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nike air Scotland bags major slice of t

Scotland bags major slice of the Women’s British Open

SINCE the Ricoh Women’s British Open was first held at Fulford in 1976, one of the idiosyncrasies of the women’s major was that over 32 years it was only staged twice in Scotland, at the Old Course in St Andrews last summer and the Ailsa at Turnberry in 2002.

Now, however, thanks to a 600,000 deal announced yesterday in St Andrews between EventScotland, the national events agency, and the Ladies Golf Union, nike air organiser of the Women’s Open, the championship will be staged five times in Scotland between 2011 and 2020.

In a break with past practice which prevented the LGU from staging its flagship event at a men only club, Shona Malcolm, the chief executive of the LGU, indicated it would now be happy to hold discussions with either Muirfield or Royal Troon, the two Scottish links on the Open rota where the clubs don’t have women members, about staging the Women’s British Open.

Malcolm also revealed that the championship would not necessarily be held on a links and they would look at outstanding parkland courses on a par with Gleneagles and Loch Lomond. She said the LGU had an open mind about Scottish venues and did not rule out the possibility of also utilising more modern links such as Kingsbarns, near St Andrews, Archerfield in East Lothian and Dundonald in Ayrshire.

When Malcolm responded to a question about men only venues by stating the LGU was “very open” to choosing the best sites, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond interjected by saying: “It might encourage them to change their ways.” Later, he declined to expand on that observation, other than to confirm it reflected his view of men only clubs.

When the LGU commissioned its own survey of female opinion on golf in 2006, there was widespread opposition among lady go nike air lfers to the Women’s Open ever being held at a men only club. With the game worth about 300million each year to the Scottish economy, Salmond wants to grow golf tourism here by at least 50 per cent in the years ahead. By adding the Women’s Open approximately every other summer to a portfolio which already includes the Open championship three times in every five years, the Ryder Cup in 2014, the Seniors Open in two years out of three, the Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, the Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles and the Dunhill Links at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns each season, Salmond believes golf could eventually be worth 500m a year to Scotland.

The First Minister did not go so far as to say Scotland had taken its golfing heritage for granted in the recent past, but he was aware of the strides taken by Ireland in promoting golf tourism and now the home of golf was also taking a pro active stance.

“Golf and Scotland are synonymous, but these things don’t happen by themselves,” he reasoned. “We have the best courses in the world and facilities which are second to none. You’ve got to work at it.”

He described the partnership with the LGU as an “umbilical link” and recalled the success of the Women’s Open won by Lorena Ochoa, the world No1, at the Old Course last summer. That event generated 7.5m for the Scottish economy as well as providing more than 356 hours of global TV coverage from 26 broadcasters.

“The success of the 2007 event here at St Andrews proved once again that there is nowhere better to stage major golfing events than here in Scotland, the home of golf,” he added. “I’m delighted to announce that EventScotland and the Ricoh Women’s Open have agreed a ten year partnership which guarantees Scotland will host the Women’s Open on at least five occasions between 2011 and 2020. This prestigious event is an excellent showcase for Scottish golf and tourism.”

A golfer himself, Salmond knows a slice from a hook, even if he can’t always control his own left to right ball flight as accurately as he would wish.

He was well aware that half of the recent Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup side Carly Booth, Krystle Caithness, Sally Watson and Michelle Thomson were all Scots and speculated that by the time the Women’s Open returns to the home of golf one or more of this group of talented young players might challenge for the title. According to Malcolm, the Women’s Open, which is at Sunningdale this week, Lytham next year and Birkdale in 2010, will not always alternate on an annual basis between Scotland and England from 2011 onwards.

Just as with the rota for the men’s Open, the cycle will depend on availability.

Talks are already underway with two Scottish venues, but she declined to identify those courses.

The LGU has not been awash with funds in recent years and Malcolm agreed the investment of 600,000 from EventScotland was a welcome fillip for her organisation.

