15 Mar 20 by James Elson

2020 Events Postponement Announcement

Thank you all for bearing with us whilst we have been through every possible scenario with regards to the upcoming events and the issues presented by COVID-19/ Coronavirus. 
We announce today that:
- The 2020 SDW50 will be postponed from Saturday April 4th 2020, to 25th October 2020 (Sunday).
- The 2020 Track 100 will be cancelled and will take place again in 2021.
- The 2020 Thames Path 100 will be postponed from 2nd-3rd May 2020, to 5th-6th September 2020. 
- The 2020 North Downs Way 50 will be postponed from 16th May 2020, to 4th July 2020.
All entries will be carried forward to the new dates. If you are entered into one of the events listed above and still want to run on the new date, you do not need to do anything else.
If you cannot make the new date, or would prefer not to run the event on the new date, you are able to cancel your entry now for a 70% refund. 
Whilst the situation regards to public health may force a change, at the moment all other 2020 race dates stay as they are including and from the 2020 SDW100.
We have waited as long as we could to see how the situation would develop, in the hopes that we would be able to stage one or more of the early season races safely. That time has passed.
At this moment we simply cannot be sure we can stage the events above safely or even at all, from a staffing, volunteer, medical team or runner perspective.
- We cannot guarantee volunteer numbers required to carry out the events safely.
- Staff shortages due to infection or self isolation are a very real possibility in which case the events could not be held safely.
- Whilst legally and technically we are still able to put the events on, we cannot guarantee zero transmission at this point - for runners, volunteers or staff.
- Our medical team are at this moment in time still able to meet the safety requirements for the individual events. But if and when those personnel are called in to bolster the NHS and handle excess cases, we may no longer be able to guarantee that cover. It is also completely unfair to place any additional burden on the NHS at this time as a result of a long distance event. Accidents and issues both minor and major do happen frequently at events of this nature and we need to be in a position to eradicate that possibility.
This is a truly heartbreaking decision to make, as it has been for all event organisers over recent weeks. Some of you will be frustrated with the outcome, please rest assured we explored every alternative and every one came with significant downsides. We have tried to pick the path which offers the greatest net positive whilst keeping safety and sustainability at the heart of each event. 
- We want to give you each the chance to run the event you wanted to - in 2020
- We wanted those of you attempting both the 50 and 100 mile slams to still be able to do so in a more congested but not dangerously over congested fixture list
- To provide all runners the best financial outcome we can, without sinking the Centurion ship, so to speak.
As it stands, we are aiming to deliver all  postponed events as originally advertised in everything but the date. We ask runners please to be accepting if for reasons beyond our control, minor details need to be changed. 
All runners in all four affected events have been emailed with details on how to process the refund if they wish. 
To all of you, we must ask you more than ever to pull together as a community to get us to help these events happen. The new calendar will take a toll on all of us, staff and volunteers in particular. By having a more congested calendar, we need more volunteers over a shorter space of time. If you were considering volunteering for the earlier dates, please do let us know if you are able to attend the revised dates.
We are confident that we can succeed, however, in putting on the same standard of event that we always have and always will - across the board. In this plan we have strived to do the best despite the costs on all levels and we will continue to do that throughout a difficult year and into the future.
On a final note, this situation places a burden on all of us. If we share that burden then we will all emerge from this better, with a stronger sense of community and well being. We have been met with an overwhelming response from members of the community, contractors, landlords and in fact all parties involved with the sport and the race. It shines a great light on what good we can all do if we try. We want to treat everyone the same way with one clear and transparent policy for all. 
If any of you have questions or concerns, particularly if these changes affect you personally in a way that we can assist with, please contact us as usual at [email protected] . Please bear with us for a response, we will come back to every email as quickly as we possibly can. Thank you.