Inverness Half Marathon will run if safe to do so in May
Get the Inverness Courier sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
ORGANISERS of the Inverness Half Marathon say they will only stage the event if it is safe to do so.
This year’s running event has been switched from March to Sunday, May 16 in a bid to give it the best chance possible to take place.
However, events such as Etape Loch Ness, which was due to take place in April, has been postponed until August 22.
Last week, the Highland Cross, a 50-mile duathlon from Kintail to Beauly that was due to take place in June was cancelled by organisers for the second year running as a result of the pandemic.
Inverness Half Marathon event director Malcolm Sutherland says they are monitoring the situation closely.
He said that they will only stage the event in May if they can guarantee the safety of public health.
He said: “We appreciate these are still very uncertain times for everyone.
“We are monitoring the current Covid-19 situation very closely and consulting with local authorities, stakeholders and event partners.”
He added: “We would like to reassure runners, volunteers, staff, stakeholders and local community that their health, safety and welfare is at the heart of everything we do and will always remain our priority.
“We will only stage the event in May if it is safe to do so and in accordance with government guidelines.”
The Inverness Half Marathon was the last major sporting event to take place in the Highlands last year on Sunday, March 8.
Five days later, all sport in Scotland was suspended as a result of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
A record 2940 people signed up for the Half Marathon last year with the 5k event seeing 1045 runners taking part.
More than 95 per cent of entries came from Scotland, including nearly 47 per cent from the Highlands and Islands, 24 per cent from Aberdeen and Grampian, and 15 per cent from the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas.
The rest of the UK was also represented, as well as international entries from Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Lithuania to as far afield as Canada, USA and New Zealand.
Glasgow based Eritrean athlete Weynay Ghebresilasie won the half marathon for the second time in his career.
He completed the 13.1 mile course in 65 minutes and six seconds.
Lytham St Anne’s athlete Liz Abbott defended her women’s title in 77 minutes and 53 seconds.
Inverness Harriers athletes Lucas Cairns and Emily Andrew won the 5k men’s and women’s events.