MBNA Chester Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

The organizers of the Essar Chester Half Marathon & MBNA Chester Marathon/Metric Marathon have announced the cancellation of their 2020 events.

The organizers say that runners registered for both events will be contacted by email on July 17 confirming the cancellation and outlining the next steps regarding refunds, deferrals and other options available to them.

Joint Race Organizer Chris Hulse, of Active Leisure Events, said “It is a decision we have made with a heavy heart.

“We have been closely monitoring the ever-evolving situation around the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest government guidance and developments emerging throughout the events industry.

"It’s clear that staging two large scale mass participation events this year would be inappropriate.”

“Therefore, we are sincerely sorry to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Essar Chester Half Marathon scheduled for September 20, the 2020 MBNA Chester Marathon/Metric Marathon scheduled for October 4, and the 2020 Chester Triple. Our overriding priority is the safety and health of our runners, staff, contractors, volunteers, spectators, local community and society as a whole.”

The news will be disappointing to many runners.

The organizers spent a significant amount of time exploring, considering and planning numerous alternative scenarios, to enable the events to go ahead safely. However, the amount of uncertainty and lack of clear direction surrounding large scale events, plus a significant 66% of runners stating they would not be comfortable taking part in events in 2020, further contributed to their decision.

“It’s not what anyone wanted but it’s essential that everyone’s health and wellbeing take priority over all else,” added Joint Race Organizer Andy White.

The Active Leisure Events team would like to offer a huge thanks to their runners, sponsors, volunteers, local council, medical teams and other key stakeholders for their understanding and support throughout this incredibly difficult time. Andy added: “We have been overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of positive comments and well-wishes."

The team are now fully focused on their 2021 events and hope runners will all be able to join them next year.

posted Wednesday July 8th