|Risk Assessing Marathon Races|
For those organising races, whether they are large national events or small club affairs, the importance of having a proper risk assessment cannot be overlooked and the committee wants to see that all race organisers have one in place in the future. This will apply particularly to any race that is listed in the published Racing Handbook calendar of events where it will now be mandatory. Whilst this alone will not eliminate true accidents from happening, it will deal with the uncertainties of how any risk or emergency should be dealt with on the day and ensure that WRITTEN evidence exists to show that the organisers have considered the potential risks beforehand, and taken, or are able to take, the appropriate action should circumstances arise.
We have attached a template of a suitable risk assessment (Document Here - Template Here) that can be tailored for your event. This will be updated from time to time. Remember this should be specific for your race. Perhaps the most important point is that you fully consider the water and weather conditions on the day as well and REACT ACCORDINGLY. This may mean a change of course or more drastic action. An answer phone number on your race details or update on your website can be useful in cancelling an event up until the day before.
HOWEVER IF WORSENING CONDITIONS MEANS THAT THE EVENT HAS TO BE CANCELLED ON THE DAY, THEN DO JUST THAT, CANCEL IT TOTALLY AND MAKE SURE THAT PADDLERS WHO MIGHT TURN UP ARE NOT INVOLVED IN AN 'UNOFFICIAL EVENT' IN ITS PLACE.
The MRC are OBVIOUSLY concerned with the effects of over zealous implementation of health and safety rules, and sometimes-questionable interpretation by those not directly involved in our sport. This has already started to have a limiting effect upon competitive racing e.g.: walking through portages. We are therefore making representations accordingly.