The Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon will be going ahead as planned tomorrow however we as a team wanted to drop you a message to make sure you know we are taking every precaution possible to ensure the safety of you all as best we can regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).
Firstly, the rationale behind keeping the event on. The advice we have taken on from our local public health team (based on national guidance) remains that the risk of infection from outdoor events such as the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon remains low, and that as of now there is no epidemiological or medical evidence to suggest that mass participation events should be restricted at this time.
We also received information from our governing body England Athletics on Thursday after the government update that their events were taking place this weekend. There are plenty of other large scale running events across the country taking place as well as this event.
We appreciate that this may change at any point and we like you await government updates on the matter. However after the announcement on Thursday from the government we continued with the planning of the event but with some key additions and changes. These changes and additions are:
- All our staff including those on baggage drop, water stations and goodie bag pick up will be issued gloves to wear.
- There will be additional hand sanitiser in the portaloos and on the information desk.
- We have limited the number of runners in each wave to be less than 500.
- There will not be any prize presentations at the finish.
- All finish line goodies and t-shirts have been packed into bags to reduce contact
- Additional bins will be places around the event village for you to place any rubbish.
We also appreciate there is concern following the cancellation of some large scale running events over the next few weeks, mainly the big city marathons. We wanted to also highlight some of the differences between this event and those events.
- These larger road mass participation races sometimes rely on resources provided by the NHS or police. The Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon does not impose any burden on the NHS or police as our medical and stewarding services are independent of public services.
- This event will have around 3000 people on the day, split up into waves of less than 500. This is due to the nature of the route and the size of the palace grounds. An event like the London Marathon can have up to 40,000 people with 100,000s more coming to watch.
- The start and the finish line are in different locations at opposite sides of the palace, starting in waves so not everyone will be in the same place at the same time.
- This event does not close any roads, so access to hospitals or other services will not be restricted by your movements.
We’d also like to offer some advise similar to the government:
- If you have been in close contact with anyone with the virus or are feeling unwell and showing signs of a new persistent cough or high temperate then please don’t run.
- If you have been in any country that has a very high incidence of infections: China, South Korea, Italy for example and have not self-isolated for 14 days do not run.
- Countries such as France and Germany could also be a source of infection. Consider carefully whether you run.
For further advice and guidance please head to the gov.uk website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
If you have had to make the decision to self isolate and are unable to attend the event we would be happy for you to run the half marathon distance virtually and we will get your t-shirt and medal posted out to you.
If you’d like to do this please fill this form out HERE
We hope this helps clarify some of the questions you have.
Thank you for bearing with us and we will see you tomorrow morning.
The Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon Team