Niamh Kiernan, Longford Athletics Club, crossing the finish line as the first lady home in the 2019 Abbott Longford Marathon Picture: Shelley Corcoran
The 19th annual Longford Marathon, due to take place on Sunday, August 30 next, has been postponed owing to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The Longford Marathon committee broke the news last Thursday afternoon, May 28, indicating that it would not be possible to run the 2020 event for health and safety seasons.
The committee have since revealed that they are in the process of making plans to organise a virtual event, which they hope will go ahead in August.
Since its inception in 2002, the Longford Marathon has grown in popularity, attracting competitors from throughout Ireland and across the globe, and it is a big blow to everyone that this year's event has become yet another Covid-19 sporting casualty and won't be going ahead.
Indeed, the 2019 Abbott Longford Marathon saw local athletes triumph on the double, Niamh Kiernan and Barry Sheil, and they would have been looking forward to trying to defend their titles.
The Longford Marathon committee released the following statement;
"We have carefully considered the logistics and challenges posed by the pandemic to the safe and successful running of our event on August 30 and we have reluctantly concluded that it will not be possible to stage the event while ensuring the health and safety of the runners, stewards, supporters and volunteers.
"If you have already entered this year’s race, then we thank you sincerely for your support for our event and we are sorry for the inconvenience that this cancellation will cause you. Your entry will be automatically transferred to next year’s race, however if you prefer then we will arrange a refund of your entry fee instead. If you wish to obtain a refund then please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will process a refund for you.
"We know people committed time and effort to training and preparation for this year’s race and we are organising a virtual event to mark the Abbott Longford Marathon to be held in the month of August. More details will be announced on our website and our Facebook page very soon.
"The Committee wishes to thank main sponsor Abbott for their ongoing support through this difficult time.
"We intend to use the additional time and resources we have available to ensure that next year’s race will be a very special event, and bigger and better than ever before."