Shortly after the 2016 event, due to the Shropshire Council austerity cut-backs, a number of key people in the running of the event (such as Paula Pugh) took voluntary redundancy. The Council also indicated that due to these cuts they would find it difficult to underwrite the event in the case of a financial shortfall.
Alan had thought that he would stay on as a volunteer again for the 2017 race, but three months after the 2016 race, due to various circumstances (personal & otherwise) he reluctantly let the committee know that he would not be continuing his role.
A week or so after Alan's announcement, I went to one of the TriSmart Tuesday evening swim training sessions. With Peters prior agreement and permission, I spoke with Nick Thomas and his wife Karen to sound them out about the possibility of Nick taking over from Alan, and Nick was going to consider it before the following Tuesday session. Unfortunately that weekend whilst attempting to swim across the channel on what was his 45th birthday, Nick lost his life whilst within a short distance of the French Coast http://tinyurl.com/zadvbtr His funeral at St Mary's was extremely well attended by several hundred mourners (including family and athletes) as befits someone held in high regard by the community.
We are pleased to say that we have found such a commercial organiser, and they are interested in exploring our venue further with the aim of putting our event into their portfolio. At this point in time it is too early to name which company as they have not yet fully committed themselves to the race.
What we can say though is that they are a well respected organisation within the Triathlon community who organise a lot of well known events. In addition a lot of their values and aims match nicely with the values and aims that the Shropshire Triathlon has always had. Their events are also run to really good standards, so we feel that the excellent standards that we have come to accept as “our normal” will be maintained.
We are meeting with their representatives at the Cremorne Gardens sometime in January so that they can make their final assessment as to whether or not to go ahead with the project. As soon as we know one way or the other we will be able to let the organising committee know first, followed swiftly by an email to all our marshals and a Tweet to all our followers.
Will there be any changes to the race if it goes ahead?
It is inevitable that when a race gets a new organiser that there will be changes. However, I get the impression from my initial discussions that these will be minimal and mainly to ensure that the event is commercially viable after it has been in limbo for so long.
In addition, there are changes to the Cremorne Gardens environment being made by Shropshire Council which will mean some physical changes will have to take place. I believe that the majority of the changes will actually enhance the event and if the new organiser decides to go ahead it will secure the future of the race for several years to come.
Date of 2017 Event
At this moment in time no firm date has been booked because we don't know definitely that there will be an event taking place. For the past two years we have held the event on the Spring Bank Holiday and we note that date is currently free in the diary of our proposed commercial organiser - but that could be because they may have personal family commitments.
The next Spring Bank Holiday is 29 May 2017 - However if that date clashes with another important event which could affect race entry numbers, they may choose a date one or two weeks before or afterwards. I suggest that you leave as many of those dates as you can free until we make our announcement.
We will let everyone know by the end of January at the latest (much sooner if possible) whether we are running the event and if so on which date by using email for marshals and Twitter for our other interested followers – so don't forget to make sure you are registered as one of our followers ( twitter.com/ShropshireTri ) .
Shropshire Triathlon Cycling Co-ordinator