At recent English Cross Country Association meetings of the championship and general committees, the subject of equi-distance championship races was discussed following overtures to the ECCA from a number of women runners.
The ECCA conducted a survey at the National Cross Country Championships and this and other surveys carried out by other organisations and those held on social media were discussed. Although those in favour of equi-distance races were strongly so, there was a majority against, and even those in favour could not agree a distance to compete over, though 10K emerged as the preferred distance.
As a result of discussions both the ECCA Championship Committee and General Committee unanimously decided to keep the championship race distances as 8K for Senior Women and 12K for Senior Men in 2019.
In making this decision the ECCA noted that when the surveys were considered separately from women and men the margin against was considerably more taking into account the women’s vote only. Additionally, those who voted no appeared to do so for various practical reasons. There were many thoughts from athletes that participation levels would drop if the distance of the Women’s Championship was increased. It was felt that it was encouraging that this year for the first time there were over 1000 finishers in the Women’s Championship and that in the last 10 years the number of runners in this event had doubled so the Association had got an event that is liked increasingly by growing numbers of women.
It was decided that the ECCA would continue to monitor the situation and decisions made were entirely for good competition reasons and according to the will of the majority.