| De 2005 editie van de klassieker van London naar Brighton over ruim 54 mijl (87 km) lijkt de laatste te zijn geweest. De huidige, al aardig vergrijsde organisatie is er niet in geslaagd om bereidwillige atletiekverenigingen of individuele hardlopers te vinden om de lange lastige loop langs de openbare weg te redden en de organisatie op zich te nemen.
Op de site van de Road Runners Club of the UK http://www.roadrunnersclub.org.uk/ is op de pagina's over London-Brighton http://www.roadrunnersclub.org.uk/roadrunnersclub_014.htm het volgende bericht verschenen.
The 2005 race was the fifty-fifth consecutive race, held on the first Sunday in October. Largely because of the success of the first race in 1951, the Road Runners Club was formed in 1952 with one of its main objectives being the continuation of the race as an annual event. The majority of the early members were already members affiliated Athletic Clubs and they were able to get their own clubs involved. Because the RRC has always been a 'national' based organisation rather than 'local', the race organisation has always relied heavily on the loyalty and support of these local athletic clubs as well as its southern based membership along the whole course and in recent years as far away as the Midlands. The continued loyalty of many of these clubs over many years help ensure the race survived for 55 years.
The time has now come where the main 'on route' organisers and their loyal helpers are almost all well into their sixties or older. Most are also local club members as well as RRC members. Several of us have been involved with the race for more than half of the total number. As we all know, road running has become the target of PC and excessive bureaucracy combined with evermore traffic on the roads. In 1967 race day moved from Saturday to Sunday for safety reasons but then Sunday too, became the victim of the abolishment of Sunday trading laws. Organisation had become increasingly difficult to the extent that unless younger dedicated organisers and helpers agreed to take over the race it would not take place this year or in the future. I have made appeals in magazines and on the race web site which have brought little response. I drew up a rough plan of what I saw as being required for the continuance of the event. I also said that the overall organiser and the section leaders would need to be in place by the end of March/early April. I and all the experienced people currently involved would be available to guide a new team for this and probably next year to assist a smooth handover.
Clubs were asked that they made their club members aware of this my final attempt to save the race. Throughout the 'plan', I placed emphasis, on the fact that any new people/team(s) would need to make it an ‘on going’ rather than a ‘one year’ commitment for the race to continue.
There was absolutely no obligation for anyone to make an offer of their help and no offence would be taken if no response were forthcoming from any club(s). This was my final try so that I can at least say I gave it my best shot. I also emailed other clubs where postal addresses were unavailable all, London, Surrey, or Sussex based.
At the end of the appeal was included a full list of all the clubs contacted so each one knew who else had been approached
Unfortunately response has been minimal with only one positive response to take on a section of the race with on going support. The others could only offer continued support on the day.
This lack of response is not an indictment of Road Running in any way. Road running as an athletic discipline has become in the context of event organisation, ‘a victim of its own success’. Currently there are far more affiliated Clubs and a far greater annual ‘Road Race’ fixture list. More and more clubs organise and promote their own local events and active runners also compete far longer right through numerous age and grade categories. This places a continuos strain on many events, to gain even ‘local’ organisation support.
The London to Brighton event held on ‘open roads’ has for some years been the longest annual event held in the UK. Sadly because of the distance involved and being a ‘point to point’ race, it too has fallen victim to this current on going situation. The RRC Council have reluctantly agreed that this race will not be held this year or in the immediate future.
Ian Champion RRC Vice President and London to Brighton Race Organiser