Run Balmoral, Aberdeenshire’s biggest running festival, has become the latest spring event to be affected by the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Rather than being postponed, the 23rd edition of the two-day event, due to be held over the weekend of 18/19 April, has been cancelled entirely.
In a statement explaining their decision, organisers said: "We appreciate this is disappointing, but it is unavoidable given the health risks facing the nation at this time.
"We have looked at the options for rescheduling this year, but with the continuing uncertainty over how long the coronavirus crisis may last as well as other potential commitments on Balmoral Estate, this is, unfortunately, not possible.’
Runners registered for the 2020 event will be given the opportunity to roll their entries over to next year’s event, which will be held on 17–18 April 2021, or to apply for a refund.
A Run Balmoral spokesperson told runABC Scotland online yesterday evening: "In considering all the options, our primary concerns have been to ensure the health and safety of all of those involved in the event, whether that be competitors, staff, volunteers, spectators, suppliers and other supporters.
“We have also had to give serious consideration as to how best to secure the future of the event given that substantial financial outlays have already been committed which cannot be recouped. In this respect we are extremely grateful to our sponsors who have indicated a desire to assist us as well as they can through this difficult year. This is particularly welcomed given that these companies have significant issues of their own to deal with at this time.”
He added: “We also wanted to ensure that the runners who have entered are not penalised in any way, which is why we are offering either a refund or a rolling over of entries to 2021. This is a big commitment which will require us to work harder than ever to ensure that the 23rd edition of the event is a success in 2021 and beyond. It's a challenge we are confident of delivering on."