Search

Brendan Foster casts doubt over London Marathon as Great North Run is cancelled

PUBLISHED: 15:18 15 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:18 15 June 2020

Runners during the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon

Runners during the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon

PA Wire/PA Images

It will be “extremely difficult” to hold the London Marathon this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the founder of the Great North Run Brendan Foster has said.

Foster’s event, due to be staged on September 13 with a record 60,000 adult participants, was cancelled on Monday due to the insurmountable challenges posed by the Covid-19 outbreak.

A decision on whether this year’s London Marathon - already postponed from April to October - can go ahead is expected to be made on Sunday.

“Mass participation events in the form that ours takes, and the London Marathon takes, are clearly going to be extremely difficult to hold and it’s going to be up to us to find a formula for the future,” he said.

Over £20million was raised for charity by last year’s Great North Run, and Foster admits the sector will be “hurting” as a consequence of the cancellation.

Foster said it would have been impossible to make the race Covid-secure, adding that the start line “would have stretched from Newcastle to Berwick” with two-metre social distancing in place.

You may also want to watch:

Organisers are now focusing on making next year’s edition, already scheduled for September 12, the biggest and best event possible and Foster says the desire to race is in-built in mankind.

“It’s in our DNA to run, and to run in groups. We have been doing it for two million years, so there’s no way that a pandemic like this is going to blow away man’s endeavour in terms of running, and running together,” he said.

“Running together has been there for two million years, this isn’t going to stop it.”

Another consideration in cancelling the race was the pressure on health workers, with over 500 having previously volunteered their time to take care of any participants who suffered any medical issues.

“We’re obviously very sad and disappointed, but putting it in perspective we’re not in pain and anguish like people who have had the disease and nor are we devastated like families who have lost loved ones,” he said.

“It is a blow but it is nothing like others have suffered.”

Organisers are working on an extension of the Great Run Solo virtual project, which challenges runners of all abilities to set particular targets and raise money while doing so.

The Great Manchester Run on September 6 has also been cancelled, with the next edition of the race set for May 23, 2021.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

13:51

Sam Cook collected the only wicket to fall in the morning session as Somerset scored 104 runs to reach lunch on 233 for 5 against Essex in their Bob Willis Trophy clash at Lord’s.

13:00

West Ham United fan and budding journalist Kwame Boakye gives his views on the club’s 2-1 defeat to London rivals Arsenal.

08:42

Sam Cook returned figures of 2 for 38 whilst there was a wicket apiece for Jamie Porter and Aaron Beard on a rain-affected day when the four stoppages to the inclement weather claimed 46 overs, as Somerset reached the close on 119 for 4 in the Bob Willis Trophy Final at Lord’s.

Yesterday, 16:15

Jamie Porter claimed his first wicket of the match in a truncated session of play that allowed just 10.5 overs of play in the afternoon session shoehorned in between rain.

Yesterday, 13:13

Sam Cook collected two wickets for Essex in their Bob Willis Trophy shoot-out with Somerset before the West Country outfit responded to reach the lunch interval on 90 for 3.

Yesterday, 10:21

London Lions suffered FIBA Basketball Champions League heartbreak as they missed out on the next stage with a narrow 77-73 defeat to Lithuanian side Neptunas Klaipeda in the first qualifying round.

Yesterday, 10:00

Essex captain Tom Westley believes staging the Bob Willis Trophy final against Somerset on neutral ground, negating the home benefits of Chelmsford and Taunton to the protagonists, will provide the perfect setting to decide the red-ball champions of a truncated season.

PROMOTED CONTENT

For the past six months, employers and employees have been adapting to ways of working from home. The green light has now been given to many people to go back to offices safely. From flexible hours and staggered starting times to deep cleaning, we’re getting ready for new ways of working.

School’s in for summer – and beyond – with health experts agreeing that pupils safely returning to their studies is “positively” the right thing to do. It’s vital for all children’s welfare, not just in terms of students’ future education but also mental and physical well-being, as well as social interaction of classmates.

The NHS Test and Trace system provides protection for family, friends, colleagues and the community, and is here to keep all of us safe and allow us to enjoy summer safely. We take a look at how the system is working and talk to one member of the thousands of team members about her experiences.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Latest from the East London Advertiser