|West Highland Way Challenge Race|
|Tough & Rugged|
|THE HISTORY OF WHY THERE CAME ABOUT TWO RACES OVER THE WHW ROUTE|
Note before reading:
If you are an ultra distance runner with an ego problem who wishes to hide the darker and corrupt side of our sport and some of the despicable characters within it, then I will advise you will not like this section and should consider not reading it.
I personally do not hold your views regarding cover-ups. I believe the only way to stamp out corruptions and clean up our sport is to publically expose the corruptions and those who are practicing and sanctioning them. That is why this History section is open to all ultra distance mountain and trail runners through out the world to read and thus give a insight into some of the undesireables who are in it. Many competitors are frankly scared to speak up as they fear being blackballed from races.
The West Highland Way 'CHALLENGE' Race was instigated, after the long standing 'West Highland Way Race' changed significantly TWO operating formats after 29 years. These were:
1. From being a 'POINT TO POINT' Race, to being a 'SECTION' Race and
2. The WHW Race Committee used the race rules to unfaily and unethically discrimate against runners taking part in their race.
In the 2013 WHW race the operating changes were found to be unacceptable to many of the longer serving WHW Race competitors, so with no alternative the WHW 'Challenge' Race was formed based on continuing the ethos, of the long standing 'point to point' race and the principal that RULES ARE RULES AND SHOULD BE APPLIED FAIRLY.
These major difference in the WHW race operation format for 1 above is :-
A 'Point to Point' Race is covering the 95 miles within 35 hours, at an average speed to allow for maximum competitor completion, within the timescale.
A 'Section' Race is completing a series of short races totalling 95 miles, with some sections requiring to be completed in a very fast time. Failure to complete a section in the stated time results in the 'disqualification' of the competitor, who would still have completed the 95 miles in several hours under the 35 hours cut off time. This operating philosophy naturally leads to a great deal of 'drop outs' who strive to meet 'cut off' times and this is reflected in the results tables.
These major difference in the race operation format for 2 above is :-
The WHW Race Committe decided to bring 'the WHW Race and running into disrepute' by discriminating against competitors, by applying the rules to certain competitors and while allowing other competitors to break the same rule in the same race. Such dispicable and underhand action by the WHW Race Committee in abandoning the fundimental and ethical rules which govern sport and sports principles and are not acceptable.
The WHW Race changed after 29 years from operating as a 'POINT TO PONT RACE', to being operated as a 'SECTION RACE and this change was implimented in a most unsatisfactory, unprofessional, and personal discriminatory manner, that brought the sport and the WHW Race into disrepute.
The 'operational change' occurred 'midway' through the 2013 race, without prior notification to the competitors that a MAJOR RULE OPERATING CHANGE was being applied to the 2013 Race. The Rules regarding 'cut-off' times over the 29 years have not been applied to competitors who were still on course, for a sub 35 hour finish. In 29 years NO DISQUALIFICATION had taken place for competitors still on target for a 35 hour race finish.
When rules are made they should be adhered to and above all be applied fairly. In the 2011 WHW Race, Mr Beatttie as Race Director allowed all 15 competitors who were over the 'cut off' time to continue in the race and none were disqualified. Again, in 2013 Mr Ian Beattie was still Race Directorand he decided only to impliment the rule and disqualify one person out while two others broke the same rule and were not disqualifird. Clearly Mr Beattie discriminates and ignores the rules when your 'face fits' and applies the rules when your face does not fit, especially if you asking where the race monies are disappearing to.. Your face certainly does not fit, if you start asking where the tens of thousans of pounds of entrance money and merchandise money is going? especially as the WHW Race only provided water at two Check Points and competitors have to provide their own food, drink and transport.
In the 2013 WHW Race, Mr Beattie disqualified the ONE PERSON who asking about where the race money was going, for being over the 'cut off' time. This was unjust and bizarre behaviour by Mr Beattie, as he had just allowed a fellow competitor in front to continue in the race without disqualification, even though they had broke the same rule, by being over the cut off time. Mr Beattie then applied blatant discrimination later in the same race by allowing another competitor who was over the cut off time and exhausted to continue. That competitor was so exhausted he could not even make it to ther next Check Point.
The disqualified competitor, we will now call a 'wayfarer' as he is now out of the race continued a member of the public on the public right of way trail and within two miles had overtaken 4 race competitors. As a wayfarer he' continued up the public WHW Trail which was his right, but he was subjected to a tirade of threats, abuse and being shouted at, by various WHW Race officials. These threats were of a serious nature and intent.
