In these unprecedented times, we wanted to get in touch to share our plans for next year’s Essar Four Villages Half Marathon. We feel very lucky that this year’s race was able to go ahead in light of what we’re now all facing.
We’re very much hoping that the 4VHM will take place on Sunday 17 January 2021. However, we’ll take guidance from UK Athletics and other authorities in the coming months on whether this is possible. We are also keeping a close eye on whether large mass participation running events such as the London Marathon and Great North Run go ahead in the autumn and any changes they put in place.
One option is to simplify the race to minimise the money we need to spend in advance. This will enable us to go ahead with plans to put the race on but if we have to change plans at a late stage due to ongoing restrictions, we’re not put in a difficult financial position. The race is organised by Helsby Running club and on a voluntary basis. As you can imagine there are considerable costs to putting on a safe and enjoyable race and some of these need to be committed well in advance.
The proposed idea is to put on a ‘Back to Basics’ race with minimal bling (no medals, no goody bag) but still with a great course and lots of community spirit. Any savings made would be donated to the two local hospices and the community groups we support, who like many are currently facing challenging times. This extra income will be very much needed. We will still look at ways of giving all runners a token of recognition for completing the race.
We are also considering reducing the number of entries to keep costs down and put less pressure on the local community in terms of parking. Hopefully we will be hosting the race from our new club house, which will be located not far from our existing site and means a slightly different start location for the race. The entry price will reflect any changes we have to make, making sure we are still great value and able to support our charity and community partners.
If you have any feedback on these proposals we’d love to hear from you. And we will hopefully be back to ‘normal’ for 2022.
We will keep you posted with our plans as we near our usual go-live date of 1st October. Thank you for continuing to support the race and we very much hope to welcome you back to Helsby in January.