7 Mar

New May Date Controversy For Smokies

winter scene

Controversy has surrounded the postponement of the Arbroath Smokies 10 Mile Road Race. Organisers made an early decision to call Sunday's original race off and to set a new date for Sunday 13 May.

However a number of local runners complained about the revised date as it clashed with the Monikie 10K, another popular Angus race. Fiona Edwards commented on Facebook: "I cannot believe the Arbroath Footers moved the Smokies ladies 10 mile race to 13th May. In other words the same day as a race within 6 miles which they must have known about - they should reschedule as so many ladies enter this."

Event organisers were robust in the defence of their decision to go for the 13 May date citing facility logistics, volunteer availability and limited alternative dates. They also highlighted the option for Smokies entrants to defer until 2019 if the new May date didn't suit.

Fiona Edwards felt that the popularity of the Smokies - the race sells out every year - would have a very negative impact upon the Monikie race and maintained that there was a potentially better solution.

Both sides of the argument were advanced in a colourful flurry of hashtags but at the end of the day the race committee stood by their decision and it now appears both the 2018 Smokies 10 mile race and the Monikie 10K will take place on the same day.

Discussion around the issue on the Eventful Sporting Events Facebook page ended when Monikie 10K race organiser NIcholas Kydd turned off comments on the thread saying: "We now feel this discussion may have become too personal."

The Smokies controversy underlines the problem that race organiser have when events have to be called off. Some have cancelled their 2018 events and offered full or partial refunds or deferred entry while others are looking for new dates but that can be a fraught process with limited race dates and an already established programme.