Marathon Update, May 2020

The Marathon Racing Committee met online on 9th May to make as many decisions as possible for 2020, given the current situation. Many could be reviewed if the pandemic doesn’t ease, or if the Government, British Canoeing, or any of the bodies overseeing the water we use change their position.

The headlines are:-

  1. The 2020 National Championships will be postponed. Discussion is underway as to whether they can take place later in the year, although this would be under a modified format.
  2. A major one-day national racing event is planned for 3rd or 4th October 2020, provisionally at Reading. This is planned as an inclusive return to competition, which may combine normal longer distance races with team or knockout short events. More news as plans develop!
  3. The 2020 Hasler Final has sadly been cancelled, as the majority of the season has already been missed, rendering the club and qualification process invalid.

    As with all clubs who have lost their race this season, we are thankful to Richmond CC for the planning they had put into the event, and sorry the situation has led to it being cancelled.

  4. Club points and individuals’ qualifying races earned between September 2019 and early March 2020 may be carried forward to the 2020-21 Hasler season. A decision will be made on this once we know if normal Hasler racing can resume in time for the start of the new season on 1st September 2020.
  5. The MRC will almost certainly not be sending any GB teams to international events in 2020. The World Cup, World Championships, and German National Championships have already been cancelled, and the European Championships provisionally postponed. For it to take place, all nations will need to be able to train and select teams well in advance, and to travel freely to and from Hungary. So while it is unlikely to happen, there may be an opportunity to review this later in the summer.

    This is hard news for athletes, coaches and clubs who have put so much into earning international selections or challenging for medals this year. Staying strong when things go badly is something that all athletes are having to cope with at the moment, so we hope ours will persevere and realise their dreams in 2021. In the meantime, there are bragging rights to be earned in both domestic and international 5k challenges!

  6. One of the positives of the lockdown has been a wealth of advice and experience sharing on social media, especially Ivan Lawler’s technique videos. Scott Hynds, who oversees the MRC’s coaching development strategy, is working with the MRC’s web team to create an online portal for paddlers, coaches and clubs to easily access all the resources we have. The aim is for clubs and coaches to also be able to add content.
  7. British Canoeing have been hit very hard financially by the crisis, particularly from members deferring renewal while they were unable to paddle. As a result of this, plus the lost international events, the MRC has agreed to return 75% of Marathon’s annual grant to British Canoeing. The 2019-20 budget has been revised to manage with this reduced grant, and loss of racing levy revenue for most of the year. We have set aside a budget to enhance the October event, and combined with ongoing costs such as our minibus this will mean we still have a break-even year.
  8. We still aim to hold an Annual Consultative Meeting in the late summer, and half of the Committee places are up for election. If you’re interested in getting involved, or have an issue you’d like the meeting to discuss, please email the Secretary