2020 was an unpredictable and devastating year for so many from a personal, physical, financial and mental point of view – the events industry as a whole has been shut down for almost 12 months and emotional strength has been tested with ever changing guidelines and restrictions.
Despite hopes for a return to normality in early 2021, following numerous discussions with Southampton City Council, Public Health England, our headline sponsors, ABP Southampton; England Athletics and a wide range of other key stakeholders, there are strong indications that recovery from the pandemic will take longer than anyone had anticipated, so, with a heavy heart, but a clear view that this is the right decision for everyone, we have made the difficult decision to move the event.
In order to be confident that the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k event will take place safely, we are moving the event to Sunday 5th September 2021.
We have stated previously that the health and safety of everyone involved (our runners, fantastic volunteers, charities, sponsors, supporters, contractors, events team and spectators), is always the number one priority in our events and this won’t be feasible in April as it currently stands. We are aware that taking part in a race is not simply a case of showing up on the day, but for many of you will involve long hours dedicated to training, booking hotels or transport and working out arrangements with family members – we therefore wanted to give you as much notice as possible to be able to make the necessary arrangements.
For running the event on the new date your space will be automatically moved to September, no action needed – please do not email in to confirm this.
If you are unable to make the September date, then please do email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know your preference from the below options:
- DEFER –You can defer for free to the ABP Southampton event in 2022 or even 2023
- TRANSFER – You can transfer your registration across to one of our other events (in 2021 or 2022) – this includes the Winchester Half Marathon, Winchester Triathlon or Southampton Sporterium events.
- VIRTUAL – You can transfer your registration to one of our many virtual events AND receive a discount code for the balance that you’ve paid (to be used on future events or in our ReesLeisure shop)
We understand that times are difficult for many at the moment and some other industries have been hit just as hard as the events industry. Therefore, if none of the above options are suitable for you and you would prefer a refund please do let us know.
We are still working with a very minimal team currently so we really appreciate your patience whilst we are responding to our thousands of participants – don’t worry, we will get back to you as soon as possible!
I know that you will be disappointed that the event can’t take place on our planned date earlier in the year, but I hope that you will feel more confident in a later date when safety precautions are clearer and the vaccination programme will be much further through.
There is light at the end of the tunnel and hope is on the horizon with a speedy rollout of vaccinations so we are looking forward to the future when we can successfully return to events and doing what we love – putting on an event with a supportive and inspiring atmosphere to be joined by you, our wonderful runners, for a day tackling those personal running challenges.
September is the new exciting date for your diaries and we certainly can’t wait! We are looking ahead to then when we can all celebrate running together and your hard training coming to fruition. In order to keep you on track for your training we have recently launched a fantastic virtual offering with challenges ranging from 5k right up to 1000 miles… how many tees will you be able to collect in 2021? Which challenges will you take on?
We know our runners always come together to support one another and have built up an engaged and motivated community – we are there with you every step of the way along your journey.
We wanted to thank each and every one of you for your support, patience, kind words and enthusiasm for the return of the ABP Southampton Marathon event. We are also eagerly awaiting September and seeing you, the runners, on our Start Line once again.
Stay safe and happy training
You can read further on this story on the Daily Echo