The UK’s biggest running event – the Great North Run – has been cancelled due to Covid-19.
Organisers have made the decision to push the milestone 40th half marathon back to Sunday, September 12, 2021, reports ChronicleLive.
Runners who had secured a place for the 2020 event can choose to enter next year or request a refund for their entry fee.
The Junior and Mini Great North Run and the Great North 5km – due to be held the day before the Great North Run – have also been axed.
Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company, said: “We’re sorry that we’ve had to cancel the Great North Run. We haven’t taken the decision lightly. The event raises over £25m for charity and is an important day in the north east calendar.
“Over the past few months we worked hard to try and find a way to stage the Great North Run while observing social distancing rules, and most importantly, not impacting on our local NHS. We also looked at holding the Great North Run later in the year.
“However, as things stand, and even as the situation improves, it’s not going to be possible to meet these goals with any certainty, and so we have concluded that the best course of action is to cancel.
“I’d like to thank our partners at Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside Councils, and especially our medical teams working in North East NHS Trusts for their support in trying to find a way to stage the Great North Run this year.
“Despite not being able to stage the event as planned we are exploring ways to mark the occasion and hope to be able to share our plans soon.”
A statement from the organisers reads: “We have also looked at holding the Great North Run later in the year. But, 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.
“We know how disappointing this is, but we’re sure everyone will understand why this decision has been made. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”