At Bridge of Orchy Mr Bob Reid a race official, came to the wayfarers car that was parked at the side of the public road and informed the wayfarer Mr Beattie had ordered the wayfarer not to set one foot on the WHW public right of way. Clearly Mr Beattie had no authority to give such an instruction as the WHW is open to the publiuc and he had no authority to make such a demand. This instruction by Mr Beattie was absurd as the wayfarer had every right to be there, as they were no longer in the race.
What was 'sick' was that Mr Reid then went on to threatened that Mr Beattie had stated that if his instruction was not obeyed then then the wayfarer would be banned for life from all future WHW Races. This was a serious threat as the wayfarer had taken part in the last 21 consecutive races and held the most WHW Race completions. Earlier Mr Ried had threatenend the wayfarrer that if he continued to travel the WHW path he would be banned from all Scottish Athletic Permitted Races if he continued to use the public foot path. Mr Reid was shouting and so serious he went to the extent to informing Jim Robertson that he was a witness to Mr Beatties theat had been delivered to the wayfarer. There are many witnesses to the shouting and threats that were made by Mr Reid and another officiial against the wayfairer.
At this stage some readers may ask why the threats and abuse were being made by the WHW Race Officials ? The answer is clear for after disqalification the wayfarer was 19 minutes within the race cut off time at the next Check Point and clearly he would be in Fort William several hours under 35 hours race cut off time. As it happened in ther end the wayfarer took 32 1/2 hours, some 2 1/2 hours under the 35 hours race cut of time a 'point-to-point' race.
The threats and abuse were an sick attempt to intimideate the wayfarer from completing the public trail route. This then would leave the WHW Race Committee with the ability to falsely state the competitor/way farer would not have made the 35 hour cut off time and thus this would give creadance to their argument that it was not blatant personal discrimination. These sad people did not want to loose face and have thier discrimination exposed by the truth being told.
Mr Beattie as Race Director decided TWO other 2013 competitors who were also over the cut off time were allowed to continue in the same 2013 WHW race. One of those competitors was allowed to continue before the disqualification took place and the other after the disqualification took place. One of these competitors was even awarded 'an official finish' goblet and is recorded as a finisher in the results even though she broke the race rules. Mr Beattie refused to disqualify the lady for breaking the race 'cut off' rule.
It is against all the ethics, morality and rules of sport to deliberatly discriminate and disqualify ONE person for breaching a rule and allow TWO other competitors to break the same rule without disqualification in the same race. The WHW Race had a proud historyof Race Directors and it is extremely sad that Mr Beattie and his director henchmen in the WHW Race Committee has brought the WHW Race into disrepute by their actions.
It in some way it is even sadder that the long standing WHW Race apathetic competitors that call themselves the WHW Race family have allowed such a situation to occur by still supporting such actions. The Race Committee of consisting of Ian Beattie, Sean Stone, Adrian Stott an John Kynaston who endorsesd the despicable corrupt behaviour are a disgrace to Scottish Sport and if they had any deciency left they require to consider seriouly whether thety shoufd take active part in any sport again.
Having been involved in endurance activities for over 40 years it is with exteme regret and sadness that the following statement has to be made, and further it does not say much for the integtrity of many ultra distance runners who do not stand up for 'Fairness' in their sport. As with other sports, it is now long overdue that the sport of ultra distance trail and mountain running requires to be cleand up. Sadly corruption applies where money is involved e.g.football, tennis,cycling, athletics etc.
The WHW Challenge Race members have recieved a myriad of what can only be described as 'idiots' who in relation to the disqualification in the 2013 race. These' idiots' state 'rules are rules and must be complied with'. As can be seen by this true account above of what took place, I don't have much time for fools. Before opening their mouths and making stupid false statements these IDIOTS should check the facts. If they had bothered to check the 29 years of the WHW race results, they would have ascertained the 'cut off time' rules have never been applied to those still in contention to complete the race in under 35 hours and that the 'cut off' Rule certainly did not apply to the15 competitors who broke the same rules in the 2011 race, in which Mr Beattie was also Race Director. Nor did the rule apply two competitors who were 'over the cut off time' in the same 2013 WHW Race. These idiots are a disgrace to ultra distance sport as they fail to ascertain the facts before making a fool of themselve, especially as the written evidence is on record for all to check and this should have been done, before they make their sarcasic, stupid and false statements. When these various idiots and the WHW RACE Commiittee were informed of the truth along with the evidence to support it, as expected not one idiot, or the Committee had the courtesy to apologise. Nor did they have the guts to redirect their remarks to Mr Ian Beattie who is the one, not abiding by the race rules. Possibly one day one or two of the WHW Race Committee members may face the truth their behaviour was despicable and apologise.
