Date of announcement: 30th July 2020
Following the decision in March 2020 to postpone Brighton Marathon Weekend 2020, we have collaborated with major UK mass participation event organisers, our local authority, our safety advisors and our medical team to fully understand how our event could take place while meeting COVID-19 restrictions and the recently updated government guidance for events.
Despite our best efforts to find a viable way forwards, we have together concluded that sadly, it is not feasible to stage our event as we had hoped and planned on September 18th-20th 2020.
Yet we are delighted to confirm that we are planning to stage part of the Brighton Marathon Weekend in a unique and revised format this autumn.
While we are unable to shut down large parts of our city to make way for our usual 26.2-mile course under current guidelines, we are working towards creating a socially distanced, COVID-19 compliant event, which our 2020 participants will be invited to be part of.
Reasons for not holding the event as planned:
The team behind the Brighton Marathon Weekend are all runners and locals who are passionate about the event, our city, our community and the charities involved, and understand how disappointing and frustrating this is for our participants, partners and stakeholders.
Not hosting the Brighton Marathon Weekend this September is not a decision that we have taken lightly.
The key influencing factors are:
1) Brighton Marathon is always incredibly well supported, creating sizeable crowds who watch our runners pass through Brighton’s city centre, the large residential area in Hove and past all of our city’s major tourist attractions. We believe that social distancing city-wide will be extremely difficult for us to implement and manage for such a large crowd.
2) Brighton & Hove is a relatively small city in comparison to the size of our marathon, with one main hospital, which is the A&E for a large proportion of the Sussex area. The effect that our marathon runners and crowds could have on our local NHS services will potentially be too great during these difficult times. In addition, our Medical Team volunteers are all local NHS workers who are already incredibly stretched because of their COVID-19 work.
Reasons to stage Brighton Marathon Weekend in a revised format:
Supporting local economy and charities
We are mindful that the impact of not holding the Brighton Marathon Weekend in its usual format, extends out to our local economy and our charity partners, as well as our participants. We estimate that the local hospitality economy will lose upwards of £12 million in revenue, with local charities a significant loss of £500k+. Notwithstanding the already substantial losses to the charity sector, many of whom are our valued partners.
Staging an event this Autumn will give us and our participants the opportunity to support them.
What the Brighton Marathon Weekend Community said
We recently asked our participants to share their feelings regarding mass participation events during the pandemic.
An overwhelming number said that they can’t wait for events to take place again and will take part before a vaccine is available as long as they deem them safe / COVID-19 compliant.
While a majority also felt that additional hygiene and safety measures at an event would not significantly affect their enjoyment of the event.
This feedback gives us great confidence and reassurance in the planning of a revised event this autumn, and we are working hard to achieve one that lives up to the high standards we uphold, while also being as safe as possible for our participants and our city.
What happens next?
Our 2020 participants will be updated by mid-August 2020 with options regarding their place, and with further information regarding the revised event.
To read the relevant statement for each of our events, please visit the event websites as required:
Please note, we are unable to comment on the upcoming revised event concept or the options that will be made available to our participants until mid-August, when they will be informed in the first instance.
Thank you once again for your patience and understanding.
Brighton Marathon Weekend