Rushcliffe VIRTUAL 10K & Running Festival

A popular, Ruddington running event which attracts hundreds of participants each year is still taking place – but has gone online! So, rather than the usual crowds packed into Rushcliffe Country Park today, like many other things at the moment it will instead be a ‘remote’ experience.

The 2020 Rushcliffe 10k & Running Festival had already been postponed from March 1st due to a waterlogged course. It was then rescheduled for Sunday, April 5th – until the COVID-19 Coronavirus lockdown scuppered the new date, too. Rather than cancel it altogether, event organisers Perfect Motion Sports Marketing have made it into a ‘virtual’ event so that those who were signed up can take part either at home or keeping a safe distance from others.

Perfect Motion Director Chris Simon says: “I am sure it’s not surprising news – given the unprecedented situation the world is in currently – that we have cancelled the traditional race. The safety of everyone involved in the event is paramount and, with the current advice from both government and Public Health, we are no longer able to offer the event as a mass participation race. But we have a great opportunity for all to still complete it competitively. “

The ingenious alternative has been made possible by Wollaton based Virtual Runner UK – which has stepped in to enable all participants to run the race at their leisure and then submit their time to enter the contests. Participants can record their 10K, 5K or 2.5K time independently when running on the treadmill at home – or even still in the great outdoors, so long as it’s done in line with the Government’s current advice on social distancing.

All existing participants should already have received an email with details on how to register virtually. Competitors then just need to send proof to Virtual Runner (as per the instructions when they sign up) and ensure they submit their time by the end of April – after which medals will be posted out. The entire month has been given to complete the event so those participants still needing to run out in the open can select quieter times at their leisure to take part within the Government’s ‘lockdown’ guidelines.

“We have worked closely with Rushcliffe Borough Council, who remain the owners of the event, to map out the plan for the event now this decision has been made” explains Chris. “We hope everyone can now complete their races and do so safely, taking the necessary precautions with social distancing.”

Controversially, however, no refunds or deferrals are now be available for the event – and this includes original entrants from March 1st. Everyone who has entered for either this or the revised April 5th festival, have instead received a code for the virtual replacement. Organisers explain they have twice had to pay for many of the costs associated with the delivery of the event and, as a result, are not able to offer any refunds. Being a small business, Perfect Motion says its not able to absorb the losses associated with this double cancellation.

Runner Claire Oliver comments: “I’m disappointed no refund is offered. It should be optional to do the virtual race and thus the fee also. I appreciate you are a small business but surely that’s what event insurance is for?”

Craig Matthews adds: “No refunds or deferrals offered (even when already promised/processed). Event replaced with a lousy virtual 10K, which none of us signed up for. I sincerely hope that Perfect Motion are never invited to organise any events in Nottingham again. Reputation in tatters!”

However, Paula Steeples is happy with the organisers’ 21st century solution: “Yay, I was disappointed not to be able to get my medal (would have been 3 years in a row) as I couldn’t make the rescheduled date in April!! Now I’ll be able to add to the collection – Thanks!”

Chris says: “We are sorry Perfect Motion is not able to offer a refund or deferral but we hope that you can still take part in the Rushcliffe 10K in your own time and on your own route. If you are in any doubt, please don’t run and instead save your Rushcliffe 10K to later in the year. We really appreciate participants’ understanding in these trying times.”

Fingers crossed organisers will have better luck with this ill fated Ruddington event in 2021.

The event usually packs out Ruddington’s country park

{Top image courtesy of Google Earth}

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