The Manchester Marathon has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The race, which was due to take place on Sunday 5th April, had been postponed until an unspecified date in the autumn.
A statement from the organisers said: “ In light of escalating concerns surrounding the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 on public health we have made the tough decision to postpone the 2020 Manchester Marathon which was due to take place on Sunday 5th April.
“As the organiser of a mass participation sporting event such as this we have a responsibility to ensure the safety and health of our runners, spectators and crew, and to do everything within our power to prevent the virus from spreading further.
“Since the outbreak of the virus we have been closely monitoring the situation and working alongside fellow organisers, medical experts and our stakeholders to fully understand its impacts. Based on the most up to date information available from Public Health England and interpretations from our Medical Director, we have no option but to postpone.
“We understand the intensive training involved in taking on a marathon and the effort that goes in to fundraising for those who are supporting a cause close to their hearts. It is our desire to ensure runners have the opportunity to cross the finish line and our contingency planning includes a postponement, likely to be in the Autumn of 2020, as well as options for runners to complete the marathon remotely.
“We will issue a further update regarding next steps by Wednesday 18th March at 6pm. Whilst we understand many people are likely to have questions, we’d appreciate your understanding and patience until this time.
Organisers said they were “working to firm up the date” for the postponed race, but it was “likely to be the autumn”.
The 26-mile race is one of the biggest events in the Altrincham calendar and passes through both Altrincham town centre and Timperley village.