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BigFreddy14 Dec 2012
just noticed Dave mcleod (of climbing land ) entered for WHW race 2013 just wondered if anyone was aware of him actually having competed in/completed any ultra races over 65k as per entry criteria. If not i think there will be a few very unhappy people around who have met the criteria and didnt get a place in the ballot !!
> (In reply to BigFreddy) A female runner of this parish, I think you'll find.
> No idea if it's him, but I must say anyone annoyed about the organisers of anything making exceptions to let people of DM's profile and achievements compete needs to get a grip.
I think Dave is excellent and I've bags of respect for him. Met him once and he was a thoroughly nice bloke.
However, IMHO, if you don't meet the criteria, then you shouldn't be allowed to run in the race. It really shouldn't be one rule for most folk, but oh, you're vaguely famous, lets just let you in. But in this case, there isn't a strict requirement as this statement from the website explains:
"All remaining entries will then be reviewed, with those who are not considered to have adequate relevant experience rejected. The race does not set down strict qualifying criteria in assessing whether an entrant has ‘adequate relevant experience’, but will consider the experience of each entrant on a case by case basis."
'We have now reviewed all the entries for the 2013 race. There were 279 entries in total. 3 of those withdrew before the closing date, and 11 were considered to have insufficient experience at this stage. That left 265 'qualified' entrants, and we have had to have a ballot to reduce this to 250. Sorry if you were one of the unlucky 15, but the race will be here for quite a few years yet so there will be plenty more chances to take part. Everyone will be notified of their own position over the weekend.'
Sounds like everyone was treated equally unless you are suggesting there are some elite runners (the Dave Grahams in your analogy) among the 11 who were not allowed to join tha ballot.
In reply to tony: Yeah, its only 2.5 mph needed to finish.. so it can almost be walked in the time.. some running on the faster sections..
But I'd be surprised.. the organisers are quite strict.. but as Dave lives so close to the start maybe its something he fancies.. I thought I recollect hm doing a bit of running even the odd fell race too..
But Very few missed out this year, 15 out of 265 entrants who were deemed experienced enough.. when I first entered, DNF's, back in 2002, I had zero experience of ultra running but a lot of the runners were more the LDWA type people.. the standards much higher now.. a good few sub 20 each year.
> (In reply to tony) Yeah,
> But I'd be surprised.. the organisers are quite strict.. but as Dave lives so close to the start maybe its something he fancies.. I thought I recollect hm doing a bit of running even the odd fell race too..
He definitely does a bit of running. There's quite a few bits of him running in his videos and he's blogged about it a bit. Including some mental tips for running uphill, which I think he really struggles with.
One new registration, and (assuming you weren't christened "Big") an anonymous one.
One thread, no previous contributions.
One complaint, regarding an individual.
One complaint, apparently on behalf of some unspecified others who may or may not feel wronged, and who haven't complained on here.
One complaint about qualifications, which isn't backed up by the rules regarding qualification on the website.
I trust when you organise your own ultra races you rigidly define who can and can't enter, and stick to that through thick and thin.
Until then I suggest if you wish to get upset on behalf of others there are better causes out there.
> (In reply to Luke90)
> I thought there could only be one.
that post is worthy of far more credit than it got :-D
BigFreddy15 Dec 2012
In reply to ben b: Complaint ? rather more an observation as i actually do have a place in next years race . however there are several worthy (non high profile) others out there who were not so lucky but who had more than the neccessary qualifications but sadly perhaps not star quality
In reply to BigFreddy: It is 'me' who has entered and was given a place (although there are plenty of Dave MacLeods around - my next door neighbour is one, no joke!). I entered as a goal to help me come back from ankle surgery and it's something I've always been interested in trying.
Other posters above pointed out that I do in fact fit within the criteria for entry. You mentioned that you have a place, so if you are calling my application into question on behalf of a friend, get them to drop me a line. If they feel I really don't deserve to get a chance I'll offer to withdraw and let them take my place. I guess I could always just run it by myself.
