Wait in the dark – running for all?

I have not trained with my club since November because I live in North Lanarkshire but my club is in South Lanarkshire. I actually work in South Lanarkshire so spend more time there than I do in the North but that is irrelevant, I am still not allowed to go to my club. It’s been the best part of 5 months but for the most part you know why rules exist, and that’s fine, we were in midst of a serious pandemic and I backed all of it, but you then see things start to open up. Clubs can train, superb! But only for people in that same Local authority. So no change to you. Clubs in your local authority won’t let you run with them which is their prerogative, they have their own members to look after.  They can, and are actively encouraged to, organise races, and have almost exclusive use of the facilities so you have to look in through the windows, your chocolate smudged face staining the glass. It’s fine he sulks, we will get there.

Yes I try and keep myself ticking over, keep myself in the same shape as the ones who are allowed to train but the only running tracks that I could conceivably train at are Wishaw in NL (evenings or weekends) or EK in SL (lunchtimes, evenings).

Wishaw is booked by clubs for weekends and evenings and only available during weekdays. Not in a NL club? Work during the day? Not welcome.

EK is not open during the day at all and in evenings it’s for clubs apart from 5 – 6. ( I work until 5.30). On a Wednesday and Friday though there is an additional hour. So here is your option. A Friday 6 o’clock or Wednesday 6 o’clock.

Worse though is the big steel capped toe right where it hurts.

The Scottish Govt. say they will let people travel anywhere in Scotland for their mental health from this Friday which is fantastic! This is superb. I am so delighted by that and that people can see their family etc. It is such good news. But from a running perspective, as this is what this blog is about, what does it mean?

They still won’t let you join your clubmates if you are on the wrong side of the imaginary local authority line. Exercise outside your local authority can only be informal.  

As stated perfectly by West End Road Runners on twitter, “The FM referenced mental health as a rationale for this change. Time to recognise the role that running clubs can play. We can be part of the recovery if we are allowed to function without excluding people because they are just across the council border.”

You can go to a beach 250 miles away and join another six people from six households with no protocols in place, but you cannot travel 3 miles over a LA boundary and join a club session being run under strict COVID protocols. There is no sense in this. This is logic skewed at best. There are a big section of the Scottish running community being neglected here but we need the voices of all here to help us. We do not know how long this is going to last for us. “Ach it’s probably just another couple of weeks or a couple of months at most, you’ve come this far, keep the head up”. I’ve been told that already. Is it beneficial to your mental health to keep having to look through that window at others? Mentally and physically I am below par.

If travel is allowed anywhere in Scotland, and you are a member of a club within Scotland who are following COVID protocols then you should be allowed to join them. It does not make sense for this not to be the case if you can travel the length of the country to be in the company of another 6 people.

Please running community, join me in speaking out about this. That’s all that I, and others like me, can ask. We look at England with race after race after race, many of us here are still running lonely with no end in sight. As Central ACs Michael Wright eloquently put in his piece https://thelastlap2020.blogspot.com/2021/04/no-country-for-young-men.html “perhaps the athletics community in Scotland should work together so that athletes can compete in their sport in what is an outdoor environment?” Going on from this, maybe we can just get to train equally?

The song. Another LNFG belter. Angry guitars to help my mood as I wait in the dark. Introducing Hadda Be.

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