So What Makes A Good League Venue & Could Your Club Stage One? (12/02/2016)

As we head to the last round of fixtures for this season and the thoughts of those that run the League turn to various "reviews" and plans for next season we would like to ask participating athletes, clubs, team managers, race promoters and officials just what makes a good venue and will you offer to stage a race?

Each party will have a view depending on which angle they are looking from.

For an athlete it can be the geography of the course or the distance from their home. Is it the showers or changing facilities?

Some runners love "pan flat" parkland, some love hills and plough others mud. Has it a stream?

Some cannot or just won't travel if the venue is too far from their home due to time and/or cost. Is it the car parking or road access?

Do you like having the Men's & Women's leagues sharing a venue?

From a promoters perspective it might be the cost of hire, local connections with the facilties, the ease of access for runners, the space for the tents, a venue for a presentation, the toilets or the amount of red tape!

It could also be the willingness of the club to put something back into the sport after years of relying on the kindnesses of others. It may be that staging a league race raises a few quid for club coffers. It may be that staging a race gives an advantage to the host club as it is a "home" fixture.

For officials it could be a clear view of the course with good underfoot conditions around the start & finish areas in which to work. It might simply be the tea afterwards!

Have you ever asked yourselves just why certain clubs/colleges always promote a certain fixture at a certain venue? Or why have certain clubs/universities never promoted a race?

With promotions and relegations ahead the venue dynamic of the divisions may well change with some divisions finding themselves having more or less clubs willing to promote.

This season has seen many courses take a real hammering from the weather which may also cause venue owners and land agents to reconsider their future availability.

At what cost may also be a very valid question? Rising costs associated with venue hire & equipment may naturally cascade through to higher affiliation/membership fees for our League clubs.

Other promotions are using the same venues. Schools, county & area associations and the rising number of open "races" are all chasing the same precious resources. The rise and frequency of the Parkrun movement may also influence the future health of our venues and promotions.

With the recent Midland XC Championships having been "moved" at very short notice due to flooding to a "new" venue for most are there other such venues out there that have struck you as potential sites that are just crying out for a good old fashioned cross country race?

As plans begin to germinate for the 2016/17 season we would love to hear your thoughts or even better an offer or two to put on a race via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will pass them on to the powers that be.