Exeter’s famous Santa Run – which last year attracted more than 600 entrants to the High Street – is the latest event to be hit by coronavirus.
However, organisers CITY Community Trust, say although the event won’t be able to be held in the city centre as usual, people will still be able to participate – virtually.
They are encouraging participants of all ages to complete the distance, which is 2.5k or 5k, in any way they like. And there are already some novel modes of moving being planned for the event – from paddleboarding to cycling and even climbing…
Determined not to let their events be curtailed by coronavirus, and spurred on by the popularity of the virtual London Marathon last month, the charity has decided to stage the event over a week at the beginning of December. People can choose when, where and how they take part. The only requirement is they have to be dressed up in their best Christmas-themed outfits. All entrants will receive a race number, Santa hat and medal, or they can choose the option of a Santa suit.
Pete Ferlie, CITY Community Trust race director, said: ‘This has been a difficult year for runners, whether that is people who run for fun, like many of the participants in our annual Santa Run, or the competitive entrants who enter our longer distance events.
‘We decided to go virtual with the Santa Run to give people something to train for, get them out enjoying their running and, the really fun part, experience the camaraderie of other runners taking part in the event. And they don’t have to run; they can walk, skip, jog, scoot, even paddleboard – the list is endless – just as long as they are moving and having fun. This will be a great event for schools, community groups, workplaces and other sports and running clubs to get involved in.’
The deadline for entries to the Santa Run is Wednesday, 25 November.
The Santa Run will be the first event in the organisation’s new series of races for the 2020-21 running season. There are plenty more events on offer next year, with something for runner of all abilities. All have a reserve date for later in the year, should they not be able to go ahead as planned. Additionally, all of the events will be delivered within covid-safety guidelines, compliant with guidelines from England Athletics and the government, and with the safety of runners as a priority. The additional events are:
- Virtual Half Marathon weekend, 13 and 14 February, 2021, a firm favourite in runners’ calendars. The traffic-free, flat route along the footpaths and cycle tracks of the River Exe and through Riverside Valley Park make this a particularly appealing event for first time competitors and for those seeking a personal best.
- Granite Way, 27 and 28 March, 2021. Choose from either 10 miles or 20 miles along the Granite Way cycle path, which heads out from the race headquarters at Okehampton Youth Hostel and follows the picturesque route across Dartmoor, looping back to the finish at Race HQ.
- Exeter Live Better Marathon, one of our most popular running events and has grown year-on-year, selling out in 2020. The 2021 event takes place on Sunday 25 April, 2021. The flat, fast course, means it is ideal for both first time marathon runners, as well as those looking to achieve a personal best marathon time. The traffic-free, flat route follows the footpaths and cycle tracks of the picturesque River Exe and through Riverside Valley Park.
- New for 2021 is the 10k River Run, which take place along the paths beside the banks of the River Exe and through the beautiful Riverside Valley Park on Sunday 9 May, 2021. This ideal for those new to taking part in running events, or who are looking to step up their training from 5k to 10k.
- And finally, the Exeter Half Marathon, which takes place on Sunday 27 June, 2021. This popular event has a new date for 2021 and is specifically planned in June, for this year, to reflect the changes to the running calendar and to provide runners with the best opportunity to fit with their autumn marathon training programme.
For more information, or to sign up visit https://exetercct.org/courses-events/running-events/