The organisers of the Swindon Half Marathon have announced that the event will not be continuing after this September's event.
A joint statement announcing the sad news has been released on social media by organisers Graeme Hardie and Leigh Bint.
The statement reads...
"I’m afraid to announce that the 2019 running of the Nationwide Swindon Half Marathon on September the 22ndwill be the very last.
"When we took this race on at the end of 2016, we wanted to be able to create something a bit special for Swindon, to put it on the running map and to build a race that pulled together the vibrant running community of our town and the surrounding areas.
"Unfortunately, despite giving it our best efforts, we’ve simply not been able to make it work financially with the numbers of runners that have attended, and the amount of work associated with organizing the race has taken over our lives more than we could have ever imagined or expected.
"Myself and Leigh, the two race directors for the Swindon Half, are not a big events company, but a couple of runners from Swindon who wanted to create a large scale event that highlighted all the things we all know and love about our town in order to help build up the areas image, and we have funded this entirely out of our own pockets.
"The race has been staged in 2017 and 2018 in a grand fashion, which I think is only fitting to a town the size of Swindon, in the hope to attract more runners,.
"However, the break even point for the event is around 3,500, which is a number we’ve yet to achieve, and is looking very unlikely to be achieved in 2019.
"There was always the option to run the race on a much lower budget in line with other smaller scale events in other towns, but we think it would not only be doing a disservice to a town the size and rate of expansion as Swindon, but we consider none closed roads races to be dangerous and not something we’d even entertain. It also not our style: We either do it properly in a grand fashion, or don’t do it at all.
"To give people a glimpse into the economics of running a large-scale half marathon, the cost of closing the roads around Swindon and the associated Traffic Management is around £55-60,000 per year.
"We’re extremely grateful of Nationwide Building society and all the other companies that have been behind the new Swindon half in terms of Sponsorship and Support over our 3 years. We extend our thanks to them, and to the 16 local charities that we have partnered up with to set up atmosphere stations along the course to support the runners and bring them some noise and enthusiasm.
"In 2018 alone, the Nationwide Swindon Half runners themselves raised over £118,000 for charity with their efforts, which is an incredible figure, and something they should all be very proud of.
"In 2017, we were very proud to have received the Bronze medal in the prestigious industry Running Awards foe the event, and in 2018, we went one better with a Silver. We are aiming to deliver a race in 2019, for our swansong event, that is worthy of a Gold medal to maintain our upward path.
"The easy path for us would be to just pull the plug on the 2019 race and refund people before it even happens.
However, this is not fair to either the runners who have committed so much training to this year’s event, or the runners that have raised so much for Charity with the aim of completing the course on Sept 22nd, so this year’s race is definitely still going ahead as planned.
"The 2019 Race, to be held in a little over 2 months on September 22nd, is still open for entries on our website, and we would love to be able to send it off with our biggest runner numbers and atmosphere yet
"Thanks for being part of this amazing journey."