Off! Barns Green Half Marathon and 10k organisers make early call on big races

The Barns Green Half Marathon and 10k are the latest sporting casualties of the coronavirus pandemic.
Action from last year's race / Picture: Derek MartinAction from last year's race / Picture: Derek Martin
Action from last year's race / Picture: Derek Martin

Because of the ongoing lockdown, the decision has been taken to cancel the races, which were due to take place on September 27.

A statement from the organisers said: "The Barns Green Half Marathon and 10k committee met (remotely) to discuss the current situation and with deep regret took the decision that in the best interests of everyone that the event should be cancelled this year.

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"It was felt that because of the nature of the event and the large numbers of people involved in the participation and organisation on the day, that taking this decision at an early stage would be helpful and beneficial to everyone.

"Members of the committee are now liaising with all the different groups involved in the races and organisation such as running organisations, runners, sponsors, suppliers, charities, musical bands and other on-Green entertainment, WSCC, Christ’s Hospital School and all the volunteers, groups and societies to explain the impact of this decision."

The Barns Green Half Marathon began in 1982 and this year’s race would have been its 38th running. The event has been cancelled only once before, in 1987, when the great storm swept across the country and affected West Sussex particularly badly.

The Barns Green Half Marathon and 10k races will return next year and the races will take place on Sunday, September 26.

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Chairman Vernon Jennings said: “We are hugely disappointed to have to make this decision, but we were unanimous that it was the right thing to do at this time.

"Our unique races are a very important community event and over the years we have raised a lot of money for charity and for all the various local clubs and societies that help to stage the event.

"We rely totally on the great work and efforts of volunteers. Unlike most other races, we do everything ourselves and my committee shoulders all the responsibilities that go with staging a major public event.

"It is about this time of year that we start ordering various significant items that are required on race day – control unit, barriers, toilets, medals, merchandise etc.

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"In the current climate this would have left us financially vulnerable. I hope everyone understands our decision and I would just like to thank my committee for their great support and to say to everyone at these uncertain times, please keep yourself safe and let’s all stay positive and look forward to things returning to normal at some time in the future.

"We are fully committed and determined to come back with a new look and an even better event in 2021. As our race motto says, VINCIT QUI PATITUR – HE WHO ENDURES CONQUERS”