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Coronavirus: Peterborough's Great Eastern Run cancelled

The Great Eastern Run half marathon has been cancelled - the second year in a row that the event has been hit a wall.

Peterborough City Council took the decision to halt the 2020 event - due to take place in October - because of disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Last year's race was cancelled as thousands of runners stood on the start line, because of a perceived bomb threat on one part of the 13.1-mile course through Peterborough.

The Great Eastern Run in a previous year
The Great Eastern Run in a previous year

The Great Eastern Run usually attracts hundreds of runners from the Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and Deepings areas. Stamford Striders has been the most well-represented running club at the event in previous years.

This year's race was due to open to entries in March, along with the Anna's Hope fun run which takes place on the same morning.

Since then the city council has been in discussion with Vivacity, which is taking over the management of the race, and the main sponsor, Perkins Engines, about whether a race would be viable. They decided it was not.

The Great Eastern Run half marathon in Peterborough has been cancelled
The Great Eastern Run half marathon in Peterborough has been cancelled

Coun Steve Allen, cabinet member for recreation at Peterborough City Council, said: "This has been a really tough decision to make as we know it will be disappointing for lots of people and also the many charities that benefit from the event.

"That said, it is the right decision, given the fact we do not know what the next six months will bring and how long the country will be asked to socially distance to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.

"In addition, an event such as the Perkins Great Eastern Run takes many months of planning which would be well underway by now.

"Many of the suppliers we use are also temporarily closed. We hope that all of our amazing runners, running clubs, businesses and residents will understand this decision and get behind the 2021 event to help the event bounce back and make it one of the biggest and best we have seen for many years."

Last month the council announced that it would be passing control of the management of the race across to the city's cultural and leisure trust, Vivacity.

The council wants to be able to grow the race and attract additional sponsorship and it believes that Vivacity is best placed to do this with its links with the culture and leisure sector and knowledge.

The council will continue to support the event in a number of ways including managing the necessary road closures and leading on the public safety aspects. Perkins Engines will continue as the main sponsor in 2021.

The London Marathon has been postponed to October 4

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