The 2021 Bath Half Marathon has been rescheduled for Sunday 13th March 2022 as the popular event falls victim to the ongoing uncertainty regarding Covid-19 and large scale events.
The 2020 event took place just days before the strict lockdown was imposed across the country. Despite being scheduled for the Autumn of 2021, event organisers have said that it is with regret that they have been forced to postpone.
Planned infrastructure projects on the highways network this autumn have also influenced the decision.
Andrew Taylor, Bath Half Marathon Race Director, said, “With just over four months now before our event date we still do not have clarification from Government on key factors such as whether social distancing will be required, whether spectators will be permitted and whether participants will be required to provide certification of Covid status.
“These factors will fundamentally affect how we deliver our event and without this clarification we do not feel we have sufficient time now to plan our arrangements, or to carry out proper consultations with the council and other stakeholders, or to tender and place the necessary contractors’ orders.
“We also feel that the restrictions that are likely to remain on large scale public events this year will change the community character of our event and prevent us from delivering the Bath Half Marathon in the way our runners expect.
“Furthermore, following consultation with B&NES Council, we have also been informed that access to the highways for the event will be compromised by a number of infrastructure projects planned this autumn.”
The news will be a blow to the many charities which benefit from the event’s fundraising legacy. In the past 20 years the Bath Half has raised over £30 million to support a range of worthy causes.
A joint statement from local charities Bath RUH Forever Friends Appeal, Dorothy House Hospice Care and Jamie’s Farm, reads, “The Bath Half Marathon is an incredibly important event for local charities, not only in terms of fundraising but also in raising public awareness of our work. The funds raised for local charities through the Bath Half are critical to our services in our community, and now with the challenges presented by Covid-19 these funds are even more essential to keep our vital services going.”
Councillor Richard Samuel, Acting Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, added, “Bath & North East Somerset Council recognises the significant role the Bath Half plays in the city’s calendar of events, its importance to charities as the largest regional fundraising event and the boost it gives to the local hospitality economy. We look forward to the return of the event in March 2022.”