Mr Beattie the WHW Race Director, even had the audacity to attempteD to justify his discriminsation by firstly stating 'Rules are Rules and must be complied with'. Mr Beattie was informed in no uncertain terms he was 'lying' as the rules and race records clearly show the rule had not been applied by him in the 15 instances during his directorship of the 2011 WHW Race, nor to the TWO other competitors who breached the rules in the 2013 WHW Race. Eventually Mr Beattie conceeded the he had not applied the Race Rules in 17 occasions and that this was a 'true' statement, he also admitted the rules were not applied fairly and thus 'personal discrimination' had taken place by him regarding the implimentation of the Rules. Sadly like many other people with an ego problem he then attempted the justify his action for applying 'personal discrimination' by stating, as Race Director he has the final descision and will apply and ignore the Race Rules when it suits him.
I have personally taken part in more than 600 races throughout the world, mostly ultras and had never heard of any Race Director applying personal discrimination against a competitor.
Such action and attitude by Mr Beattie is sad and an insult to all the hard working 'fair' officials who participate in all sports activities in Scotland. Especially in that Mr Beattie as Race Director at the time of the discrimination was understood to be 'Chairman' of Scottish Athletics. Again it is sad when The Chairman of Scottish Athletics deliberately brings SCOTTISH SPORTS INTO DISREPUTE but that in itself sums up the postion of Sciottoish Athletics as a governing body.
When Scottish Athletics Organsation was made aware of the facts of the case they stated they would take no action and would continue to give a PERMIT to the the WHW Race.
IT IS TIME A NEW ORGANISATION WAS FORMED TO CHALLENGE SCOTTISH ATHLETICS UNILATERAL GRIP ON SCOTTISH RUNNING SPORT. Please e-mail this web site if you are interested in developing such an organisation.
It is indeed a sad day for sport in Scotland that one of the main governing bodies for athletics in Scotland; Scottish Athletics CONDONES AND SUPPORTS DISCRIMINATION IN THEIR 'PERMITTED' RACES. Due to the above being the case, it is now perhaps the right time for the web sites of Scottish Runner and Scottish Running to take on responsibilities to ensure fairness for runners in Scotland.
If the conduct during the WHW 2013 race was unreprehencable the the post race conduct is just as bad. The Entrant who was 'disqualified' submitted with the WHW Race Committee agreement a full written 'GROUNDS OF APPEAL STATEMENT' supporting his Appeal. Two members of the WHW Race Committee applied the dirty tricks by 'falsly' stating on the WHW Race website, it was a 'COMPLAINTS LETTER' even though the statement was clearly maked 'Ground of Appeal'. The WHW Race committee then refused to publish the competitors Grounds of Appeal, as they did not want the true account of what had occurred to be made known, nor competitors evidence and witnesses verification. That is why this TRUE HISTORY OF EVENTS REQUIRED TO BE PUBLISHED.
What was even worse behaviour was when Jim Robertson ( a respected and long standing WHW competitor and ultra distance runner) and his wife, were both contacted by Sean Stone and asked what occurred at the Ochtertyre and at Bridge of Orchy locations, as where they were both present. Both reported to Mr Stone that no abusive language was used by the disqualified competitor at either location. Subsequently in his report, which Mr Stone published on the WHW Race web-site, he indicated clearly he did not believed both Jim and his wife were telling the truth and falsely reported that the competitor used abusive language at these locations.
This public false assertion by Mr Stone that the Robertsons were not telling the truth, by not believing them was very hurtfull to Jim and his wife.
Every effort was extended to the WHW Race Committee to put their house in order and resolve the situation to avoid a split by redressing the fairness of their ruling and ensuring it did not occur again. The WHW Race Committee decided to continue to impliment the discrimination they had applied, thus there was no alternative but to impliment an alternative 'fair' WHW Challenge Race which stives to be competitor friendly.
The disqualified competitor was also informed by e-mail that if he did not like discrimination then he should start his own race over the WHW Trail. Tim's advice was appreciated by the WHW Race Committee.