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14 January 2021, 12pm

75% of races cancelled

Survey reveals pandemic’s impact on races in Germany

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In a quick survey conducted by German Road Races (GRR) at the end of 2020 it was found that about 75% of all runs were cancelled last year and only about 24,000 runners started in real races. The lack of opportunity for larger participation is mainly attributed to the hygiene regulations of the federal states and municipalities.

The number of participants was mentioned as a particular restriction along with the need to extend the start phase into smaller waves or starting blocks. Other restrictions included responsibility for preventing spectators gathering at the start and finish area and the need to deploy many more race officials to manage the changed starting protocols.

Reasons for a cancelled or prohibited event included the ban on major events, the hygiene and distancing requirements that could not be implemented, the expense of meeting the requirements and the health risk to active people and volunteer staff.

More than two thirds of the organisers surveyed did not apply for any help from a state or municipal body, not least because none of the aid programs offered were suitable for them. Among claims made the most significant were for the short-time working allowance (13%), the emergency aid for small businesses and self-employed persons (9%), the bridging aid (5%) and aid from the respective state sports associations (8%).

The organisers did not apply for liquidity assistance from the Landesbanken. Of those organisers who applied for help 91% of applications were successful.

Organisers are willing to start again this year with the previous concepts or changed protocols: “Of course we are looking at the development of the pandemic in the first few months of this year with great concern. The quick poll shows us very clearly that many running events are at maximum risk if we cannot return to a certain normality shortly,” says GRR Chairman Horst Milde (Berlin).

“Running events cannot cope with [such] a persistent drought, especially since races held in 2020 races were largely self-funded.”

For more about the survey see: www.germanroadraces.de .

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