To Run or Not to Run

The Ordinary Runner - Running Blog - Coronavirus

Right now, during the coronavirus outbreak, that seems to be the question.

When I first thought about this blog, the question of whether to run was rarely relevant. It was something I asked only if I had anything more than a little niggle.

Back then, Corona was still a beer and this year’s spring race season was still going ahead.

But these are exceptional times, hopefully of the like we’ll never see again. Many of us are questioning whether we should head out for a run or if staying indoors is a better idea.

Like many of you, I’ve trawled through social media and news sites to find definitive answers. Also, like many of you, I’ve found no definitive answers.

That’s not surprising, really. There are few answers to how we deal with coronavirus.

Common Sense

The best advice I’ve heard is not to behave like you’re trying to avoid infection but like you’re already infected.

If you had coronavirus, you’d do everything you could not to infect others, right?

That’s how we should all behave.

That means social distancing. Keeping away from people as much as possible. Don’t go to pubs or the gym or to social gatherings. Only visit supermarkets when you absolutely must (and then, only buy what you need, of course).

And wash your hands properly and often.

Consider the power of social distancing to help prevent the spread of coronavirus

But, what does that mean for us runners?

The big question is – can we still run outside?

The consensus, where you’re not in lockdown, seems to be yes, we can. So long as we stay at least two metres from others.

But – and this is the important bit – if you have any coronavirus symptoms, you shouldn’t leave the house, let alone go for a run. NHS guidelines are clear on this.

If you are running, you should be running alone – Runners World offer some good tips on running alone, if you’re not used to it.

What’s more, you should be considerate of everyone you encounter during your run (see above – act like you have it). And you definitely shouldn’t spit.

Importantly, be considerate and use your own discretion and common sense.

Please note – things are changing daily, and circumstances differ from one country to the next. I’ve based this on the information available to me, in the UK, today – March 21st. Tomorrow, everything could be different.

For now, it's safe to run during the coronavirus outbreak.

Organised races

Clearly, there’s going to be a lot of disruption over the coming months.

In case you missed it (I’m sure you didn’t), parkrun is suspended. For now, this is until the end of March. Expect that to extend into April and beyond.

On top of that, many organised races are off until Autumn. Collectively, we’re going to cover a lot of miles in the second half of the year (hopefully).

Plenty of other events have yet to be rescheduled or will be cancelled altogether. I’ve gathered what information I can, below.

Apologies for any I’ve missed. Feel free to add in the comments. It could be that, at the time of writing, there’s no information about changes to a particular run.

Updated Race Calendar – March / April 2020 (as at 21st March)

Currently, the updated race calendar for (some of the) UK events looks like this:

Postponed – new dates to be confirmed

Alloa Half Marathon

London Landmarks Half Marathon (The organisers have an alternative challenge to help raise money for their charity partners, the Local Landmarks Half – details here)

Loughborough Half Marathon

Milton Keynes


Postponed – rescheduled

Dorset Ooser Marathon – 16th August

Edinburgh – 6th September

Weymouth Half – 6th September

Boston Half (UK) – 13th September

Brighton – 18th September (Friday)

Belvoir Half – 19th September

Blackpool – 26th & 27th September

London – 4th October

Manchester – 11th October

Westonbirt House Easter 10k & Half – 31st October


Bungay Black Dog Marathon 

Dorney Lake

Forest of Dean Half Marathon


Grand Union Canal Half

Hastings Half Marathon

Putney & Fulham Half

Regent’s Park Spring Half

Richmond Half & 10k

Shakespeare Marathon

Run Wigan Festival

Image credit – unsplash-logosporlab