Matt Newman, R4W Chief Executive explained the thinking behind the postponements:
“We have been closely monitoring the situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and the guidance issued by the Government and it is now clear that it will not be possible to stage events of this scale in the autumn.
“We would expect the Welsh Government to make further announcements in the coming months on a gradual return to a full sporting calendar. Although lockdown restrictions have recently been eased in Wales, we understand there is no possibility of 27,500 participants and 100,000 spectators gathering safely in Cardiff on 4 October and thousands more three weeks later in Newport on 25 October.
“We are also conscious of the inter-dependency on various service providers for events of this size, including the availability of medical support services, volunteers, emergency services, transport and accommodation.
“Having spent a significant amount of time talking with our sponsors, charity partners, Local Government and other key stakeholders, we have no choice but to postpone this year’s Cardiff Half Marathon and reschedule the event on 28 March, 2021. The Newport Wales Marathon will also be postponed to 18 April, 2021.
“We have decided to communicate this decision now to provide clarity to everyone. The Cardiff Half Marathon has become one of Wales’ most iconic sporting events which provides an opportunity for club runners and the public to run alongside some of the world’s leading endurance runners.
“The Cardiff Half Marathon is Wales’ largest multi-charity fundraising event and sits within UK Top 10 Events for Sports Fundraising. This year, the event sold-out in record time and 2020 would’ve seen Cardiff join with four other world class half-marathons - Lisbon, Prague, Copenhagen and Valencia - in the new SuperHalfs Series taking place across Europe.
“The Cardiff Half Marathon has become much more than a road race. It now provides a focal point for Run 4 Wales’ social agenda and provides an opportunity to improve the lives of many people in Wales.
“As well as raising the profile of the Welsh capital to an international audience, and driving more than £5m of economic value to the region, the event highlights the benefits of running to improve physical and mental health.
“Through the growth in social running groups across Wales, we also inspire a positive impact on social inclusion, women’s running and community engagement.
“Since R4W took over the event it has hosted the Welsh, British, Commonwealth and World Half Marathon Championships and is now in the diary of all world class athletes. March 2021 will see the five-year anniversary of Cardiff hosting the World Half Marathon, which we plan to celebrate on our new date.
“Cardiff also has the experience of successfully holding two half-marathons in one calendar year and in 2021 an autumn edition will take place as usual on the first Sunday in October.
“Runners registered for both events have been contacted by email confirming the postponements and the options available to them as a reuslt. Details are also available on the event websites.
“I am incredibly proud of how the team at Run 4 Wales has responded to the challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis. We are working with a group of leading events organisations in Wales to establish guidelines for the safe return of events.
“As part of our work with the MSO (Mass Participation Sports Organisations), we are aligned to the leading events organisations across the UK. Our SuperHalfs partners and World Athletics Gold Label provide us with unique insight into the approach being taken in many other countries which will allow us to collaborate and share best practice in event delivery as we begin a new chapter in mass participation events.
“We are therefore optimistic that the new demand created by the growing number of ‘lockdown runners’, and the ongoing appetite from the running community, will allow Run 4 Wales to bounce back in 2021 with a full season of running events.
“In the coming weeks we will also share plans on the launch of some innovative new initiatives, including virtual races and a membership scheme, offering exclusive rewards and motivational challenges while we are all missing the buzz of major events.”
Runners who want more details on their entries for either event should go to:
Cardiff half Marathon https://www.cardiffhalfmarathon.co.uk/
Newport Marathon https://newportwalesmarathon.co.uk/