What to Do?

We know that endurance sports test not only your character, but your ability to endure physical pain and mental doubt, they teach you a lot about yourself, and give people of all abilities and walks of life the chance to achieve something special and of course – overcome your limits!

Now the beauty of “going long” is that there is no short cut to achieving your goals and no cheap way to earn a finishers medal or t-shirt. These mementos and accolades or even personal satisfaction are gained one way, by doing the hard yards.

The training for these events can take months to years to get you to the required standard, some people think that you might be crazy or think why? But those who know, know. What do they know? They know, that it’s so much more than just training for a race or an event, It’s a way of life. It can give you a focus, and teaches you discipline both traits that can be brought into the “the normal life” and dare I say it, it also helps so many people that are “lost” those who need something a bit extra to balance the wellbeing in their mind. Now we could write a whole book on these 3 paragraphs, but I hope you get the picture and maybe even relate to some of it.

However, what I am here to talk about is what is happening to the events industry and where is it going? I must admit the past 7 months as an organiser has felt like the proverbial ultra-marathon, there’s been moments of positiveness, constant thought of giving up and it just seems like a long slog with no sign of the finish line, but you keep promising yourself, when I finish, that’s it no more, this is the last time!

However, it is with great reluctance I have to say 2020 is going to be a DNF! and we won’t be making that finish line. Now if you have ever had a DNF against your name, you will have an excuse as to why! Most are down to injury or technical problems.

But I am sure I am not the only one who has asked themselves after a non-finish, was that the real reason? Or did I just give up? You do not want to believe or admit that you just did not have the heart to go on and therefore look for an excuse to make you feel better and justify your actions.

Well 2020 as an organiser is no different, have we made the right call? or have we just given up!

If I am honest, I would say, Up until now, I have been the eternal optimist that we could get a few things done this year. Thinking we could manage the restrictions and give those who are desperate to compete something to aim for.

We had set a few alternative dates; I’ve got a storeroom full of medals and t-shirts waiting to go. And on at least 5 occasions this year arranged to staff the events, only to stand them all down.

Not to mention having all the competitors on standby ready to go, with them booking accommodation, arranging time off work and all the other logistical requirements needed to make it down west for a few days. And I really do feel for these, with the time, effort and money that has been invested.

I was really hoping that come the end of September and through October we could have got something going. But looking at what is happening this week, with localised lock downs, stricter rules being brought in and then the talk of further controls being implemented, we just feel it is best to knock 2020 on the head. Stop giving false hope and move on!

Is this giving up?

No, I do not think so, to use another race metaphor, it’s about saving what we have left in the tank, to build on for next year. Now 2021 might still be a covid-19 year!!

However, the winter will give us time to plan for any changes that are needed. Such as the right indoor facilities, the right food and refreshments, the right method to do staggered starts and all the other bits and bobs to ensure we can host meaningful events.

We genuinely hope 2021 will look a bit more “normal” but if we must live with restrictions, we will be ready and better prepared.

I know some events have been held this year and they have been well received and we wish them well, but at this moment in time, I believe it is not for us. This is for several genuine reasons and we will be back stronger for it, after a little break, it’s definitely not us just giving up!!!

On the positive side we have been lucky to have the adventure activities to keep us going and sane, its been a great season for kayaking and coasteering, meeting new people and doing what we love, showing people the beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast, one way or the other!



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