Running at Silverstone has become one of the iconic event experiences in the UK race calendar - but the COVID-19 pandemic has put all that at risk.
Running at Silverstone has become one of the iconic event experiences in the UK race calendar starting with the first half marathon there in 2003.
With Run Silverstone, we are the first small organiser to offer a big race day at the track, taking on the annual spot that was held by the London Marathon organisers for the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon.
We thought carefully about how to make the one run day per year at the circuit really special, so for the first Run Silverstone in 2019 we added the 10K, 5K and Family Mile to open up the event for more runners of all ages, with a bigger range of running goals.
How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Run Silverstone
As we got closer to the original date, 15 November 2020, we’d delivered a range of really great COVID-safe events in other locations and had approval from all of the Run Silverstone stakeholders, including public health experts and Run Britain.
We’d started from scratch and worked through every tiny detail of the event to ensure a safe and comfortable environment with a fantastic atmosphere. So when the second national lockdown was announced in November, just two weeks before, we were so disappointed.
Silverstone Circuits Ltd. (SCL) were not able to give back any of the fees we pay for hire, services and equipment and that is why we’re unable to offer refunds. Thankfully, SCL were able to offer us a new date in February 2021 – even though they weren’t obligated to.
When the third national lockdown was announced to include the 14 February 2021 date, we had to start the process again with SCL and all of the other local government and safety partners.
Our priority was to avoid complete cancellation and the loss of everything we, and you, had already paid for.
Why is 10 October 2021 the choice of new event date?
Ultimately, there was no choice of dates.
Hiring SCL’s world-famous facilities and producing an event on this scale comes with some complications and restrictions that we don’t see with runs in town centres or parks.
Amongst those, one consideration when finding a new date is access to the full site and track the day before in order to set up. With everything we need, SCL could only offer us one date in the 2021 calendar amongst those reserved for the hundreds of motorsport events that take priority over our day of running.
With no contractual obligation to offer a new date in 2021, we’re grateful to SCL for the 10 October date, but of course, it won’t be perfect for everyone.
With the uncertainty of the spring, we know that many events are being rescheduled to the autumn, and that will mean tough decisions and less-than-ideal schedules for so many runners.
What are the options available to runners who have already entered?
We’ve tried to offer every possible option to help with making these decisions and we’re so sorry that cannot include refunds in these unique circumstances. In normal times, we’re proudly one of the most flexible race organisers in the industry and we’ve applied the same principles here, but sadly and so frustratingly, our hands are tied.
Every runner who has already entered should have received an email, explaining options for taking part in a virtual Run Silverstone on 14 February, taking part on 10 October, transferring their entry to another runner or changing to another event.
Between the awful pandemic situation and the challenges of holding an event on the Silverstone circuit, we have done everything we can to put runners first and try to ensure that no one loses out.
We know that every runner and event organiser is doing their very best to be understanding and supportive of one another in such difficult times, and for that we are so grateful. We’ll all have so much to be thankful for when we’re able to run together again.
Why we can’t offer deferrals to Run Silverstone 2022
In the two years we’ve been working with SCL, we’ve explored the possibilities of offering more than just one running event per year.
Together, we’ve developed a vision of building a programme of top-notch mass participation sports events in running, cycling and multisport that we hope could become an exciting part of the event calendar in the UK.
In really positive news, SCL are really embracing that vision and are seeking to appoint a Sporting Events Partner to deliver a programme of SCL branded running, cycling and multi-sport events for all future events.
Whilst we’re very much hoping that partner will be us, the ownership and conception of that programme of events isn’t confirmed, and therefore means that we’re not able to schedule a 2022 date or know what it might look like.
Of course, in normal circumstances, offering a deferral to the following year’s event would be standard and we understand that it seems strange to not have that option available, but that changing situation is why it’s not possible this time.
As a small team of passionate runners, it’s really frustrating that with all of our year-round hard work and the inspiring goals of runners in our hands, that we find them tied by a perfect storm of factors not within our control.
Hearing from runners
During this time, when almost all of our team are furloughed and the future of our business is so fragile, it makes a huge different to us to hear from runners day to day.
Whether it’s via our Strava group, on our social media channels or a quick chat on the phone, runners are what keep us going. Please keep on sharing your stories, goals, progress and motivations with us whenever you can.
Any specific queries about race entries, transfers, deferrals – anything that involves personal data – have to be dealt with by email. You can reply to any email we’ve sent to you, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with full details.
We have just one of the team working right now, so only send your message once, and please hold on for a reply – it could take up to 5 working days, but we will always respond to every email.