This year, Carnegie Harriers had planned to host the 10th anniversary running of the ever-popular Devilla Forest Trail Races on Sunday 13th February. However, after much deliberating, Carnegie Harriers has decided that unfortunately, the races cannot go ahead as planned this year. The reasons for this decision are related to both Storm Arwen and Covid. We are all extremely disappointed to have to share this news, especially as last year’s event was also cancelled.
While for most of us November’s Storm Arwen is fading into the distance, woodland and forests across Scotland have been badly impacted. There are still several clumps of fallen trees blocking key paths in Devilla forest. Some are passable with care but not for several hundred racers. Even if the race directors decided that the fallen tree obstacles were tolerable, the club has not yet been given formal permission to host the race on the Forestry land.
The race licence and insurance would be void if we do not have landowners’ permission to race. Due to the volume of work needed to assess the impact of Storm Arwen across its lands, Forest and Land Scotland have been unable to give any assurance that the fallen trees would be cleared and event permission granted before 13th February. We do not feel it would be appropriate to open entries without this permission in place.
The possibility of postponing the event was investigated but, unfortunately, Tulliallan was not available on any of our preferred alternative dates.
For Covid reasons, we would not be able to hold a prize giving in the assembly area of Tulliallan Police College, access to registration would be very restricted, changing rooms would not be available, the cafe would not be open and portaloos would be needed to reduce and minimise close contact. Additionally, the number of places available would have been lower than normal to reduce congestion at key points in and around the college and on course. If Covid had been the only factor under consideration, mitigations could have been put in place, although this would have impacted considerably on the vibe and feel of the race.
We very much hope that the 10th anniversary race will take place in 2023, and Carnegie Harriers look forward to making it a very special event.
At this time, Carnegie Harriers still plan to host the Graham Clark race at Knockhill in summer 2022, and more details will be shared when Knockhill’s availability is confirmed.