Dear Running Community,
Over recent weeks options available have been considered to whether the Stamford Striders St Valentine’s 30k could go ahead and have consulted with all involved to carefully examine the situation and its consequences on the event that we’ve been organizing for 28 years.
I trust you will understand that we have taken our time to reach a decision that we feel is the right one for all. I regret to announce that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition of the 30k which coincidentally was due to take place on St Valentine’s Day 14th February will NOT take place.
Our decision was very much based on health & safety and the 30k experience itself:
The health and safety of all:
As you know, the 30k brings together hundreds of people from all over the UK of which regional conditions of the pandemic differ, we believe certainly at this time the distances that some travel to the event are not compatible with the current guidance as far as unessential travel is concerned, as well as potentially preventing those in ‘restricted areas’ from taking part who should not leave their region. Further, the 30k is a race associated with St Valentine, a celebration of romance and love, being together, exchanging hugs, embracing, etc, and if I am honest this is very much the essence of the 30k if we were not able to hug and greet those we had not seen since last year then it may well be a sombre event and not the happy one that we all know it to be.
Cancelling is the most responsible decision to preserve the health and safety of all participants, runners, supporters, suppliers & partners, local residents, and the team of over 100 volunteers who come together to stage the event.
To date, there are still too many uncertainties about the health, economic and social context in the coming months. Giving up the 30k means showing responsibility towards all the runners who couldn't participate because they can't travel, because they haven't been able to train, because they can't afford it, because they fear for their health. Without these runners the 30k would be the same, nor would it have the same energy.
The full and complete experience for all:
Our wish is to offer the full 30k experience as we have been doing for 28 years. A testing route which crosses through Lincolnshire and Rutland taking in some great scenery. An event with runners who meet, talk and make friends during and after the race, a race of emotions and conviviality shared by all those involved in the event: volunteers, visitors and local inhabitants. They all show up along the route to cheer, high-five you, animate the aid stations and share with you the common passion of the race. Our wish is not to diminish your 30k experience, the one that brings you together and encourages you to meet other runners.
As runners we are familiar with risk, when things are not right, it's reasonable to turn back and go home, often to give up is to show courage. You may consider giving up when you see a hill ahead, but you keep your head down only to reach that dreaded finishing field! Sadly, on this occasion the hills are steeper than normal and the grass so long that we can’t reasonably be expected to run.
I promise the hills that we all know to love (or hate!) and the grass will be there next time, it will worth waiting for - but only when the conditions are right, and the storm is over.
Despite the cancellation, we must not give up, so I urge you to continue running and remain as healthy as possible. I am committed to uniting the 30k running community and will continue to monitor the situation, when it changes for the better we will return. My fingers are crossed that we may even find it possible to stage the event later in the year, but can’t make any promises at this time. For now, we are all in the same storm but sadly in different boats, with time we must all be in the same boat riding the storm together, as that is the only way we will get through this, together.
It is with great sadness that I had to write this statement and not be able to complete the remaining preparation or look forward to meeting you all again in February. I sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe wherever you are as we continue to face a new normal due to the uncertainties of COVID-19.
Thank you for your patience, trust, and understanding.
Take care, be safe, and see you soon.
Mark, Robin, and all the volunteers who make the 30k team
St Valentine's 30k - Stamford Striders
Love Running, Love the 30k!