OFF AND NOT RUNNING: A decision was made on Wednesday to cancel the 2020 run in light of the ongoing coronavirus threat.
OFF AND NOT RUNNING: A decision was made on Wednesday to cancel the 2020 run in light of the ongoing coronavirus threat.

Pandemic stops Warwick Pentathrun in its tracks

PENTATHRUN: A running 18 years in the making has officially come to a halt, as organisers of the Warwick Pentathrun made the difficult decision to cancel this year's event due to coronavirus.

Hopes of proceeding in May were dashed when ever-evolving social distancing regulations forced the event to officially be cancelled for 2020.

Pentathrun committee president Karen Gilchrist took to Facebook to break the news, detailing the new ways runners will be able to get involved.

"We are still finalising a few things," she said.

"But we have plans in place to do a virtual event on that weekend to keep everyone's spirits alive.

"It will be in your own home and area, but we are just working through logistics with our timing officials."

The five-category event draws runners from the region and beyond to Warwick for the weekend, which Gilchrist said would take a toll on the town's economy.

"Some people may think it's a small event on the scale of other events," she said.

"But it does bring a lot of revenue into the town in terms of accommodation and food.

"Over the whole weekend, we get about 2200 to 2500 all together."

While it was a difficult decision to cancel the event, Gilchrest admitted all measures were exhausted to make this year possible.

"We were going to cut each race back with the number of entrants," she said.

"But then the legislation changed, and people come from over the border.

"Financially our logistics bill would have remained the same but there would have been less income; it would have been detrimental to us."

Despite a number of athletes eager to run, the committee are hopeful

"People need to keep exercising and keep their mental state in a good way," she said.

"A lot of our athletes have been with us for 18 years or just a bit less.

"They love the event; it's very social and very casual."