It is with deep regret that I am writing to inform you that we have decided to change the date of the Brighton Marathon Weekend 2021 to 10-12th September.

Following the recent cancellation of the Brighton Marathon Weekend |The Edit, which was due to take place this October as a revised version of our 2020 event, it has become clear that holding Brighton Marathon Weekend in April 2021 will not be possible.

Since our decision to postpone the 2020 event in March, we have worked hard to try to find a way for us and other running events to return. Alongside the other UK mass participation running events, Sport England and our local council we looked to try to find a way to hold a running event on closed roads in our city this autumn.

We wanted to try to hold an event that would meet government guidance whilst being an example for how events can come back later this year, and more importantly in the spring of 2021.

Up until a few weeks ago we were confident that we could stage Brighton Marathon Weekend | The Edit safely, and with all the necessary permissions.It became clear as we went through the planning and design process that outdoor running events could and would operate quite differently to a typical ‘mass gathering’. We were confident that social distancing, staggering of runner start times, hygiene and many more measures could be effectively implemented and with a hugely reduced risk for all.

We are however, very concerned by the rising coronavirus positive test rate and will not hold any events that could put our runners, volunteers, event team or wider community at any further risk. While we are extremely disappointed that we could not hold our revised event this year as planned, we fully accept that it was the right decision. Furthermore, I feel that it is the right decision given the current and changing status of the pandemic, that we do not promise to deliver the Brighton Marathon Weekend in April 2021. It has been extremely difficult to reach this conclusion.

The UK events industry is worth over £80 billion to the UK economy employing over 600,000 people. We create some of the best events in the world, from Glastonbury to London Marathon, to our own events. It is now critical that we are all given the support and tools to come back even stronger in the not too distant future.

The Brighton Marathon Weekend extends far beyond our participants. The livelihoods of our staff, contractors, suppliers, hospitality industry and more, will be affected. When 20,000 people do not arrive in the city ready to run a race with their supporters, the ripple effect is great. From the bar staff in the hotels who do not pick up extra shifts to the taxi driver who does not take extra bookings. In 2019 It was estimated our event contributed £12 million to the local hospitality economy alone.

Events are also a crucial lifeline for charities and fundraising. Since our first event in 2010 we have supported local and national charities in raising over £50 million.

The Prime Minister has suggested restrictions may be in place for six months. This decision means it is very difficult for organisers to engage with the local authority to plan events and impossible for the local authority to give any commitment for the future.

However, this does not mean that we will stop working or pushing for answers and a way forward. In March, I took the decision to keep the Grounded Events Company team together for this very reason. All summer long the team looked at ways to keep on improving, developing, learning and ultimately working to create a better event experience for you. We will continue to work just as hard towards supporting the industry we care so passionately about.

I would like to thank all of our partners and charities for their support over the last six, difficult months and look forward to working with them closely and in more innovative ways over the next year.

I’d also like to personally thank the thousands of runners and riders who are sticking with us from 2020 in to 2021. Your moral support has been vital. Your financial support, by deferring your entries or choosing to take place in The Edit, has been invaluable and we are extremely grateful.

We are a small team, many of whom are yet to even experience working at the Brighton Marathon Weekend on event weekend. Your countless messages of support and encouragement have kept us all going during this extremely difficult time.

Thank you for your unrelenting understanding and patience. We cannot wait to see you across the finish line in 2021.

Best Wishes,

Tom Naylor
Event Director
Brighton Marathon Weekend