To clear up the other poster's wondering - I did support Alicia on last year's race and accompanied her from Kinloch.
Good luck Dave, and everyone else taking part. I'll be in a back-up crew, hope it's a good dry, slightly sunny, not too hot, not too windy, but breezy enough to be not-too-midgy kind of day! Too much to hope for?
> just noticed Dave mcleod (of climbing land ) entered for WHW race 2013 just wondered if anyone was aware of him actually having competed in/completed any ultra races over 65k as per entry criteria. If not i think there will be a few very unhappy people around who have met the criteria and didnt get a place in the ballot !!
It's a bit unfair to make it sound as if you're stating the only entry criteria but then to leave out a method of qualification, don't you think? Under the "significant contribution" part of the qualifications, Dave is more than qualified.
Yup, I'm running again, can't wait! This time I'll get to do the Highland Fling first so I think it will go better. Although I will have lost 50% of my amazing crew...though fortunately to a good cause. Now I just have to worry about how it will feel being beaten by someone doing his first official ultra!
In reply to BigFreddy: "big"(hehehe)Freddy - get a life. Dave: best of luck, it's going to be ugly out there and respect for being willing to potentially "underperform" against irrelevant expectations. I'm hoping to finish the UTLD 100 this year as my big race and will be delighted if I get round whatever the time. These are things we do for ourselves for our own good reasons and the carping of inconsequential vermin at the side should not detract one iota from the personal fulfilment
So many races to do, so little time...! Is your April UTSW on the same course as that 100 miler in June?
I'll just be there for the week before the Fling, but in June I'll have a spare 2 or 3 weeks after the WHW. Maybe we can meet up for a run on the coast down south? I wouldn't mind a few days of climbing in Cornwall anyway...
stefano negri24 Jan 2013
> I guess I could always just run it by myself.
You are great Dave! So inspirational for many of us. Thanks
In reply to Dave MacLeod: Dave, please ignore this nonsense. Envy is a terrible thing. You've been a big inspiration to a lot of people in the outdoor world (not just climbers)and you deserve your place. Go and nail that race and please do not listen to the very small minority like the dafty OP who aint fit to tie your running shoes (never mind climbing shoes!)
In reply to alicia: The JCC is a multiday in March (London mara in April) and I'm afraid I'm just doing the UTSW60 in June, not quite up to the 100 milers yet!
Lol so many races so many acronyms
June dates sound great! Have a spare bed if needed. I'll take this offline with you and we can make some plans. Would be good to get my harness and shoes out and dust them off too
Jim at Work24 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave MacLeod:
Dave, good luck and I hope the foot holds up. I'm sure you won't come in last, which will prove a point of sorts. Nonetheless I do feel there has been a degree of overreaction to the OP (on UKC! Surely not I hear you say...). Some of the recent posts, using words like 'vermin' are significantly insulting, whereas the OP was asking a legitimate question, even if I and most others disagree. I've been denied entry to the London marathon many times (long ago) whilst celebrities got in. No real complaints, and no real comparison as your celebrity is based on outstanding athletic performance. But posing the question in an un-hostile way shouldn't really cause too much pain or outrage (& your generous reply is enough said as answer). Cool down guys, the OP has been answered in a fair and detailed fashion, job done.
In reply to Jim at Work: Yeah good point, he did just ask if anyone was aware if he had hit the entry criteria.
I wouldn't worry about coming last or DNF'ing..
These things happen, even to the best prepared.. the first time I did it I only managed 80 miles, but learnt a lot, I provided me with a good focus in training and got me into ultra's. There's no expectation to finish placed on you by the organisers, DNFing or finishing just inside the limit is perfectly expected. You feel like shit DNFing but everyone will do it eventually, even Jez Bragg.. even Terry Conwy the current WHW record holder DNF'd in a 100k race last year. Take what you can from an event, and try to make sure that's not an injury or real health issue.
One of my Welsh team managers had a go at me after I DNF'd at 50k in a 100k race, running with my arm in a cast so was struggling with a hip issue, he pointed out ultra runners never quit... I asked him how many ultra's he'd ran.. he said none.. I managed just to smile and walk away from the conceited fat shit..
