please all be aware that we really value your support over the years. The suggestions being made are sensible, and will definitely be taken into account.
The only reason I got involved in the Luton Marathon in the first place was because people wanted to enter it. Despite all of the disappointment, it seems that for most of you that is still the case, and all of your messages of support have been incredibly welcome.
Brooks the beast wrote (see)
Laura,The final kick in the teeth for the organisers was the sudden thaw over the weekend. The pavements were particularly icy on Friday and the route goes up the A6 on the pavement and back through Luton on the pavement. So this would have been a major factor. It was forecast to finally get above zero on Saturday but the extenmt of the thaw was unexpected, however this put a lot of water down which was expected to freeze on Saturday night and it didn't. I had another to go to on Sunday and planned to leave an hour earlier in case of frozen roads (and i was thinking motorways). In the event the pavements were clear in Luton. Couldn't have anticipated that but no doubt left the organisers cursing on Sunday morning. Nearly all races have the clause about unforeseen circumstances and the ONLY one I remember refunding was .... Luton a couple of years back when the car overturned. However I think they were insured for that occurence. Weather is more expensive to insure against and generally you just don't do it unless you are organising a 10,000 attendees outdoors concert or something.. Just about all the costs are laid out before the day.
Fair point Brooks, but the point is the thaw may have been sudden but it was not unexpected. The weather forecasts were all showing rain and a thaw on Friday night / Saturday morning, and if the decision was left until the Saturday as originally planned then the conditions would have been much different to when the decision was made on Friday morning.
And that's what I don't understand - why was the decision brought forward? If Saturday was too late to make a decision, why choose this day originally and broadcast it to veryone? I know the organisers have a tough decision to make, but to change the day and move it forward by 24 hours has led to many of the questions being asked.
BTW, I personally don't want a refund of entry fee - I enter these things at my own risk, and if it gets called off then thats a risk I take. Besides, I expect much of the takings have already been taken up by unavoidable costs, and to refund to everyone could put the organisers in financial difficulties. If the organisers are looking for something to do with the cash, then a donation to charoty, or using it to develop athletcs within their own club is more than fine by me.
Stephen Richardson wrote (see)
I've a suggestion, move the 2011 race to January 2011 as a one off and then you have 23 months to relax and prepare for the next one..
Far too short a time to move a marathon esp when you have to involve the local council and police, you're also assuming those that had volunteered to help are still availiable in Jan 2011.
What's to say there won't be any snow and ice in Jan/Feb.
Depends on how many of the bells and whistles you want I guess?
Some of the other events cancelled at the weekend are being rescheduled. Looks like the CrowBorough 10k is being run two weeks late. I appreciate thats a 6 mile course vs 9 miles and the runners will be out for longer. No doubt more complicated for a marathon, but I doubt its impossible.
It seems the 100 Marathon club were able to knock up a marathon in a couple of days last week to replace the Luton Marathon in Milton Keynes.
There is risk of cancellation all year round. The summer JP Morgan chase challenge was cancelled because of the terrorist attacks on July 7th.
Also might be worth having some contingency plans. Ie:
1. Plan for the cancellation ahead of the event, work with the authorities to establish a contingency date. If the contingency date has bad weather, then cancel.
2. If you have to cancel then hijack another event. Ie ask the Bedford Half organisers if they could at a push make it two lap race with an earlier marathon start.
3. Have a shorter emergency course. Instead of 3 laps of the normal course, 10 laps of a shorter course which would be more manageable to grit etc.
4. Establish the criteria for cancellation and publish it so everyone that enters is aware. Ie we will cancel the event if 48 hours before there is frozen compacted ice on any part of the course, irrespective of any forecasts.
I wouldn't mind paying a premium on the entry for this level of organisation and assurance that the 50 ? hours of marathon training you put into an event like luton don't go to waste.
I can appreciate that some people want a refund as they feel the paid for a service they didn't recieve. Having said that the proceeds of the race go to a hospice. Given there was no bad intent on any of the organisers or runners, it seems unfair that the ones that suffer the real loss are terminally ill people. So I would agree that the organisers should if possible state that the entire or as big a % as possible will be donated to the hospice, unless a refund is specifically requested by a runner for whatever individual reasons they might have (which could be that they can donate directly with tax relief or whatever)
If the Luton Marathon had gone ahead we would have enjoyed some of the best conditions ever. It should not have been cancelled. Even the usual nagging headwind halfway round the lap would have been missing.
Thirty people who had entered ran a marathon anyway. Two completed in less than three hours.
I joined 14 others for a training run just a few miles away. No snow, no ice, blue skies and the gentlest of breezes. A great morning for early December.
What little snow that was left on Saturday morning was thawing fast. Then as forecast the temperature did not fall below zero Saturday night.
I'm afraid the organisers shot themselves in the foot by telling entrants they were going to check the course and review the situation on Saturday then jumping to a hasty and wrong decision on Friday. Surely no-one would have argued for a cancellation on the day the review should have taken place?
The event would have incorporated the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire County Championships. No-one from those areas would have had any problems getting to the start. There would have been a good field - many relishing the almost ideal conditions.
I understand the clause about not getting refunds if an event is cancelled for good reasons. But there was no reason to cancel. Hiding behind a clause like that will really wind up people who are already very disappointed.
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