Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running 2020 cancelled
Coronavirus crisis forces cancellation of another major autumn event
Caledonian Concepts, the organisers of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, have announced today (29 June) the cancellation of their 2020 event, due to have been held on Sunday, 4 October.
The cancellation, forced by the challenges posed by the on-going coronavirus crisis, is the first in the event's 18-year history.
The difficult decision to call off this year’s event – which also incorporates the River Ness 10K, Corporate Challenge, 5K and Wee Nessie race – was made following lockdown consultations with partner agencies, sponsors and stakeholders over the past few months.
With the safety and welfare of all those involved in the event their first priority, organisers also conducted a survey of runners to better understand their thoughts and concerns. The uncertainty over travel restrictions for the large number of participants who travel to Inverness and the Highlands from around the UK and abroad was also taken into account.
Commenting on the decision, Event & Race Director Malcolm Sutherland said: "I would like to extend my thanks to all those signed up for the 2020 event for their patience and support during this uncertain and very challenging time.
"It has been a difficult decision and not one we have taken lightly. However the health, safety and welfare of our participants, volunteers, staff, charities and stakeholders is at the heart of everything we do and will always remain our priority. We feel it is our responsibility to protect everyone involved including our emergency services and local community, which has always been so supportive.
"We also understand the many weeks of training required to prepare for this event, that many of you will be starting your 12-week training programme and many are fundraising for charity. We will therefore be working with our partner charities – Macmillan Cancer Support, Alzheimer Scotland, Cancer Research UK and the Highland Hospice and a host of other charities – to maximise fundraising in 2021.”
Commenting on retaining the special place the event has in the hearts of runners around the country, Sutherland added: "The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is a highlight of the UK running calendar with one of the most spectacular marathon routes in the world and has also gained a reputation as one of the most memorable. We pride ourselves on offering a very special Highland experience and we are concerned this would be lost were we to stage the event with all the necessary physical distancing measures and other restrictions in place. Instead, we will put our efforts into ensuring the 2021 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is an outstanding experience for everyone.”
All 2020 entries will automatically be transferred to next year’s event, scheduled to take place on 3 October 2021.
Image courtesy: Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running/Caledonian Concepts