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    Alistair Landels

    After the last week I’m probably in a reasonable position to answer some of these questions.

    Note my comments below are entirely MY OPINION and I haven’t read the NZ selection policy, but intend to do so in the near future.  I stand to be corrected if I’m in any way wrong, and the last thing I want to do is offend anyone.

    Throughout this whole week I’ve only been trying to find a solution where we can have a representative in the long race.  I have had many discussion and sent many emails to the General Manager, Convenor of Selectors, and President.  I’ve also had discussions with other key persons (who I won’t mention), and Matt Ogden who has expressed an interest in running this long race.

    It seems, and I truly believe that the selection policy as specified has been followed.

    Upon the withdrawal of Chris Forne the selectors have tried to get many runners to fill the position in the team so we would have a runner in the long race.  During this time Matt has apparently expressed to the selectors that if someone else was available then they should take that place.  At the same time he has also said that NZ should have a representative in the race, and that the current situation would be unacceptable.

    As to why Matt was never asked as a last resort I cannot say, he doesn’t know himself.  I have appealed that the selectors reconsider but it seems that the entry has been made, the policy followed and there is nothing that can be done.  And I suspect that at this late stage not even the Italians would accept such a late entry.

    As to why this has occurred I can only speculate that it is a combination of :

    1. A lack of communication on Matt’s part to explicitly say that we MUST have a runner and he will fill that place as a last resort.
    2. A lack of understanding by the selectors in regard to the new IOF rules as Anna has specified above, and the significance of having full participation
    3. A closed selection process where only the selectors know who is available for which races, and a time-frame where availability is declared months before the selection is made, thus allowing for persons to easily withdraw after the selection has been made.

    I have some ideas as to how to prevent this happening again, but until I’ve sat down and read the selection policy documentation I don’t want to go into that.

    While we are dependant on the goodwill and time of volunteers for such relatively arduous and fairly thankless tasks as selection we must accept that mistakes can be made, we are only human.  So at the end I think we are generally a victim of our own bureaucracy, and even my emotional appeals seem to fall on deaf ears.

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