Oxford Half Marathon

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12/06/2011 at 19:50
if it goes ahead I will do it come down for the weekend
12/06/2011 at 20:54

Oxfordshire Athletics Association (OAA) has said the event, which has not been staged since the 1990s, would clash with other races, while UK Athletics said it was “not legitimate” because it had not issued a licence.

But the race’s directors . . . . . .   said the event had been given the go ahead by an alternative group . . . . .  The Association of Running Clubs (ARC) has issued a race permit, but organisers have not sought backing from the sport’s governing body, UK Athletics . . . . . John Temperton, from UK Athletics, added: “As far as we are concerned, it is not legitimate because they have gone to an alternative organisation which is not recognised... as a governing body.”

13/06/2011 at 07:35

So the squabble seems to be between ARC and UKA. I have come across this before: there are a lot of races which get permits from the ARC and not UKA. This does not make them legitimate or otherwise: the UKA is not the legitimate govenring body: that would imply there is something set in law and there is not.

There is a "recognised" heirarchy and at the top is the IAAF and this recognises the UKA within the UK and in turn the UKA recognises the various county athletics organsitions (so in this case the Oxfordshire AA) which in turn recognises the clubs.

The ARC works outside this and is aimed at road running clubs. You can understand why there is a break off group as road running is a very different sport to track and field. To run on the roads you just need to meet up a few times a week, you barely need a club house, you certainly don't need a multi-million pound track. As far as I can see, the ARC basically provides the infrastructure for a club to run, so that is insurance for club members when at runnign nights and insurance for races when the organise a race (race permit). It is minimalistic, no need for a lot of paperwork etc and obviously fill sa gap in the market.

For the vast majority of runners, ARC vs UKA is irrelevant. You will not get your time recorded on www.thepowerof10.info or on www.runbritain.com anbd if you want to qualify for the UKA champiopnships it needs to be in a UKA recognised race but that does not apply to most of us.

I think it is a shame the situation has arose, and maybe the UKA needs to look at how it can appeal to pure road runing clubs and not stick with clubs who have a track and field history.

Edited: 13/06/2011 at 07:36
13/06/2011 at 08:05
 you are right PMJ...its a shame all the paperwork and redtape ruins things and the morale of a new event...like you say the ARC v UKA is a minor thing for most of us who like to run and take part in events...even if running for a club and wanting to rack up the points for your clubs table/league , there are plenty of other runs all year round where this can be the main priority if the runner wishes this to be their main aim........i for one hope this event does go ahead as i think it will be extremely popular due to its beautiful surroundings.....all new events have teething troubles and im sure this year there will be parts of it that can be improved upon next year, lets hope for the sake of some squabbling associations we will all get to turn up and have a good day !!
13/06/2011 at 08:47

At the speed i run/jog, the issue of ARC v UKA means diddly squat.

I'm keen to take part.  As long as it goes ahead, safely, and there are enough runners to have banter/chat with on the run, I'll be happy.

PS - as long as there aren't too many hills

13/06/2011 at 12:42

Indeed, it seems that some well-known and liked races run under ARC - e.g. from the Oakley 20 website....

"ARC Race Permit No: 11/29 - Incorporates the Beds AAA 20 Mile Road Race Championship"

And there will always be clashes. The Finstock and Longworth 10ks are both on the proposed date, but are pleasant country races rather than the (fairly) large city half-marathon that this looks to be. At first glance they seem different beasts and so perhaps the clash will not be such a big deal. Although if I were an organiser of either 10k, I  think I might have appreciated a heads-up a lot earlier so that the clash could have perhaps been avoided altogether, to be fair...

I'm waiting to see what the council makes of the route and the traffic management plan. The Sussex marathon had to do a late route change because of council / traffic concerns, I remember...

Will be interesting to see how this one works out. I don't have any personal interest in the affair either way

13/06/2011 at 14:28

Runners should hang on to their money until the event has official permission, fees are unlikely to be refunded under the entry terms and conditions if it is cancelled. If ARC can issue a permit for a large event before local authority and police permission has been saught it suggests they are naive as well. The organiser claimed he was seeking a UKA licence and then obviously realised he wouldn't get it. The Oxford Town and Gown 10K has a large local organising committee with back-up from a national charity and 20 years experience but it is still quite a difficult event to mount in busy Oxford.  If there is such a local committee for this event they have successfully remained invisible to date. The route has obvious traffic difficulties, especially where it passes close to the Nuffield and Churchill Hospitals and the Oxford Ambulance Station and where it crosses the Cowley and Iffley Roads. The latter is already bedevilled by major road works which will last until November. If there is a way of devising this route without bringing most of East Oxford to a standstill for much of the morning it would be good to hear it. Businesses and local communities require much preparatory groundwork to tolerate this sort of disruption with good will. If you want to race in Oxford you already have the 10K which is long established and follows a much more scenic route. There used to be a Half Marathon in Oxford (1988-93) which was well organised by local charities but it folded due to, er, traffic problems. 

