Following the further restrictions on movement put in place by the government on 23 March, UK Athletics working with England Athletics (and supported by the Trail Running Association) have updated their statement to extend the suspension of all trail running activity within the UK to the 31 May – specifically instructing that “bringing groups of people together to train, however small, can no longer be permitted under the strict ‘Stay at home’ measures implemented”.
Considering this suspension period includes the Spring bank holiday weekend, the worst-case decision has to be made sooner or later, so here goes!
GUCR 2020 is cancelled.
I am extremely sorry to everyone involved to have to write these words. Proceed to amend all travel, accommodation and other arrangements as necessary now. All entrants will be provided with a 100% refund and notified by email; that process will begin on Monday 30 March.
If you have a Supported (with own crew) place and would prefer to transfer to the KACR or LLCR, please get in touch by Sunday 29 March by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07780 685538.
The entry process for GUCR 2021 will begin with a clean slate, at the end of September. All paid-up GUCR 2020 entrants as of 3pm on 25 March will have an extra ticket in the hat, should they choose to re-apply.
KACR is therefore the next scheduled canalrace, starting 0600 Friday 24 July at Little Venice, London.
Subject to government and England Athletics advice during the first week of July, a decision will be made whether to proceed with the KACR. That direction, as well as limitations and measures required to be implemented, will be communicated to runners and volunteers shortly after. We will listen to all responses.
If we have sufficient volunteers, that are satisfied with all the proposed measures, at that moment we will make a final decision; during the second week of July.
On 16 March the government published further advice, introducing social distancing measures. As a result, England Athletics’ statement advises “that all face-to-face activity such as club training sessions, events, competitions, club committee and face-to-face meetings, athlete camps, running groups and social events should be suspended until at least the end of April”.
We would like to keep our options open and delay any decision for the moment, instead opting to keep monitoring the situation between now and the end of April.
It is obvious there will be a significant impact, at least to the GUCR on Spring bank holiday weekend.
It will be necessary to implement some limitations and measures to maximise distance and minimise contact between runners, volunteers and supporters. Hygiene and other limiting measures at aid stations will also be necessary to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Note that runners, supporters, volunteers and organisers have equal priority in terms of concluding the necessary measures to implement in order to minimise the risks for everyone involved and their families.
Subject to government and England Athletics advice during the first week of May, a decision will be made whether to proceed with the GUCR. That direction, as well as limitations and measures required to be implemented, will be communicated to runners and volunteers shortly after. We will listen to all responses.
If we have sufficient volunteers, that are satisfied with all the proposed measures, at that moment we will make a final decision; during the second week of May.
Current government advice is “there is presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may change as the situation evolves”.
On 16 March the government published advice on social distancing measures to include “avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible” and “avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs”.
We have no plans to cancel or postpone any of the canal races.
We cannot predict the progress and impact of the virus on sporting events. The canal races are outdoors with low participant and volunteer numbers and extended over a large distance, so we hope there will be a limited impact.
Please be assured that we will follow the government advice and guidelines and will provide advice to all involved before race day.
See the Public Health England website Coronavirus (COVID-19) – what you need to know as well as Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response and NHS Coronavirus Health Information for information about the virus, advice for travellers, how to protect yourself and common questions.