Nearly 1,000 runners boycotting Bath Half Marathon in wake of coronavirus join 'virtual' race online

Almost 1,000 people not taking part in Bath Half Marathon due to the coronavirus outbreak have joined a 'virtual' group online.

Many of those boycotting the event today (Sunday 15 March) because of health fears are running the 13.1 miles in their own communities and sharing their achievements online instead.

'Virtual Bath Half Marathon' on Facebook has been joined by 894 people so far.

The Bath Half director, Andrew Taylor, has defended his decision to go ahead with the race saying that it is a 'low risk event'.

He says it would be 'negligent' of him to ignore government and local council advice by cancelling the event short notice, and that the day was still hugely successful.

  • Watch below for an extended interview with Bath Half director Andrew Taylor:

Those in the group are also calling on marathon organisers to send them their medals if they post the results of their runs online.

Sarah Wilkinson, one of the runners who has launched the group, said it's an "unofficial group for those deciding not to run, but to run their distance at home instead to reduce risk of spreading the virus".

She continued: "As I am concerned about the spread of Covid-19, I have taken the decision to protect fellow runners and my own family and community and not run tomorrow."


Many still turned up to the race today, despite calls from people to cancel it. Credit: ITV West Country

The event is still taking place today, despite calls urging the organisers to cancel it in the wake of Covid-19.

WATCH: ITV West Country reporter Richard Payne is at the start of the race, as people turn out in the rain despite coronavirus concerns.

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