Logistics Gymnastics For Southampton Marathon
Full programme of races lined up on new spring date for Southampton
ReesLeisure must be one of the UK's most flexible race promoters. During Covid restrictions, the organisers of the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Kid's Fun Run performed 'logistics gymnastics' to maintain the marathon weekend and when the postponed races finally went ahead on 5 September with 3,660 participants they were among the first of the post-pandemic mass participation running events to be held.
The ABP Southampton Marathon got back on track on Sunday 24 April last year. The return to the traditional spring date was rewarded with more than 5,000 entrants and the ABP Southampton Marathon holders are Chris McGurk (Kent AC, 2:30:17) and Victoria Walls (South Cheshire, 3:04:35).
The latest hurdle for nimble Race Director Chris Rees to overcome is the decision to bring the race date forward by three weeks. This decision had to be made due to an increase in port traffic, as Chris explains:
"As part of our regular updates with Southampton City Council and other local stakeholders, it has been decided to move the ABP Southampton Marathon to Sunday 2nd April 2023. Port of Southampton is Europe's leading turnaround cruise port. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the original event date will now coincide with one of the busiest cruise turnaround weekends in the port's calendar.
"Therefore, it has been decided by all key event stakeholders that although the event could run on the original date, it would cause significant disruption to the city. We are moving the event to Sunday 2nd April 2023 and this will mean all residents, businesses, runners, and visitors will benefit from a more efficient event and easier flow through Southampton.
"The new date is three weeks before the London Marathon so the event will be perfect for training for those runners, and Southampton FC has an away match. Additionally, it is the weekend before Easter, meaning you can have a guilt-free Bank Holiday weekend. We appreciate this may be inconvenient to you and your training and we do apologise that this change has happened. We have been working closely with our stakeholders for the best course of action".
All the options have now been explored and facilitated for existing entrants and the event is open for the final places in the ABP Southampton Marathon, ABP Southampton Half Marathon, ABP Southampton 10K, ABP Southampton 5K, and Fun Run at the event website here.
Previous results and reports can be viewed at runABC South race listing here.
Image courtesy ReesLeisure/ABP Southampton Marathon