This September marks the 40th Great North Run – a half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields, attended by tens of thousands of runners and spectators each year.
But the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown measures have led to questions surrounding whether or not the much-anticipated event, scheduled for Sunday, September 13, will take place.
On Wednesday, May 27 organisers Great Run issued a statement on social media, reassuring the public that their questions about the run’s 2020 future were not being ignored.
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In it, they said they wanted to take time to “get this right” as any decision about the race will impact charity partners – as well as having an economic affect on the North East region as a whole.
It continued: “We’re aware that the latest Government guidelines indicate that social distancing will remain part of our lives for quite some time, and this obviously impacts the form that mass participation events will be able to take.
“Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as making a quick decision to postpone or cancel and we are working in close consultation with our medical, planning teams and all key stakeholders whilst following the latest advice from the UK Government.”
The statement went on to say that the runners are at the heart of any decision the team will make, with their welfare and safety central to what will happen going forward.
It added: “We’re aware that you may have travel and accommodation decisions to consider, as well as training and fundraising plans; as such we will endeavour to make a decision with our stakeholders about the staging of the event in good time.”
Great Run has also been working behind the scenes on additional fundraisers, including a virtual running challenge in aid of the NHS Charities Together.
To date, #GreatRunSolo has raised more than £20,000 after around 2,500 people took part in its first week.