The Brighton Marathon has been postponed until September as concerns grow about the coronavirus outbreak.
The race was due to be run on Sunday 19 April – the main event in a busy weekend for organisers, runners, spectators and others.
But the organisers said that, with a heavy heart, they had had to make the announcement to delay the event.
Many competitors, fun runners and charity fundraiser – not to mention hoteliers and other traders – who have been planning for the marathon for many months will be disappointed by the latest development.
Brighton and Hove Albion are still scheduled to play the Premier League champions-elect Liverpool on Monday 20 April at the Amex stadium.
Tomorrow’s home match against Arsenal has been postponed after Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal head coach, had coronavirus diagnosed and the entire first team squad went into self-isolation.
Event director Tom Naylor said: “Following the escalation of coronavirus, we have been taking advice from official bodies while also working closely with other mass event organisers to understand the situation for the industry, our participants and supporters.
“It is with heavy hearts that we have to deliver the disappointing news that the Brighton Marathon Weekend has been postponed until Friday 18 September to Sunday 20 September 2020.”
He said that the Brighton Marathon itself, the BM10k and BM Ride would take place on the Sunday.
Mr Naylor added: “It is a decision that has not been taken lightly by our team or our colleagues in the running events industry. We as organisers now face considerable challenges as a result.
“We apologise profusely to anyone affected by this postponement.
“We wholeheartedly appreciate the far-reaching impact this change will have on the thousands of you who have trained hard and planned extensively to take part in April 2020.
“Also to all those who have worked tirelessly to fundraise for their chosen charities and how this may impact upon your charity or cause.
“We hope that you can continue with your Brighton Marathon Weekend journey and implore you to keep on fundraising until the event can take place in September.
“Thank you to Brighton and Hove City Council, our contractors and partners for their co-operation and understanding.
“All those who have a place in the 2020 event will be able to use their place in the rescheduled event or defer until 2021.
“If you are unable to take part in September, we can only sincerely apologise that this is the case.
“We ask for your support and understanding while we work towards this new date and take on the logistical issues and challenges this creates.
“We will be issuing further information about the postponement on Monday 16 March.
“Please wait to receive this information before contacting our customer services team, who will be under much pressure at this time.
“We sincerely hope that you can still be a part of Brighton Marathon Weekend in September.”