11 October 2020 should’ve been a big day in the running calendar, with both Chicago & the postponed Manchester marathons taking place.

But, sadly & perhaps unsurprisingly, both have been cancelled this week.

2 more big marathons bite the dust.

London is now the only “major” race left standing this year, but I cannot imagine, realistically, that the UK would allow it to take place, in early October…would they?

I couldn’t quite figure out what this meant (below) on the Manchester Marathon website – how do you apply social distancing rules in a race?

Any ideas?

What a year.

And since no one really knows how long this terrible pandemic will last, we could be looking at no races for a long time to come…

Just as well I enjoy solo running.

And I am STILL trying to work out how you could socially distance a scene like this…


  1. I haven’t seen any indications that the BLM marches caused a spike in covid cases, and a marathon isn’t much different in terms of crowds.

    Sweat is thought to carry the virus but the marchers were getting pretty up close and personal with each other.

    Temperature check all the runners and let everyone make up their own minds about the risks. I’m all for self determination.

    But then again, solo running sounds a lot more fun than competitive running to my introverted mind.

  2. Christine, from what I have been following here, typically social distancing at races involve restricting the number of participants, staggered start times with no more than the number of people allowed to ‘group’ together in the country during the time of the race, also depending on how ‘wide’ the start line is you can have only a few or even one person crossing it at a time. Obviously, people will overtake, and that happens even now as we do isolated runs, but the route may need to be modified to ensure that social distancing is possible. For example, Castle Howard which was due next weekend, changed their run route which had a 1 km very narrow trail stretch on their usual scenic run route. Swim was going to be the same, staggered starts and there were restrictions on number of people watching too—each participant was allowed to bring one family member. Plus, one could enter the race area only at a stipulated time, not ‘hang around’. Unfortunately, even though they put all measures in place they had to cancel it as there were far too many variables until 2 weeks back which is when they had to take a final decision. Freckleton half marathon was conducted similarly by the local running group with 12 participants, to keep the torch burning, though the event itself was cancelled. 6 participants set off at a time (that’s the official number of people, not co-habitants or in a bubble, that allowed to group outdoors in England while maintaining social distancing). They were set off 30 minutes apart. Here’s the BBC link where they were featured.
    Races won’t be the same until covid 19 is behind us. A big chunk of the buzz that I get from a race is from the cheering crowds, I draw my energy from them. Simply won’t be the same experience without them.

    Kathakoli Dasgupta
    1. Kathakoli, as ever, thank you for this! What a smashingly detailed reply. Sounds like a logistical nightmare, trying to fit all those variables together. And yes, like you, it’s the crowd support that will be sorely missed while all these measures remain in place. Bombay especially…the crowd support there is fab!


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