Jim at Work24 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
bet you had to count to ten first...
I am an ultrarunner (although never done the WHW) so allow me to say you'll be very welcome. Ultrarunning, for the majority, is an experience and a competition against yourself only, much like climbing.
So does that mean that james cracknel shouldnt have entered the marathon des sables ( toughest race on earth ) because he is known as a rower ?? I find it facinating that his body type can be morphed to suit a different discipline. Its testiment to how adaptable the human body is.
I would love to run the whw but ive had acl reconstruction & just couldnt go through rehab again if something went wrong.
In reply to Weeian: Athletically.. finishing isn't that hard..
If you go and watch the start you'll see some big guys tootle off.. what they are though is just hard.. they have far more ability to tough it out than I have.. physically but also mentally keeping going..
I'd second what Iain says. I finished a 40 mile ultra through sheer bl**dy minded perseverance. Came 3rd from last. But I got round. Took a shade under 13 hours. Basically I walked (fairly fast) the whole thing. Probably only really 'ran' the first few k and the last few k (just to get it over with).
In reply to Dave MacLeod: Good luck Dave. I did the Western Isles Challenge on the Tiso team the year after my accident and it was a powerful way of demonstrating to myself that I had put the event behind me.
Mighty tempting to wax lyrical in your defence but can't imagine you need it. Like your picture of the cross country race by the way. A.O
I am the Race Director of the West Highland Way Race. This is the first time I have come across this forum but, for the benefit of those reading, I thought it would be useful to explain in a bit more detail the way we assess who is suitable to part in the race. This may help answer a few of the comments that have been made above.
As oulined on the race website, the main criterion we use is whether an entrant has 'adequate relavant experience' to take part in an event of this nature. This is very much driven by our obligation to put on a safe event every year: we do not want people taking part who have no experience of endurance sport, nor experience of coping if things get a bit difficult on a remote part of the course. One way people can demonstrate this is by their running experience, but that is by no means the only way: I have often given the example of someone with a strong military background with a bit of running experience being much more suited to the race than someone who has done a few road marathons and little else.
All of our entries are reviewed in great detail by one of my team; that includes verifying all the experience given on the application form such as previous race finishes. Once this (long) process has been completed, recommendations are put forward for each applicant. Three of us then review all of the recommendations in detail and decide whether each applicant has sufficient experience or not. Those who do are moved forward to the next stage; those who do not are advised of this and given guidance as to who they might gain more experience for the future.
The three of us were all completely in agreement that Dave had adequate relevant experience to take part in this race. The fact that he had a very strong outdoor background was a major plus, as was the fact that he knew the race and environment well - particularly as he had supported another runner in the previous year. These are factors that would be taken into account as positive factors for all applicants.
It is unfortunate that we had such a demand this year that we had to ballot out 15 people. That however is completely irrelevant to the issue of whether Dave (or anyone else) was qualified to take part or not. We considered the qualification of each entrant on its own merits without any account being taken of the number of places we could offer.
In summary, I am delighted Dave is taking part in the 2013 race and wish him the very best of luck with his training. It is disappointing that a small number of people have been questioning the entry criteria used for the race, but I guess that is inevitable when races become so popular and some people are disappointed with the outcome.
In reply to westhighlandwayracedirector: Hey.. hope you are feeling better..
Questioning is normal.. personally it was great to read that other experiences bar running count.. that's always been my gripe with such races that perfectly qualified runners get turned down for people who have played follow the leader..
Regardless of running I also think Dave's other successes.. the guy's not a bad climber.. should count.. its a demonstration of training and work ethic..and ability to go that extra yard.. so for me.. I'd rather see someone like Dave in the race than me..
In reply to the above - depends on who the runner is and what the race organiser wants to get from it. If the mountain guide is a mid pack bunbly and the 10k runner for example would get you a front cover on, for example, AW, that would appeal to many race organisers.
