London Marathon Uncertainty

As football and rugby are making a comeback, the return of the UK’s biggest running races couldn’t seem further away.

Last week saw the cancellation of the Great North Run, the half marathon was set to a see a record 60,000 runners take part, in what would have been the race’s 40th year. Rescheduled for next year, the race will now take place on 12th September 2021.

The London Marathon has already been postponed from April to October, with the Manchester Marathon also pushed from March to October. The Great Manchester Run, set to take place on 6th September this year, has also been cancelled and moved to 23rd May 2021.

Thousands of people take part in running races across the UK, with even more people attending simply to cheer them on. Many are questioning how these events will ever return, as the ability to safely social distance is nearly impossible.

Organisers of the Great North Run shared they had looked at holding the event later in the year, but pressure on health workers and the huge volume of volunteers needed were the biggest drawbacks.

A statement read: “As things stand, and even as the situation improves, it isn’t going to be possible to meet these goals with any certainty, and so, with just under three months to go we have concluded that the best course of action is to cancel.”

A decision on whether this year’s London Marathon will be going ahead is expected to be made on Sunday. Brendan Foster, founder of the Great North Run, said: “Mass participation events in the form that ours takes, and the London Marathon takes, are clearly going to be extremely difficult to hold and it’s going to be up to us to find a formula for the future.”

Now more than ever, many have taken up running as an escape from the news and to get fit during lockdown. Although race season is on hold, a boom in entries is predicted once open.

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