With ten weeks to go before the Gloucester City Marathon and Half Marathon, organisers have been forced to cancel the event. In an email sent to runners, race director Charlie Griffin wrote: “This is probably the most difficult email I will ever have to send as race director and while I know it will cause a lot of distress and negative feedback I know it is the right thing to do for the future and growth of Gloucester City Marathon.”
The marathon launched in 2016 and starts and ends in Quedgeley, with views across Gloucester and the River Severn. The half-marathon was launched in 2017, and both races were set to go ahead on Sunday 5th August, with plenty of runners already a significant way through their training plans.
The announcement comes a fortnight after the organisers revealed a new route, missing the city centre, as ‘Gloucester City Council refused the road closures’. Yet Philip Cameron, traffic manager at Gloucester City Council told GloucestershireLive “Unfortunately the organisers of the Gloucester Marathon did not consult with us or the police on this year’s event.
“The race’s route has changed and after assessing it in detail it could put racers at risk. Sadly the route is not suitable and therefore does not have permission to take place.”
Runners on the events’ Facebook page have been sharing their anguish, one writing: “A bit like organising a wedding, inviting all the guests then realising there’s no venue. The organises are clearly very peculiar.”
Another wrote: “Was doing this as a last chance to qualify for London good for age next year – so annoying.”
According to a specific page set up on the organiser’s website, runners will not be able to get a refund, but will instead be entered into the 2019 race, or have the opportunity to run in the Forest Race Event on 5th August 2018. The organisers have also stated those runners who cannot make the 2019 event will automatically be entered into the 2020 race.
The website also reads, “we cannot offer any assistance with expenses incurred in the cancellation of this event.” Yet some runners do not believe this is good enough, with one writing: “I am flying in from Colorado! Already booked flights and non-refundable hotel. Absolutely devastated and outraged by this! A refund on the race entry is the LEAST you guys could do.”