Question about what to do when an event seems unsafe

Jenni ask's

Hi Lee,
This is just a general question, but I was wondering if there are races you dont enter because the tracks are bad? I am new to running (1 year) and completed the (Event name removed--we don't want to be sued!!) "Charity Event", however the course was through some bush/sand area where there were tree roots going across the track and at times there was only room for 2 people to run side by side - there were people finishing with what appeared to be cuts, grazes and a few sprained ankles. So my question is have you ever chosen not to enter a race or opted out of a race because the track seemed somewhat unsafe?

Lee's response

Hi Jenni,

Thanks for your email.
I have never personally not done a race due to the event being hazardous but I have seen some races that were exactly what you described with the "Charity Event".
With these type of events, it is important to remember that the cause is greater than the race BUT in saying that, event organisers have a duty of care to make sure that their events are safe for the athletes to compete on. Some organisers look for the easiest course for logistics as this saves on costs but again their priority is to provide an environment that is safe.
These type of races are a minority and I would write a letter of complaint and hopefully they will address the issues you have.
When you do get to events like this, it is important that you take caution but don't let it take away from the real reason why you were there.


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