Lockdown brings an inevitable race delay

HOPES of an early springtime Guernsey Marathon have succumbed to the Covid pandemic – for the second year running.

The 2020 Guernsey Marathon was run in October and, due to the current lockdown, this year’s edition will be pushed back from next month to October again. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 29250175)
The 2020 Guernsey Marathon was run in October and, due to the current lockdown, this year’s edition will be pushed back from next month to October again. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 29250175)

Distance.gg have postponed their 26.2-mile spectacle that was initially set for Sunday 28 March.

The sudden second lockdown scuppered those plans and distance.gg have now announced a new race date of Sunday 24 October.

Before yesterday’s official announcement, distance.gg chief Michael Quittenden confirmed that the team had been working hard to reschedule it within the busy calendar.

‘Realistically we will be postponing the event, as we are likely to struggle to organise the event within guidelines and we don’t want to jeopardise the hard work and sacrifices of the community,’ Quittenden said.

‘Far from ideal situation... a lot of runners have been in contact as their training has been impacted by the restrictions too.’

Distance.gg’s official statement said the decision was made with runners, stakeholders and the wider community in mind and that they anticipated restrictions on gatherings remaining after lockdown ends.

‘We are also conscious that many of you, along with our suppliers and partners, may proactively seek to avoid large gatherings over this period.’

The decision impacts the numerous runners targeting either the full distance or the popular supporting relays – but it is not without precedent.

Distance.gg chose to postpone their original marathon from March to October 2020 after Guernsey’s first Covid wave hit.

The event nevertheless enjoyed a successful debut, with former Munich winner Richard Friedrich heading a 107-finisher field for the full distance and roughly 400 relay runners also populating the roads.

Distance.gg’s follow-up marathon looked promising in both quality and quantity terms, with Will Bodkin being a surprise challenger to Friedrich and Nick Mann among the men.

Women’s champion Rosie Williams had also entered.

The marathon will implement a new course using Pleinmont to replace Bordeaux and North Beach.

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