In reply to Paul Atkinson: Having read the thread, I think on balance, we should be grateful to the OP for initiating an interesting discussion of the issues. Calling him "inconsequential vermin" is completely unwarranted and disgraceful comment even by the standards of the internet. An apology is owed Mr Atkinson ...
Maybe if he'd insulted someone.. he's insulted an anonymous profile who has no posts and has not posted since... he's insulted some inconsequential vermin.. I think it was a fair enough response.. fine for Freddy to ask but I think its a bit off for anonymous posters to single out others by name, yet protected by anonymity..
Paul uses his own name, doesn't hide behind anonymity, so for me no apology.. had the guy used his own name then maybe a different response was required..
In reply to IainRUK: So any anonymous poster who raises an issue you don't agree with is "inconsequential vermin"? What a disappointing attitude. I would guess that the OP has read the responses on here and now accepts the fairness of the WHW race criteria for entry. However he won't be back to admit it given the dreadful way he has been treated. Lots of anonymous posters on here; are they all "inconsequential vermin"?
Why hide behind an anonymous profile and bring something up that could potentially embarrass someone..
He may be back.. but noone will no as he'll probably create another profile..
I think people are rightly, quite stickly about such things, so I totally understand Pauls response..
Had you started it as m dunn.. as someone who missed out on the WHW then i wouldn't be from an anonymous position..
I just don't understand profiles of people who are 100% anonymous getting prickly about being insulted.. if I called you a prick.. you know who I am.. and if you called me something or made an unfair allegation I'd maybe be upset, situation depending, as my profile is easily traced to me..
You keep talking about the OP rasing an issue but I still fail to see what that issue is? Even if there were an issue to be discussed I fail to see why Dave McLeod's name needed to be dragged in to it.
In reply to m dunn: I apologise to you if I have caused YOU upset or offence but but continue to feel nothing but contempt for the OP who chose to cast aspersions on a popular, likeable and prodigiously talented climber for whatever sad and malicious reason from the pusillanimous cover of anonymity. It would appear the anonymous profile was created for this reason alone when you look at the posting history. If they had a genuine issue to raise they could have named themselves and their reason and we could have had a civilised debate. I agree there is an issue worthy of discussion whilst personally feeling the RO behaved entirely correctly
I used to enjoy the banter on here and post quite often but gave up on it because of the unhealthy level of ad hominem attacks, often malicious attempts to stir it up by cowardly anonymous posters.
In the end the event that made me decide to sack it was a vicious argument between two identifiable posters, both of them generally decent, intelligent, witty middle aged men who ended up behaving disgustingly towards each other in a way that would never have occurred face to face. One of them, an alcoholic whose behaviour was most likely erratic due to this, was banned eventually and the other, a lovely and generally peaceful person, sadly became ill and died. Their online fight was really disturbing and enough to sicken me of the whole online persona business and I stopped posting but have occasionally broken my own rule as in this case. I will try not to do so again.
There is nothing wrong with posting anonymously per se*, but that changes if named individuals are criticised and at that point in my opinion the poster has to identify themselves or should be considered a troll or indeed "inconsequential vermin" - there are too many sad people who get their kicks this way. As Iain, no stranger to a good argument in his own name, kindly pointed out I have posted under my own name and am happy to stick by what I say and indeed to talk to anyone face to face. This is emphatically not the case for the trolling OP "big" Freddy.
I hope I'll see you on the hill some day and we can shake hands and have a laugh
*I did myself attract my very own stalking troll for some time who variously adopted heroic masculine names like braveheart, big somethingorother themightywhatever and gaelforce, as they do, but who in the end turned out to be a diminutive and effeminate shop assistant with a smattering of hillwalking experience posing as a mountaineer - this is the typical profile of the people who behave in this manner
neilf21 Feb 2013
In reply to BigFreddy: I'm running the whw in June, having never completed a "race"over 65 miles. It should be noted that you give evidence of your past experience in other areas which show a competence in endurance. I reckon armchair critics should shut up and let the guy run.