Coronavirus Update: UK

This page will be updated as the situation develops. Please check back regularly for updates.

COVID-19 continues to negatively affect the endurance event calendar. Many small and major events have been cancelled or postponed, as rapidly changing rules, regulations, and recommendations are released by national and state governments as well as sports governing bodies.

Whilst these are unprecedented times for all of us, we want you all to know that your wellbeing is our number one priority. The endurance sport community is founded on a shared belief of mutual support in the face of adversity. We are confident that if we work together we will come out of it stronger and more resilient than we entered.

A Word on the Event Organisers

All of us at Let’s Do This know just how frustrating this is for participants – to have an event cancelled once you’ve bought the entry and put in all the hard work of physically and mentally preparing yourself for the challenge can be hugely disappointing. As disappointing as it is, however, during this time please do spare a thought for your event organiser, as this outbreak puts many of their livelihoods at risk. 

Organising events is a low-margin business at the best of times. Most events taking place in the next few months will already have incurred significant setup costs. Having to cancel or postpone their events puts huge pressures on both their businesses and themselves personally. Please bear with them as they try to find the best possible resolution for both participants and themselves in these unprecedented and confusing circumstances. 

The Current State of Play

The situation is changing rapidly, but Let’s Do This is here to help support and give guidance where we can. Please remember that the following is just guidance from Let’s Do This regarding the effects of COVID-19 on endurance events and that we are continually monitoring government updates both in the UK and abroad regarding the pandemic and resultant best practices. 

Is it safe to attend mass participation events?

The UK government, as of Wednesday 10th June, updated their guidance surrounding social distancing practices in the UK in order to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Residents of the UK can now gather in groups of up to 6 people in an outdoor area, but must maintain 2m (6ft) of social distancing between them. Exercise can now be done with up to 6 people from different households, provided again that the exercise is done outside and with the necessary social distance between them, and there are no further restrictions on outdoor exercise. 

As of Monday June 15th, non-essential shops are reopening, and outdoor attractions such as zoos and drive-in cinemas will open for business. Sporting events, sitting in the local pub, and indoor theatres remain further out on the coronavirus roadmap. 

Following the slight loosening of measures, England Athletics has advised that groups of up to 6 (6 athletes or 1 coach and 5 athletes) can now train together, provided that the training area is outdoor and allows for social distancing. They hope that the track and field competitive season can begin mid-July. Scottish Athletics, Welsh Athletics, and Athletics Northern Ireland have all issued similar statements, and continue to monitor the situation closely for the reopening of mass participation events.

If you develop ANY symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms start if you live alone. If you live with others and any of the household has symptoms, all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days, starting from when the first person became ill. 

Will all events be cancelled or postponed?

The majority of events remain either cancelled or postponed through August as large gatherings of people remain restricted by government regulations. 

We remain unsure on how far into the future event organisers will be looking when cancelling their events, but Let’s Do This will keep you updated as the situation develops. 

How long will this last?

The governing bodies for athletics in all four Home Nations are cautiously optimistic that events that allow for social distancing will return in mid-July or August. That being said, there has been no guidance for the timeline of which when mass participation events will be allowed to return. 

So, What Are The Options?

Following these restrictions and guidelines, participants both in the UK and globally are understandably confused as to what their options are surrounding events they have already signed up for, or were hoping to participate in. Below we have tried to answer as many of these questions as we can, with the hope to further expand our offering in the upcoming weeks: 

How do I find out about the status and/or contingency plan for an event that I have already booked?

If you booked an event through Let’s Do This, then please refer to your original Confirmation Email for the organiser’s email address – check your spam folder if you can’t find it. Please contact them directly via email, or check their website for details. They are best-placed to answer your queries. 

We are working on updating events as fast as we can on our site, and linking you to the most valuable information regarding the status of your event. 

My original event has already been postponed/cancelled – what are my options?

While we understand that having your event cancelled is highly disappointing, we at Let’s Do This see no reason for all your training and dedication to go to waste, nor to stop. Current regulations in the UK deem that running, cycling or training outdoors is acceptable and even encouraged during this time, however, you are required to maintain social distancing. Thankfully, the rise of technology and demand for mass participation events is paving the way for exciting new ways to connect with events and build the communities that they foster. 

Entering virtual events and creating accounts on participation platforms such as Strava are fantastic ways to participate in your dream events from the convenience of your current location; reducing the need to travel, interact with mass crowds, or even leave the comfort of your own home. Many event organisers have already begun offering virtual events, Let’s Do This has built the world’s leading virtual event solution. 

While entering a smaller event in lieu of cancellation may have previously been a viable option, the extended lockdown and regulations meant that even smaller events were forced to postpone and cancel. That being said, when social distancing measures ease in the future, it is likely that smaller, local events will be the ones to bounce back the quickest. Many events on Let’s Do This have smaller field sizes, and we will help you understand and make the most of this when these events come back on the market. 

Let’s Do This, Together

There can be no doubt that we are facing unprecedented times. We are all in this together, and we at Let’s Do This remain absolutely committed to helping people find and enjoy epic experiences for as long as it’s safe to do so. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us, as we plan to be with you every step of the way. 

Further Resources & Latest Information

NHS advice

Official UK Government advice on Coronavirus

WHO Guidelines on COVID-19

WHO COVID-19 FAQs

England Athletics Coronavirus Statement

UKA Coronavirus Statement