Last year Datchet strugglled to get people turning out for some of the later races. Even I ended up scoring in the Bracknell event. It was so poor that only 2 ladies turned for the final one at TVT. This year we have some new fast runners, inparticular our new ladies superstar Jill Collett who joined in October and has been smashing club records everytime she enters a race (17:45 at Black Park parkrun isn't too shabby). So I think there are high hopes of maintaining the standard for the whole season.
I think that this article is another example of the lazy journalism that often appears in the UK edition of Runners World. I'm sure you know the kind of thing I'm talking about, where the article first appears in the US version and gets lifted wholesale to be printed over here, without researching its relevance. They might have clocks at every mile in US races, but I've never heard of or seen such a thing over here.
The other thing that bugs me about such articles is that they are often too lazy to take into account cultural differences between us. for example keeping temperatures in farenheit instead of celcius.
After checking the runnrersworld.com website I see that the article first appeared on there 3 days ago.