THE very popular Rudolph Run in Eskra, scheduled for 5th December, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but participants are encouraged to participate ‘virtually’.
Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Knockmany Running Club and Eskra Community Association, a spokesperson said that they believe the risks associated with bringing together a large number of people at this time is just too difficult to justify.
“We believe that, even with the present lockdown restrictions ending soon, the potential for increasing the spread of the virus in the lead-up to Christmas is still on a knife-edge.
“We have been in contact with Athletics NI for advice and, whilst there are regulations in place that would allow us to run our event in some form, the restrictions would have a very negative effect on the sporting and social aspect of the races.
“A number of our members are Frontline workers in the NHS and we understand the pressures they are working under, so we do not wish to add to that in any way.
“This decision has not been taken lightly as we know how popular the Rudolph Run has been over the last ten years – kicking off the festive season for many with the mulled wine, mince pies and of course the highly-sought-after Rudolph Beanie.
“Our focus now is ensuring we adhere to all safety regulations to protect ourselves and others. We look forward to being able to run the Paul Murray Grand Prix series next June when hopefully life will have returned to a more normal state and of course the return of the Rudolph Run next December.”
The spokesperson added: “Meanwhile runners and walkers are encouraged to join in a Virtual Rudolph Run and take to their local roads to complete a 5k or 10k route to launch the festive season, participants can dress up in festive gear and wear previous Rudolph Run Beanie hats, watch out for further details on Rudolph Run Facebook and Twitter pages.”