Coronavirus Crisis: Sunday's Ashby 20 Race Has Been CANCELLED

By Graham Hill

13th Mar 2020 | Local Sport

The Aldi Ashby 20 race has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation - less than 48 hours before it was due to take place.

And that is despite plans for the race going ahead as normal on the Thursday before the event despite health concerns surrounding the spread of the bug.

But the race organisers say that events have moved on both directly connected with the race and nationwide with a three-week suspension of all football matches something 'they could not ignore'.

As well as that, they explained that they are now unable to provide full medical cover for the event which is used by many of the runners as preparation for the London Marathon in April.

Officials say the rapid spread of the disease was making it difficult for the 1,500-strong race - celebrating its 30th anniversary - to be staged What Ashby Needs To Know About Coronavirus

  • Organisers felt that while they had taken all precautionary measures during the race, they would have no control over the large groups of people around it.
  • A close family member of one of the race's key medical personnel means that there will not be enough for a full medical team, so the event cannot happen for that reason
  • They are following the lead set by other large scale sports, in particular the suspension of League football.

Race organisers put a statement out on their website on Friday afternoon which read: "It is with deep regret that we announce the cancellation of this year's event this Sunday, 15th March, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.

"The UK Government advice on Thursday - widely reported elsewhere - stated that it was too early in the process for public events to be suspended.

"However, since then our race committee and specifically the crisis management group of Race Director, Chief Marshal and Medical Director have met several times to assess latest guidance, monitor developments in the UK and indeed within our Race support team, and take further expert and professional advice.

"So it is with deep regret that we are cancelling the race for the following reasons:

  • Whilst we believe the risk of runners, helpers or spectators picking up the virus from another person during the race itself is remote and minimal, we cannot control events around the race - for example, large groups of runners and spectators using local pubs, cafes, and other outlets. As a running club based in the local community, we have to be respectful of our community and not unnecessarily expose it to a potential or increased risk of bringing the coronavirus into the local community.
  • Other large scale public events have, since yesterday, moved beyond the UK Government guidance and cancelled their events. For example, the football Premier League. We cannot ignore these moves, and the public opinion that is developing.
  • Finally, due to the emergence of respiratory symptoms in a close family member of one of our key Medical Personnel, we are now unable to guarantee full Medical Team cover, without which the race cannot go ahead.

"These are going to be very testing times for us all, and when it comes down to it running, whilst our passion, is still a hobby and pastime. We know that our runners have been massively supportive in the past when external events have overtaken us, and we know that you will support us again in making this very difficult decision.

"We will be regrouping over the weekend to assess what we now do, but in these very fluid times please bear with us.'


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