AFTER reading Tony Demarco’s reply to my letter I feel that the most important points are being lost.
Firstly, I must make it clear that there can be hardly a more worthy cause to raise money for. Mr Demarco is an experienced event organizer and certainly seems to have followed all the necessary procedures when this event was organized.
However, what is most important is not just simply carrying out these procedures but the actual outcome of the procedures and this outcome was unsatisfactory. Lessons must be learned from this.
I was cycling on the promenade between St Leonard’s Church and Cinque Ports Way when the event took place. Neither pedestrians nor cyclists seemed aware that such a large number of runners would suddenly take over both pedestrian and cycle tracks on the promenade. So detailed publicity concerning the event was possibly inadequate.
As with some other cyclists and pedestrians I found myself trapped in the middle of the lanes with runners brushing past me from both directions. Some pedestrians and dog walkers were pinned against the wall adjacent to the promenade.
Some runners were shouting at members of the public telling them to get out of the way for their own good. I saw one marshal, a senior member of Hastings Runners, riding up and down on his bike opposite the gardens, looking lost and very worried.
Again, it must be said that it was probably only due to good fortune rather than Mr Demarco’s risk assessments that there wasn’t some kind of accident. There was simply too many runners in a confined area where members of the public were present and apparently unaware of the scale of the event.