5 Mar

Testing start to 2020 for race organisers

Coronavirus image

With the recent cancellation of Paris Half Marathon and London Marathon issuing cautious statements, there is a wave of uncertainty spreading through the running world.

Fears over the spread of coronavirus have already caused postponements of Six Nations rugby matches and the Japan’s Olympic Minister felt pressed to suggest that this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games could be postponed if so required.

This week, Hugh Brasher, event director at London Marathon Events said: “We, along with the rest of the world, are monitoring closely the developments relating to the spread of coronavirus and noting the updates and advice given by the UK Government, the World Health Organisation and other public bodies.

“With two months to go before the event on Sunday 26 April, we will continue to monitor the situation.”

He later added: "The Government’s current advice is that all mass events should still go ahead. There are many mass events scheduled in the UK before us and we are working closely with the DCMS (the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) and other mass event organisers to coordinate and agree appropriate advice to the public."

So, as it stands, London goes ahead. But just over 40,000 runners now deep into their training will be anxiously awaiting final confirmation.

It has been a challenging start to the year for race organisers with Storm Ciara also claiming the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run. Other events in Southport, Llanelli, Deal and Scunthorpe were also undone by Mother Nature. What can be hugely frustrating for runners is doubly so for organisers who put so much effort into putting on races.

Let’s all hope London is not 2020’s biggest casualty and maintains its unbroken run for its 40th edition. Keep your fingers crossed and your hands washed.