Published: 00:00, 02 May 2002
ORGANISERS of the Whitstable 10k have expressed their regret at not being able to accommodate everyone who wants to run the race on Monday, May 6.
Such has been the demand that more than 150 runners have had to be turned away, including a block entry of 40 from one club.
Canterbury Harriers, the organising club, were forced to impose a reduced race limit of 400 after the route was revised to direct runners along the seafront rather than through the town.
The course had to be changed because police policy means they must now charge for providing officers at events such as road races and most clubs find the cost beyond their means.
Similar problems have forced Invicta East Kent to move their traditional Canterbury 10k, from the city to Herne Bay, in June.
"It's probably the most over subscribed Whitstable 10k weve ever seen," said Canterbury Harriers' Roy Gooderson, who revealed that entries had been closed around the middle of this month. "We had to insist on a reduced race limit of 400 because of police and council constraints.
"The new course takes in less of the roads and none of the High Street but it does take in a lot more of the promenade which is, of course, narrower. The fact that it is a Bank Holiday means there will be a lot more people around the town than normal."
The Whitstable 10k has always been a popular event with athletes, regularly attracting fields of 500-600.
Mr Gooderson admitted it was disappointing to have turned athletes away, but said the situation was really out of the club's control. "We did state clearly on the entry form that the Whitstable 10k was a popular race and that no entries would be accepted on the day.
"It's had to be done on a first-come first-served basis. Unfortunately we've not been able to serve enough.
"We were even in the position of having to say sorry to one club who rang up to say they were sending a bulk entry of 40 athletes. Sadly it's the way things are going now that race organisers can no longer rely on the police to help with marshalling."