Organisers of the ABP Southampton Marathon are delighted to announce the return of the event on Sunday 5th September 2021. Originally scheduled for April this year, following talks with Southampton City Council and other key stakeholders, it has now been decided to move this popular Spring event to the Autumn, when Covid-19 restrictions should be eased far enough to allow the event to happen safely for runners, the volunteers and the city.
The ABP Southampton Marathon has been growing in popularity since the event started in 2015 and has been supported by ABP in Southampton since its inception. Over £1.5 million has been raised for local charities and the city centre receives a boost of over £1.3 million as runners and spectators spend the day in the city.
Alastair Welch, Director of ABP Southampton, said: “It’s fantastic news that one of the most popular sporting events in Southampton is back on the cards for this year. We have been a sponsor of the marathon since it began and have seen the excitement and wellbeing benefits it brings to the local community, which we are proud to support.”
With 10,000 runners regularly attending the event, the organisers, ReesLeisure, are working closely with the Council and UK Athletics to ensure the event meets all Covid restrictions and up to date requirements at the time. Runners already signed up to this April’s event will be automatically entered in to the September event and those who are unable to make the new date will be offered several options including deferring to a future event or receiving a refund. Organisers have also issued a Covid guarantee so anyone who signs up from now will also be able to defer or get a refund if further restrictions are brought back in, but with good news of vaccine roll outs the organisers are confident for the return this Autumn.
Race Director Chris Rees said, “Running has been vital to so many people during lockdown, to help them both physically and mentally get through this particularly tough time. We know runners are keen to get back to the large scale events that they love and we are working with all the necessary departments to ensure the return will be Covid secure with the runners’ and volunteers’ safety as our top priority. In order to keep our runners on track for their training we have recently launched a fantastic virtual offering with challenges ranging from 5k right up to 1000 miles to help provide motivation and keep everyone on track until events can safely restart in the Autumn.”
Figures show running numbers leapt hugely during 2020 with downloads of the NHS Couch to 5k app increasing by almost 90% more than in 2019. ReesLeisure expect to see an influx of new runners attending for their first time this year but are limiting the numbers to 10,000 to ensure the event can return safely with Covid restrictions in place.
Spaces are available until the end of May or when the 10,000 runners limit is reached. The organisers are continuing to build upon their sustainability aims with the eventual goal of zero waste – the event already has no plastic wrapping on t-shirts and medals and water pouches made from recycled materials.
Find out more and sign up at: www.ABPMarathon.co.uk