Sorry ... we had to cancel
More than thirteen hundred runners for charity were disappointed when the 2018 Berkhamsted Half Marathon & 5 Mile Run planned for 4th March had to be cancelled because of the harsh weather conditions. Berkhamsted Rotary Club, organisers of the event, took the decision very reluctantly after detailed site and course inspections. Over the last 36 years the event has raised more than a quarter of a million pounds for local charities and this is only the second cancellation due to adverse weather during that time
With almost two thirds of the course on ungritted roads, running and driving conditions were extremely icy on the Friday before the race. A snow covered start area coupled with unpromising weather forecasts and the likelihood of overstretched emergency services led the organisers to conclude that the event could not be safely operated and that it was best to let runners and spectators know this decision on Friday 2 March as some were travelling from as far afield as Italy.
Following the cancellation decision, the possibility of rescheduling later in the year was examined but it became apparent that we would be starting from scratch and unable to plan and secure resources at short notice; reluctantly, therefore, we ruled it out.
One of the key aims of the event, outlined in the Half Marathon and 5 Mile Fun Run programme, is to raise money for Charity as well as making it a great runner experience. More than 200 volunteers organise the event and many support these charities, giving up their time freely and incurring travel costs without a bean of recompense. Without their generosity and that of the sponsors and advertisers the event could not be staged.
The rules of entry set out a no refund policy for entry fees because these are necessary to settle the significant set-up costs of the event, much of which are incurred regardless of whether the event takes place. However ALL remaining monies will then donated to charity, mainly The Hospice of St Francis and Pepper Foundation.
Entrants have already been sent an email informing them of next year’s event to be held on Sunday March 3rd 2019. Alongside the usual early bird discount for sign-ups prior to December 31, runners registered for the 2018 event will also receive a special 25% Loyalty Discount code which may be used for the 2019 event.
The pre-prepared goody bags, containing souvenir t-shirts, medals, running bottles and cereal bars are being delivered to local running clubs and available for collection by runners associated with those clubs. For other local runners a collection point was arranged at Victoria School on Saturday 10th March. Delivery of the souvenir t-shirt for remaining Half Marathon runners will be arranged before the end of March
We particularly like to thank those runners who've been in touch sending messages of support for setting up the event; greatly appreciated! A large number of marshals have already volunteered to help next year’s March event when we hope for better weather!
After Thursday's preparation work in the freezing cold erecting scaffolding and the frame for the baggage tent, we reluctantly had to conclude that conditions would be just too dangerous for runners, marshalls and spectators alike.