Sunday, April 11, 2021

MacAndrew Cancelled

MacAndrew Road Relay Race - Cancelled

Victoria Park City Of Glasgow is very disappointed to bring the news that our much loved and historic MacAndrew Road Relay Race has been cancelled.

We applied for permission to hold the race with the local authority on the 1st of July and received confirmation of its receipt.

We made all of the other arrangements as normal, permit application, facility hire, car parking, first aid and risk assessment.

This week however, the Police called to say that this was not their responsibility and the local authority called to say that it was not theirs either.

The final decision from the Police was that they would attend but would not and could not stop traffic other than in an emergency.

As a result of this decision, we were forced to review our risk assessment for this event and have reluctantly decided that it would be too dangerous to allow runners to cross Southbrae Drive near to its junction with Hallydown Drive with only marshals and signage for protection.  We have reluctantly decided that the race cannot go ahead.

Our event has been held around Scotstoun and Jordanhill since the early 1930’s with only the 2nd World War interrupting our unbroken run.

The race was first held with the support of the local MP for Partick, Charles MacAndrew who gifted the trophy which still survives and was fought over annually.

The race was traditionally held two weeks before the West District Cross Country Championships and was held under Cross Country Rules.  As recently as four years ago, 80 teams of 4 athletes completed the race over the three and a quarter mile course.

The race has always been held annually on the 1st Saturday of October .  Mid afternoon to allow time for the workers from the Clyde shipyards to get to the start line on time.

The race was always very competitive with the best athletes from around the country taking part.  The course record was held by none other than the great Olympian Steve Ovett.

Looking back over Victoria Park’s record of the event in the Club’s minute books we found an unintended but amusing entry from the 1950’s.  The committee were concerned that giving a cash prize to the winners of the MacAndrew might affect the athletes amateur status.  After much deliberation the ill informed members of the committee overruled any fears that the athletes growth might be stunted by deciding to award packets of cigarettes to the winners.

It’s worth pointing out that throughout the 1950’s Victoria Park were regarded as having the best endurance group in Scotland and were the 1st club from outside of England to win the AAA’s Cross Country Championship.  Now we know what their secret was.

Once again, we are very sorry for the cancellation of the event and the short notice provided.

Gordon Innes

Club Secretary