The unseasonal wintry weather has resulted in the postponement of tomorrow’s (March 18) annual Eastleigh Hendy 10k road race with just 24 hours to go to the start-gun – a decision that race director Steve Collins described to Eastleigh News as “the most difficult I’ve had to take during my time with the race.”
Steve Collins explained that the decision was taken in consultation with local agencies following a Met office yellow warning predicting snow and ice with a windchill factor of minus seven degrees that meant the safety of the 2,000 adult runners, junior fun-runners and the many race support volunteers could not be guaranteed.
Organisers and sponsors had hoped that the weather forecasts issued earlier in the week would improve and wanted to give the runners every chance of participating but the race will now have to be rescheduled along with many other postponed weekend sporting fixtures in Hampshire including the Fleet half-marathon.
The race is likely to be re-staged in ‘late spring or early summer’ for a date that won’t clash with the road race calendar and although there is a no-refund policy, it will be possible to transfer race numbers to other runners – the race organisers say that as the race had been over-subscribed there should be no shortage of runners looking for a place.
Runners from all over the country were due to take part on Sunday including a party of 20 who had been preparing to fly in from the Channel Islands and members of Otterbourne Women’s Institute had been busy baking post-race cakes for the runners. The postponement is the first in the race’s 34 year history.
Steve Collins told Eastleigh News “the really heartening thing is the number of runners who have contacted us to say they are disappointed but fully understand why the reason why the race had to be postponed.”
Eastleigh News understands that the road closures announced for the race route tomorrow morning will not be put in place.