Paul Bush from EventScotland added: “This deal confirms Scotland’s position as the home of golf as we now have the finest golf portfolio in Europe no other country can match it. A key part of our work as we nike air prepare to host the Ryder Cup in 2014 is securing professional events that broaden interest and participation in sport. Our investment of 600,000 to secure this deal underlines that commitment.”

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nike air Scotiabank Waterfront marathon

Scotiabank Waterfront marathon review

Before I start my rant: full disclosure. I’ve only done this race twice in my eight years of running, mostly because my preference is the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon. I’m not partial to running on the Lakeshore and prior to this year, Scotiabank always happened in September which is typically too warm for me.

Despite that, I was excited to try it out this year. I love big races.

I took part in the race’s media challenge this year, a great program that allowed us media types to compete against one another and if we placed in the top three money would be donated to a charity of our choice. I think that is a wonderful part of the run.

Don’t believe the myth of unfit, chain smoking journos. There are a lot of great runners among us.

The run was pretty uneventful, but pretty much the same as I remember from my running it in 2004.

One pet peeve I had was the mile markers.

At times they ceased to exist.

But this is a minor complaint compared to what happened when I crossed the finish line.

I crossed the finish and followed the mass of people to get my bag. I was not prepared for what came next.

It’s a cold and blustery Sunday morning, I’m covered in sweat having just run 21.1. kilometres and my legs are sore. My friend and I waited and waited and the mass of people did not move an inch.

Finally nike air I notice a clock straight ahead and realize it’s been over an hour and half. My teeth are chattering.

I wanted to be mad but I was too tired.

I forwent any bananas or bagels on the way to the bag check because I figured I could wait until the celebratory breakfast with my friends. It is our tradition after every long race.

We waited and waited and thankfully runners are a civilized lot, because there was no stampede or swearing or violence.

Thankfully my friend and I found each other shortly after we finished and we had each other. I probably would have panicked withou nike air t her.

As each person came out with their bag, a loud raucous cheer went up from the crowd. It was like scoring a goal every time someone was seen clutching a bag.

One man was so happy he screamed “Miracle on Bay Street!” to loud applause and cheers.

I finally got to the front, handed my bib to one of the young beleagured volunteers and waited.

I was adamant I wouldn’t be rude to these poor teenagers, after all they nike air were volunteering and this was not their fault. I’m actually concerned they may never volunteer for anything again after the chaos of Sunday.

But after waiting a while, maybe about 10 or 15 minutes I started to worry that my bag wasn’t there. As I waited at the front, I could feel people pushing me from the back. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

I finally hopped over the table and tried to look for my bag myself.

That was when I discovered to my horror, the bags weren’t organized in numerical order. This is standard bag check knowledge. Bags are always organized by bib numbers. Otherwise how do you find your bag amongst tens of thousands?

I thought I would cry tears of joy when my bag was there. Sound a bit dramatic? Maybe if it was 30 minutes you nike air could call me dramatic. Not two hours.

In short it was a fiasco that I won’t soon forget. I don’t sweat the small stuff, but this was unacceptable. I know what it’s like to organize a race. I’ve sat on race committees.

It’s a tough process that takes a lot of time and energy and very good people to ensure a race goes off without a hitch.

Organizing 21,000 people is no easy feat.

But I for one am tired of hearing about the big plans about having a “world class marathon” in Toronto when the race organizers can’t even organize a basic bag check. Above all else it was a massive safety hazard to have us all crammed in like animals, fenced in with no way to exit once we got our bags. We had to push through those who lined up to get out of the area.

This was demonstrated when someone collapsed while waiting for a bag and all we could do is scream “medic” and hope someone heard us.

The person who collapsed ended up being ok, but that’s really not the point. I wrote race director Alan Brookes an e mail pretty much telling him much of what I wrote here. He might have something interesting to say but I wouldn’t know as in two days he has not responded to my e mail. There was an apology posted on the website. It reads like this: