The region’s largest trail running event, the Stromlo Running Festival (SRF), scheduled to be held on 21 and 22 November, has been postponed to 5 and 6 March 2022.
Organisers said it was a heartbreaking decision to move the festival, “but we had to make a call and sooner was better”, event director Mel Bingley said.
“We are devastated we couldn’t deliver. The event is sold out, it was all looking good, but unfortunately, ongoing consultation with government and stakeholders has not been able to provide enough clarity and certainty that we could push ahead.”
Following a successful COVID-safe event in 2020, the event team were optimistic they had the protocols in place to do the same in 2021, but Ms Bingley said travel restrictions, gathering limits and exemption approval timelines all factored into the decision to postpone the event.
“We have over 500 people from Sydney and regional NSW registered for the event. This was a big consideration for us.
“We are disappointed that we weren’t able to bring SRF to life for the community this year, but the health and safety of the community is paramount.
“A March date means we can plan with full confidence and enjoy a real festival-feel event that can welcome both local and interstate participants to race plus their loved ones to spectate.
“We are so grateful and incredibly humbled by the support shown for the event despite persisting lockdowns and uncertainty. It highlights the importance of events like SRF to provide opportunities for connection and activity,” Ms Bingley said.
Ms Bingley said finding a new date in a running calendar already full of events was difficult.
“We know we will not be able to please everyone, but the date is an opportunity for us to re-group, enjoy the summer, and re-focus our training.”
All registered participants will automatically have their entries transferred to the new March date. Additional options are available under the event’s COVID-19 Policy.
The postponement means SRF will run twice in 2022, in March and then again in November.
SRF co-founder Rob de Castella said, “The Stromlo Running Festival was born from the devastating 2003 Canberra fires that tested so many. It is a special event that celebrates and showcases our community’s healthy, active lifestyle, resilience, and toughness. Sometimes these things are tested not by what we do, but by what we don’t do.
“While it’s terribly disappointing to have to postpone the event, we are excited to be able to make the March 5th and 6th event bigger, better and more exciting than ever. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone out at Stromlo Forest Park next March.”
For more information, visit Stromlo Running Festival.