This year's Waterside Half Marathon in Derry is another victim of the coronavirus pandemic

Popular run cancelled over public safety concerns


This year's Waterside Half Marathon has been cancelled.

The organisers, Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the popular annual event will not go ahead as usual in September because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The council today also announced the cancellation of the Sperrins and Killeter Walking Festival which was also due to take place in September.

Council Mayor, Councillor Michaela Boyle, said it was necessary to look ahead and be realistic about what events can safely be delivered over the coming months.

"I know this will be disappointing as these are both popular events and ones which positively promote health, wellbeing and fitness," she declared.

"But these are exceptional times and difficult decisions must be made for the greater good.

"Local people have been responding well to the social distancing advice and I know people will understand that under the current government guidelines regarding public gatherings, it would not be possible to host these events without making major changes to their format that would have a detrimental impact.

"By making these decisions at an early stage, we can avoid accumulating unnecessary costs and resourcing in terms of planning, and we will continue to review other major Council-led events over the coming weeks.

"We do however want to send out a strong message regarding exercise and its importance to both mental and physical health at this time.

"Council is promoting smaller exercise challenges – such as the Family Home 2k Run/Walk on May 9 – and the online Friday Fitness Challenge, which people can do at home, in their garden or near their home.

"We will continue to explore other activities and programmes in the coming weeks which will enhance health and wellbeing and offer people the chance to exercise in a safe and fun way.

"Please take the opportunity to get together as a family and enjoy games and activities, and the extra time we are getting to spend with loved ones."

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