A popular Coventry running event has been postponed again due to Covid-19, organisers have confirmed.
The Coventry Festival of Running had already been rescheduled for November 1 after the first wave of coronavirus hit earlier this year.
Now, organisers have said it has been pushed back again to Sunday, March 21 next year.
It comes after new restrictions were announced by the government as cases of coronavirus began to rise once more.
A spokesman for the event said that, against this backdrop, it would be inappropriate to continue with the run in November.
What is the Coventry Festival of Running?
The annual event was originally due to take place in early April this year, and includes a number of races.
The main event is the Coventry Half Marathon but there’s also a 5k, a wheelchair 2.5k, a children’s mile and a toddler dash.
It supports a number of charities such as Myton Hospice and the UHCW charity.
Organisers worked closely with Coventry City Council, Public Health and the emergency services to come up with a whole new model when it was hoped the event could go ahead in November.
But it was not to be, and they have taken the ‘difficult decision’ to push it back once again.
Runners have a number of options: run, donate or refund. Organisers hope that this will mitigate the impact on the charities they raise money for, who have been hard hit by the Covid pandemic.
What have organisers said?
“It is with sadness that despite all efforts to organise a COVID-19 secure half marathon, the luck is against us.
“We know this will be extremely disappointing for so many runners have trained for months in preparation for race day.
“And for some this will come as a relief as they were concerned about running on November 1 due to safety.
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“With race day approaching we knew we needed to give runners some certainty to enable them to plan, and although (as current guidance stands) the event could technically take place, we didn’t want to be in the position where we had to cancel a few days before.
“If we had to pull the event in a few weeks’ time it would be catastrophic to our finances and would end any chance of us providing an event in the future.
“We are also aware that this event raises in excess of £100,000,00 for our partner charities, many of which are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.
“Fundraising activities have been hit hard during the last six months and we know how important this event was for fundraising in this extremely challenging year.
“We also know our runners support even more charities, many for personal reasons.
“To best support all involved we have a range of options for participants to engage with the event and offer their support :RUN, DONATE or REFUND which we have emailed all confirmed runners about to enable them to support the event in the best way for them.
“Finally, everyone at FoR Coventry would like to take the opportunity to thank runners for their patience and support during these times – moving targets and challenging operating environments have taken some toll on everyone.
“We encourage you to stay fit, healthy and adhere to government guidance. We look forward to seeing everyone in the future for Festival of Running events in coming years.
“We cannot wait to get back going and give the proud City of Coventry the great events it truly deserves. #seeyouonthestartline”