THE Echo Women’s Mini Marathon won’t go ahead this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Up to 7,000 people annually take part in the Cork race, which is now in its 39th year.
Cork Athletics Association made the announcement today - which is a massive blow to the hundreds of charities who benefit from the 6km race. Around €1 million euro is raised annually for worthy causes.
However alternative plans are being organised and will be announced in the coming weeks.
Rebecca McEvoy, Cork Athletics PRO said: “This summer, we have seen so many events that we have been looking forward to cancelled or postponed. It would be so easy to just cancel The Echo Women's Mini Marathon too and say we’ll be back again in 2021.
"But the Echo Women's Mini Marathon is not just any ordinary event, and its cancellation would have huge repercussions for the hundreds of charities that rely on this event to keep their good work going. It is estimated that the Echo Mini Marathon raises around €1 million every year for charity and now more than ever, charities need our support.
“The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon has been a fixture in Cork’s calendar for almost four decades, having an unbroken run for 38 years to date. The day has a festival atmosphere, the buzz at the start and finish lines is like no other.
"As well as the charity element, many women look forward to this September date every year, with some having unbroken attendance records going back decades. It is a unique event that gives the women of Cork a chance to meet up with their friends and raise money for dozens of worthy causes, while overcoming the challenge of completing the 6km route.
“We will be disappointed not to see the live event go ahead this year, but we will have something to look forward to in September to keep the tradition of the Echo Women’s Mini Marathon going in 2020.”
Editor of The Echo Maurice Gubbins said: “For many of us, The Echo Women's Mini Marathon is a highlight of our year. We love the sight of the thousands of runners and walkers lined up at the start. It is a massively uplifting experience.
“And we love hanging out in Kennedy Park as the competitors finish the course, with participants milling round and chatting with family and friends, with the great music and almost always with the beautiful sunshine.
“Sadly, this year we can't have that big day out. But we can still do a lot in our own places, for our own fitness and health and most especially for the hundreds of great causes the women of Cork assist through this event every year.
“Let's make a date to get back together on the streets of Cork next year. Meanwhile thank you all for supporting our event and for your huge contribution to Cork charities.”