Great South Run 2020 uncertainty as organisers await 'specific details' for run in Portsmouth

THE organisers behind one of the city’s most popular running events say they need more details before deciding whether or not to cancel this year’s race.

By Richard Lemmer
Friday, 17th July 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 17th July 2020, 4:53 pm

The Great South Run, a 10-mile run around Portsmouth that draws 20,000 to the streets every year, is still currently due to take place on Sunday, October 18.

It is one of the few events drawing a large crowd that has not been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

But organisers have said they need ‘specific details’ from the government if the event is to go ahead.

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Great South Run 2019 on Sunday. Picture: Peter Langdown

The chief executive of the Great Run Company, Paul Foster, said: ‘With over 13 weeks to go until the Great South Run (October 18), we are closely monitoring the developments with Covid-19 and will continue to take the advice of the UK government around the staging of large public events.

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‘The government recently provided official guidance for outdoor sport and physical activity participation events to return, however, we are still awaiting the specific details required to be able to make a definitive decision about the staging of the event.

‘We therefore want to wait a short period to confirm what happens next.

‘If circumstances dictate that we must cancel, then everyone who had entered would be entitled to a refund or the opportunity to roll their entry over to the next Great South Run (scheduled for October 2021).

‘We will endeavour to make a further announcement soon.’

Other events – including the canine run, 5k and children’s run – takes place the day before, on October 17.

The timing of lockdown means some participants will have been anticipating a cancellation and not begun rigorous training, according to Joanne Stanford, who is hoping to complete her fourth Great South Run this year.

The member of Havant’s weekly parkrun said: ‘I would love to do it, but I don’t see how they could keep people safe.

‘I was hoping to do the Brighton Marathon in April, and I’m not even sure if that will go ahead.’

Last month saw the cancellation of the The Great Manchester Run, which was due to take place in September.

The Great East Run – held in Ipswich last year – is also still on, with the race set to take place on September 20.

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