The runABC North team has had the dispiriting job over the last few hours of putting 'RACE CANCELLED' signs against many of this weekend's planned races.
Neil Critchley's message on the Burnden Road Runners website summed up the frustration and concerns of race organisers across the north of England.
Neill said: "Just to let all runners and spectators know, I am trying to give our wonderful race The Trotters 5 every chance to survive and take place on Sunday. I am going to inspect the course again tomorrow, the questions arising in my mind are 1 - are course conditions safe for runners, 2 - are roads clear for entrants to arrive safely and 3 - volunteers, is the weather suitable for our marshals given the amount of time they are likely to be exposed on the course. As it stands all three of these points are not met. Admittedly the weather is often changeable but the forecast is not set to improve.
"A course inspection is set to go ahead tomorrow and I believe this is when a final decision should be made. I will announce at 1pm tomorrow. Fingers crossed, other dates are in consideration if the race cannot go ahead."
Neil's dilemma is one that has been faced by Cannonball Events' John Lloyd, Trafford 10K's Andy Norman and many others.
The Trafford 10K will not go ahead, organisers Altrincham and District AC confirmed yesterday (Thursday 1 March). Renowned for its speedy course, the popular south Manchester race sells out year on year – a recent post on the event Facebook page said alternative dates were in the process of being identified.
Cannonball Events made the decision to postpone Sunday’s Ron Hill Accrington 10K and Fun Run. It was clear that the team were working throughout the day to give them every chance of going ahead, however, they made the call last night, saying: “We have done a recce today and while the roads aren’t too bad the off road sections are so compacted with snow, it would be so slippery for you guys running.”
Staying in Manchester, the Resolution Run at Heaton Park has all been cancelled as have the Resolution Runs in Derby and Stoke.
In Merseyside, organisers of the St. Helens 10K have made the decision to postpone Sunday’s (4 March) race until 15 April. The 2k Fun Run at Victoria Park has also been postponed and will take place on 14 April.
One race that looks likely to go ahead, however, is the Chester 10K. A recent post on their Facebook page stated: “Runners safety is our number 1 priority. At this point, we don’t anticipate there being any changes to the race, as it’s on fully closed regularly used and gritted roads.”
Barnsley, Bolton, Carlisle, Huddersfield and Oldham parkruns are just a few of this weekend's parkrun losses. Check the parkrun cancellations page for up-to-date information.
Photo courtesy of John Hibbs.