13/06/2011 at 14:38
loulabell wrote (see)
..i for one hope this event does go ahead as i think it will be extremely popular due to its beautiful surroundings.....
Loulabell- I agree it would be nice to have a local 1/2 mara, but I'm not too sure i'd describe the route as scenic! The mile or so from Magdelen Bridge to St Aldates is pleasant enough with a lot of the colleges nearby but the back of Blackbird Leys, the Eastern bypass and the southern bypass aren't Oxford's best bits!  If you want a scenic Oxford race, do the town and Gown.
13/06/2011 at 14:49
i know oxford well enough to know where the dodgy parts are shadowfax, dont worry!! lol...and hey, B.Leys not THAT bad, on a good day.........what i meant was its a beautiful city ,and people travelling to the event will get to visit and see what a lovely place it is if they go into the city centre and see the buildings etc......
13/06/2011 at 15:42
Old Shadowfax wrote (see)
 but the back of Blackbird Leys, the Eastern bypass and the southern bypass aren't Oxford's best bits! 
Only know Blackbird Leys by reputaiton: seesm the locals there "borrow" cars and leave them up near us at High Wycombe Junction 4 to watch films at the cinema.
13/06/2011 at 19:58

PMJ- but how else could you get from BBL to High Wycombe?

Loulabell-  I agree the runners might be tempted back into the city centre which would be good for business, but I doubt they'll go from the finish what with all the roads closed from Kassam to the city.

13/06/2011 at 21:26

Have you tried parking in Oxford recently?

Seems to me that the major problem will be getting council permission for the road closures in the Cowley road Iffley road area.

As for the scenery, I usualy do all my long runs around the ring road and apart from the bit around the mini factory it's not as ugly as a lot of places.

Will wait until the end of July before making a decision but I hope it goes ahead.

14/06/2011 at 18:23
parking is a nightmare when I was down I used the one at Waitrose in old Headington
14/06/2011 at 18:25
I will be having to pay a visit to a branch of the company i work for in Walton st  soon...think i'll be doing park n ride as parking there is a nightmare too!!!
14/06/2011 at 18:51

Parking is brilliant at the Kassam Stadium - right at the start/finish. It will accommodate many 1000s. Good access from the Southern/Eastern bypass.  This is the ideal way to arrange a city marathon, run from a carpark at the city edge, through the city centre and return to finish by your car.

Route looks pretty good as well. Only steepish hill is downhill - the uphills are very gentle!

14/06/2011 at 19:21
But won't the roads around the Kassam be closed?
14/06/2011 at 20:10
Now that would indeed be stupid to close Grenoble road completely. I would hope the organisers will keep the route past the Science park fully open before the start. Then once the runners have gone, open the route to Watlington Road so that the early finishers can leave immediately they are ready. But better ask them to be sure. There is no impact on the bypass since the route described here uses pedestrian subways..
14/06/2011 at 23:03
Evening all, my name is Paul, I was raised on Blackbird Leys,
I have Lived here all my life. Imagine my surprise when i came in tonight from a couple of hours hard digging in my allotment to see a couple of people on here having a slight dig at the Leys.
I have travelled all over the British Isles these past 50 odd years,
from the highlands of Scotland to the place where they say the Lands Ending.( Wonderful they are to.) Some places are a bit more up market than others, some more industrialized than others, but all without fail are full of people who are just like the mighty fine folk I have grown up with around here. Where ever you happen to live, you are no different to the Good people of Blackbird Leys.

My brother, who also grew up on the Leys is now the coach of Oxford University boxing squad who gave Cambridge a bloody nose or two this year in the varsity match. Another one of us won the Annual Town and Gown 10k( twice)
If you do your research on Blackbird leys and you can see past the tiny minority who commit crime, you will see that Blackbird leys is full of champion people. That is why Oxford United choose it as their new home.
Another thing while i am here, the countryside to the south of Grenoble road is beautiful, it is the home to Red Kites, buzzards Foxes , Munkjac, badgers Herons, roe deer I could go on..
The Footpaths and bridleways between Blackbird Leys and Garsington/Horspath/The Baldons are all as good as those I run on around the UK.
This event is ideal for Oxford, i ran from the Kassam stadium today along the route but in reverse and i personally think it is excellent. The route takes you under the subway by rose hill so no problems with the by-pass. The same applies by the car factory.
With marshals at a few key road junctions I can't see why there should be any problems.
15/06/2011 at 08:15
waccyracer wrote (see)
Evening all, my name is Paul, I was raised on Blackbird Leys, I have Lived here all my life. Imagine my surprise when i came in tonight from a couple of hours hard digging in my allotment to see a couple of people on here having a slight dig at the Leys.

oooh! Sensitive! Posting like that will get you nowhere.

The issue can be regarded as factual or steotypical.

Factual: in 1991 there were extensive riots with poilce getting stoned and people being stabbed after the police tried to crack down on joy riding. Where I come from we don't regard this as the normal behaviour of "Good people". (I come from High Wycombe where our good people are involved in regilously mislead bombings and shoot kids at point blank on the door step.)

Stereotypical: I don't take the steroetype seriously and if you think others do then you have a problem.

15/06/2011 at 17:37

If you segregate the working class to peripheral areas with poor access to amenities and then downsize or remove a major source of employment whilst promoting an elite in more affluent areas of the same town, then you will get the odd social disturbance. A lot of effort has gone into rejuvenating the area south of Oxford with varying degrees of success it's just a shame that it took a summer of civil disturbance to get it.

 I don't come from or live in BBL but alot of my collegues do, of whom some are more pleasant than others, and I don't thionk it's reputation of lawlessness is entirely deserved.

I hope this race does come off if only to introduce people to a more realistic version of Oxford that isn't university dominated.

Edited: 15/06/2011 at 17:39
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