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SANDY 10 RACE CANCELLED


Dear runner,

Today marks the two-months-out point from the rescheduled Sandy 10 2020 race, which was organised to take place on 13 September.

When we made the unavoidable decision to postpone back in March, the thinking was to get to this point, assess how the public health situation is looking, and give all our entrants ample notice that we are either going full steam ahead, or pulling the race.

Now we’re here, and looking around us we feel it would be irresponsible to do anything other than cancel the rearranged Sandy 10.

I’m sure the reasons for this are obvious to you all, but aside from the current distance there is between gatherings of up to six people – as are permitted now – and the go-ahead for a gathering of up to 600 we would need to offer a full-flavour race, I would like to refer you back to a couple of points we made at the time of our initial postponement:

The last thing any of us want to do is feel we are putting our runners and volunteers at risk, or adding to anyone's sense of unease … Our races pride themselves on being among the sporting highlights of the local calendar, and we don't want our community to feel that a 600-strong field running in their streets is anything to be frightened of.”

As race director, I cannot in good conscience say that putting on a race in two months’ time will not be a source of worry to people. We have already received word from runners who had chosen to defer that they will not be turning up on race day.

Put simply, 13 September is arriving more quickly than the public health situation is improving.

In recent months we have asked you to decide whether you would like to defer your entry, to donate your entry fee to Sue Ryder St Johns, or to receive a refund.

The response was beautiful: well over half the field stayed in. From those who dropped out of the field, over £700 in entry fees were donated to charity.

Despite the challenges we’ve faced this year as a race – and I don’t mind telling you, this has been a weird year to be a first-time race director – the Sandy 10 is not in trouble.

I walked into the role to be informed that previous good management of the race meant we have a “rainy day fund” to fall back on.

The coronavirus crisis has been that rainy day.

But though it has cost us financially, with some deposits on essential services now lost twice over, we are weathering it and will return when it is safe to do so.

************

A virtual race? Have your say

Some people have raised the prospect of the Sandy 10 morphing into a virtual 10-mile race, and before we get to another round of defer/donate/refund, I would like to invite opinions on this.

We have polls on the race's Facebook and Twitter pages – feel free to have your say there (once only – don’t vote in both!) or to drop us an email to sandy10bac@gmail.com with the subject as follows:

Sandy 10 virtual race: YES
or
Sandy 10 virtual race: NO

Feel free to add any further thoughts in the mail itself (all will be read), or to leave the main message blank.

Note that a virtual race would allow you to run 10 miles anywhere (within reason – no 10-mile downhill slopes!) – you would not have to run the Sandy 10 course.

More information on virtual races can be found here.

Polls will close in seven days’ time, on 20 July.

Should the appetite not be there to justify us putting on a virtual Sandy 10, you will have the option of deferring once again. And this time, as thanks for sticking with us, those deferring will – shhhhhh – avoid a slight price hike for 2021.

We dearly hope this mail has found you safe and well, and profound apologies if it has darkened your day in any way. We are so disappointed that we will not been able to put on the race we had planned – but oh my days are we going to make it up to you when we get the opportunity …

All the very best in these surreal times.

 

Stuart Goodwin

Race director’ (actual race pending), Sandy 10

biggleswadeac.org.uk/sandyten

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