Running High Events, organisers of the Bath Half Marathon today announced the postponement of the 2021 event to a new date on the 5th September 2021.

“Since the government lifted restrictions on outdoor participation sports events such as the Bath Half Marathon in July we have been working with partners locally and across the UK to develop COVID-Secure and flexible plans for the delivery of next year’s race.  These plans include flexibility to anticipate a number of different possible scenarios, and to satisfy central government, governing body (UK Athletics) and Bath & North Somerset council’s published COVID guidelines for events.  Our event plans have been refined following the learnings from the recent COVID-Secure trial events which we attended at Kew Gardens and Blenheim Palace, and the recent research study on the evidence of outdoor transmission of COVID commissioned by parkrun.”

“In starting the process of discussing our event plans with Bath & North East Somerset Council we have now been advised by their public health and public safety teams that in the current situation, with rising cases and local restrictions being introduced across the UK, regardless of the event being permitted by government and being COVID-Secure, the council do not feel it is appropriate to consider proposals for a large public event in the Spring, and neither is the council in a position to consider our proposals as their resources are currently stretched managing community outbreaks and compliance in the hospitality sector”.

“At the moment the public health team’s advice is that creating something on that scale early in 2021 would be a risk.  The safety of our participants, staff, volunteer groups and our local community remains our number one priority, and we always follow council advice”.

“We are disappointed that the positive role that physical fitness and regular exercise can play in helping to beat COVID has not been either widely discussed or promoted by government or in the media, and in that respect we believe that outdoor participation events such as the Bath Half Marathon are not the problem, but part of the solution. “

The Bath Half Marathon inspires participation in regular and sustainable exercise and contributes to the healthy lifestyle, physical and mental wellbeing of thousands of residents in Bath & North East Somerset each year.  It provides a proven gateway for engagement with new runners, a pathway for intermediate runners and an opportunity for competition for recreational and elite athletes – in the only sport in the UK to have seen increased participation levels since the London Olympics.

The Bath Half Marathon also delivers invaluable benefit to local and national charities, as the largest charity fundraising event in the South West region, raising over £2 million pounds per year.  This is a critical time for charities who face a ‘double-whammy’ due to the COVID crisis with a significant increased demand for services at the same time as a significant reduction in fundraising opportunities.

“Public demand and support for our event remains high – public entries for next year’s race have sold out in record time, and demand for charity places has also remained strong.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank our runners and our partners for their ongoing support”.

“At the COVID-Secure trial events we have attended we have observed participants to understand, to support and to observe the necessary COVID restrictions in place, without detracting from their enjoyment and engagement with the events”.

“We understand how disappointing this postponement will be for our participants, charity partners and volunteer groups however, we have made this announcement early to allow you time to make plans for 2021”.

“In the coming months we will continue working closely with Bath & North East Somerset Council to develop plans for our COVID-Secure event, looking forward to welcoming our supporters back to Bath on Sunday 5th September 2021”.

“In the meantime we encourage everyone to use this time, and commuting time freed up by home working, as an opportunity to join the battle against COVID by following government advice on social distancing and handwashing, and to get ‘match fit’ by exercising regularly”

We will be contacting all participants tomorrow with further details of the postponement and their options for 2021