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There was major controversy surrounding the Men’s 10km foot race, as confusion raged over the clearness of the course laid out by York. The race was the event that looked to have clinched the Carter James Trophy for York; until it was revealed by officials that all points for both races had been voided.
This was attributed to confusion regarding the race course, which saw some runners getting lost, jumping fences and some runners finishing the race a substantial amount of time after the ‘winners’. One Lancastrian commented that the course he ran was more like 12km, and the officials were left with little choice other than to suspend the points on offer for both teams.
If the points had been awarded, York would have been crowned Roses 2013 Champions. It was a small victory, in front of just a handful of supporters; but that, rather appropriately, epitomises the nature of Roses. Every small victory is a step towards the grandest, and we have seen gargantuan efforts from York and Lancaster teams all weekend in an effort to attain that larger, team victory for their respective Universities. Unfortunately for the runners, no such glory was to come their way.
It was a major let off for Lancaster, as any further loss of points to York would have seen them hand over the Carter James Trophy to their rivals. The runners from both sides were bitterly disappointed that their hard training and hard work was in vain. Fortunately, it has been a rare example of blaring officiating mistakes at this year’s Roses, which for the most part was well organised.
The Women’s race was won convincingly, with York claiming 1st, 2nd and 3rd position. The efforts of Antonia Marsden (4th), the first Lancastrian to cross the line, were not enough to dent her opponents impressive run. Becky Barlow, Beth Bloor, and Lea Tyler were the subsequent runners to finish for the Red Rose.
The Men’s race was substantially closer; however, it was York’s Richard Weekes who ran in the victory, narrowly edging out Lancaster’s Tom Roethenbaugh. Upon hearing that he had won the Race, and seemingly won Roses for York, Weekes was lost for words – though his breathlessness may have been attributed to him just finishing a 10KM race; “I have been building myself up towards this for a long time,” said Weekes, “It has been a huge effort from everyone involved. I’m so happy.” Weekes was not available for comment following the voiding of the race points. A Lancaster runner went on to say he believed the decision to void the points to be “the only possible fair decision.”