Official Statement – Corona Virus Update

I trust you are safe and well as we all do our bit to get through the current health crisis. I wanted to update you on our plans for the rescheduled Bolton Marathon and Bolton Marathon 10k.

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic the Bolton Marathon and 10k will not take place in 2020. This decision has not been taken lightly. The impact on our NHS, local authority services, local businesses plus the continued uncertainty about when restrictions will be eased means we’re unable to guarantee a safe event for later this year even if life can go back to a semblance of “normality”.

When we postponed the event on 19th March, we then started to work towards a new date in October. Whilst we could be back at work, and hopefully some rearranged events may go ahead by then, working to this timescale would be asking our runners to train under exceedingly difficult conditions and potentially compromise the safety of all involved on race day as well as compromise on the quality of the event that we have promised to deliver to you.

Currently our medical team from SportsMedics are all working incredibly hard within the NHS or volunteering with St John Ambulance (supporting NHS Nightingale Hospitals). Normally working at events is a secondary job for these amazing people and with many races now rescheduled for the autumn we want to avoid adding a further burden to this critical and already stretched healthcare service. They will definitely be due some time off with their loved ones!

When we decided to relaunch the Bolton Marathon, we had 3 major objectives in mind:

The first was to create events with the community at its heart. Our Bolton Marathon Primary Schools Challenge has started with nearly 19,000 youngsters motivated to run and walk at school. And our soon to be launched Bolton Marathon Community Trust Fund will support local groups, residents and charities throughout the region to become more active 365 days a year.

Secondly, we’re ambitious to deliver the most sustainable running event in the world. One thing the current situation has taught us is that now, more than ever, we all need to do our bit to look after this planet and each other. We already have some great initiatives in place to enable us to achieve this. Work is ongoing in this area and your support will allow us to deliver even more in May 2021.

And finally, we want to create events that are memorable, create pride in our community and honour Bolton Marathons of the past. Since announcing the launch we’ve had huge support and our amazing community of runners has backed us all the way. This last month has been a massive test for us all and I can’t thank you enough for your overwhelming support for us and each other. You guys really are awesome!

As a new organisation, we can’t take advantage of any government support schemes. And with a considerable investment already made in organising and launching for May 2020 if we were to offer refunds at this point the prospect of us achieving our objectives would be very difficult. So, in terms of where we all go next on this journey, there are two options:

OPTION A: Defer to May 2021. We had already started to plan the 2021 event and it is scheduled for May 2021 (Exact date to be confirmed and subject to government guidance for mass participation events at the time). You do not need to do anything to defer your place as this will be done by us automatically. We are currently finalising plans for our unique Doorstep Challenges to keep you motivated over the next few weeks and months. As an entrant to the physical event, we are giving you access to all these for FREE. You’ll also be eligible for some more fantastic bonuses. We will send further information on our Doorstep Challenges very soon!

OPTION B: Transfer your entry for FREE. We really want to see you at the start line in 2021, but if you can’t join us, we’ve waived all transfer fees so you can ‘trade’ your place to someone else for free. You can do this by logging into your Active Network account.

We know that you are going to be disappointed that you will have to wait to race up Claypool, glide down Stitch-mi-Lane and smile over Smethurst Lane but we hope that it will be worth the wait. We can assure you that we will do everything we can to make it an exceptionally special day to remember.

As always, I welcome your comments and you can contact me directly by email richard@boltonmarathon.com and I will get back to you as soon as I can. In the meantime, please stay safe, make the most of the Doorstep Challenges and thank you once again for being part of the amazing Bolton Marathon community.

Thanks,

Rich

Race Director