Entries are now open for this year’s Garmin New Forest Marathon.
The race will return to a new location of St Giles House in Wimbourne, Dorset, the venue chosen for last year’s event, which was one of the few races in the UK able to go ahead in the first year of the pandemic.
Measures designed to make the race Covid-safe in last year’s race included a lack of spectators, a sterilisation station prior to entering the course and a traffic light system for setting off. This year’s race will feature less restrictions; spectators will be allowed, and the course village will include food outlets and activities like paddle boarding and yoga.
Split over two days, the Garmin New Forest Marathon will take place on September 25 and 26. As well as the full marathon distance, the weekend also includes three other races: 5k, 10k and half marathon, as well as junior races and a Woodland Walk.
Event Director Andy Daish said: ‘Covid has hit the running community hard, so we’re very pleased to be able to offer this Covid-secure again in 2021. This year it’s going to be better than ever, with camping, live music, entertainment, activities and more, so we hope to see many new and returning faces on the start line.’
The event is sponsored by Garmin, who are offering a 25% discount on selected products – including the new Forerunner 55 smartwatch – to those who have registered for a race.
Organisers hope the race will be able to return to its usual venue of New Park showground in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, in 2022, but said returning to the new venue was the right decision.
‘The decision to relocate for another year is the best solution in what are still very challenging times,’ organiser Chris Farr told a local newspaper. ‘It provides certainty to all our partners, runners and charities whilst protecting the very special environment that is the New Forest.’
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