It’s with sadness that we have to confirm that the 2020 South Coast Challenge, Thames Path Challenge, The Thames Bridges Trek and Jurassic Coast Challenge, are now cancelled and postponed until 2021. Given what we see on the television, with crowed beaches, the occasional demonstration, and the gradual easing of restrictions, this might come as a disapointment. However, we quite rightly have to go through all the official channels, and need formal ‘permission’ from a host of stakeholders to operate each of Ultra Challenge events.
For the South Coast Challenge we’ve been denied permission by – Eastbourne Council, Brighton & Hove Council, National Trust, Seven Sisters Park. S Downs Way Management Group , and Arundel Council. For The Thames Path & Thames Bridges we’ve had refusals from Hammersmith & Fulham Council (the start of both events), Thames Path National Trail, Southwark Council, City of London, Richmond Council, and a few others! Of course these organisations have legitimate concerns about mass participation events, and act in the best interest of the communities they represent, and will always play ‘safe’, which is understandable, as many communities just don’t want to see large groups or crowds gathering in, or descending on, their areas at the moment – even with the promise of social distancing and additional hygiene measures. So given these current blockages, and the planning timelines that we have to work to with venues, other stakeholders, suppliers, and staff – we are left with no option but to cancel these events.
We will communicate via email with all participants affected by these cancellations, and will be offered a transfer to a 2021 event, or a refund if it’s applicable (and this is also set out below).
A final decision on the Jurassic Coast Challenge is yet to be confirmed, but due to severe restrictions on the Sandbanks Ferry, and initial refusals from a number of councils & venues, the outlook for this event does not look promising – although we are exploring all options – and once we have updates within the next week or so we will make that final decision.
We are very keen to run at least one Ultra Challenge this season, and are putting a lot of effort in to getting approval for the Chiltern 50 Challenge from all key stakeholders – and we could then hopefully run a successful end of season event, to the Covid 19 social distancing model, for anyone who’s up for it – and we’d do our best to make it a special one!