Press Report: Local Races Cancelled

THIS year’s Essar Chester Half Marathon, and MBNA Chester Marathon/Metric Marathon have all been cancelled.

Race organisers, Active Leisure Events Ltd, have officially decided to cancel the three popular fixtures due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The MBNA Chester Half Marathon had originally been organised for May 17, but was then postponed and rearranged for September 20 before being cancelled.

“Since we announced our update statement in May, we have been closely monitoring the ever-evolving situation around the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest government guidance and developments emerging throughout the events industry,” an online Active Leisure Events Ltd statement said.

“We would like to thank the 3,500 people who completed our recent survey about running in a Covid-19 environment.

The responses and comments received have been an integral part of our decision making. A hugely significant result was that over 66% would not be comfortable taking part in events in 2020.

“It’s clear that staging two, large scale, mass participation events this year would be inappropriate. It is with regret and a heavy heart, that we announce the cancellation of our two remaining 2020 events; the Essar Chester Half Marathon scheduled for the 20th September and the MBNA Chester Marathon/Metric Marathon scheduled for the 4th October.

“Our overriding priority is the safety and health of our runners, staff, contractors, volunteers, spectators, local community and society as a whole.

“Runners registered for both events will be contacted on the 17th July confirming the cancellation and outlining the next steps regarding refunds, deferrals and other options available to them. At that stage more details will also be available on our website. We have been trying to keep up with your queries and we understand a lot of you will have questions, but please bear with us as we continue to work through these difficult times.

“With the original 2020 Essar Chester Half Marathon being in May, the medals, race shirts and goody bag items were ordered pre-lockdown and are already with us. As a result, those who are entered into the race have the option to run the event virtually. Further details of the virtual event and how we will be making it special, will be announced

“For the 2020 MBNA Chester Full and Metric Marathons we have made the decision to cancel the events before the key order deadlines and as a result, we will not have race shirts and medals so we will not be able to offer a virtual alternative.

“We appreciate many of you will be disappointed with our decision and may feel frustrated. As a Team, we have spent a significant amount of time exploring, considering and planning numerous alternative scenarios, to enable the events to go ahead safely.

“The amount of uncertainty surrounding large scale events and the lack of clear direction has been challenging and has only extended the time to come to a final decision. We are sincerely sorry for this, and for having to cancel our remaining 2020 events and the 2020 Chester Triple. It’s not what anyone wanted but it’s essential that everyone’s health and well-being take priority over all else.

“We’d like to offer a huge thank you to our runners, sponsors, volunteers, local council, medical teams and other key stakeholders for their understanding and support throughout this incredibly difficult time. We have been overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of positive comments and well-wishes.

“The multi-award-winning Essar Chester Half Marathon and the MBNA Chester Marathon have become two of the UK’s staple running events on any runner’s race calendar. They provide opportunities for all to run, compete and help with their journey to achieve and maintain fitness and a healthy lifestyle; whilst serving as an inspiration to people of
all ages and abilities to get active, improve their lives and accomplish something they maybe didn’t think was possible. The events raise the profile of Chester as a destination city to a national and international audience and raise millions of pounds each year for charity.

“Please use this disappointing news as motivation for your next event. We certainly are! With the amount of new lockdown runners and the continued appetite for events within the running community, we’re anticipating that the post Covid-19 demand for running events will be greater than ever. We will use this time to bounce back and prepare for a complete season of 2021 running events and the 2021 Chester Triple.

“We hope you will all be able to join us next year for the 2021 Aldi Chester 10K on 14th March, 2021 Essar Chester Half Marathon on 16th May, and the 2021 MBNA Chester Marathon/Metric Marathon on 3rd October.”

Posted by Dave Alexander
13th July 2020

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