London 2020? Yes? No?

As if training for a marathon were not stressful enough already, the poor runners who are still hoping against hope that the London Marathon will take place, have now got to wait a further 2 weeks till they find out – yes? or no?

This prestigious race should’ve taken place in April, but fell victim to the Coronavirus pandemic – like almost all major sporting events.

From April 26th the race was postponed until October 4th – which isn’t actually that far off, just 2 months – and yesterday the final decision was pushed back for yet another 2 weeks, until August 7th.

In an open letter to all participants on Monday, event director Hugh Brasher said the delay was due to a need for further consultation with local NHS Trusts, the emergency services and local authorities. 

“We know how important the Virgin Money London Marathon is to you, to charities and in showing the world the wonderful spirit of London, of Great Britain and of our running community,” he said. 

So please bear with us while we finish the extensive work we have been doing to try to enable us to run together, safely. 

“I will be in contact with our final decision and the options available to you no later than Friday, August 7.” 

(Reuters)

London is the last of the World Marathon Majors still hoping to be held this year, after Boston, Berlin, New York and Chicago all shelved plans for their 2020 races.

Looking at it objectively, and from outside the UK, it would seem to make sense to cancel London as well.

But we will all have to wait another 2 weeks to find out.

How dispiriting for runners, entering the final weeks of theoretical preparation, not knowing whether they will even run or not.

10 days ago, I wrote a blog about the cancellation of the Chicago and Manchester marathons, and wondered aloud here how on earth can you impose social distancing rules in a marathon. My UK-based friend Kathakoli replied with a detailed look at how you socially distance in a race, and it’s worth reading her remarks here, in the context of London – here’s the link.

3 Comments

  1. Dave & I were discussing this last week. I doubt it’ll happen. Dave said, they may go ahead with just elite athletes. But even then, I doubt it. Far too many uncertainties still. Travel to spain re-opened, but restrictions have been put in place again. What if there’s another peak and they have to close hotels once again—even UK based participants living in other cities won’t be able to make it. And how much time, money and resources would have been lost due to a last minute cancellation. We just have to come to terms with the fact that it’s going to be a no-race/event year.

    Kathakoli Dasgupta
    1. I agree with your assessment, Kathakoli. Just today in The Times there’s a report about rising infection rates in Belgium & other European countries. I think 2020 is shot, race-wise. And fingers crossed that it doesn’t continue into 2021…

      christine

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