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Great East Swim and SwimRun events cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak - but refunds and medals will still be given out

The John West Great East Swim and John West Great East Swim Run, which were scheduled to take place on the June 20, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A statement released today by the dual event's organisers The Great Run Company said: "The decision to cancel the events has been taken following government advice on slowing the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). In addition, organisers have acknowledged the increased pressure on public services that the coronavirus outbreak is causing."

It did say that 'all entrants will be able to claim a refund' and that they are in the process of contacting everyone who is signed up for both events, set to be staged at Alton Water, south of Ipswich, by email with further information.

Great east swim entrants 2019 (31007967)
Great east swim entrants 2019 (31007967)

Medals will also still be awarded to participants who send them a picture, as detailed below.

Paul Foster, chief executive at the Great Run Company, said: “We understand this will be disappointing news to the people who were planning to take part, but the safety of participants, spectators and of all those associated with the staging of the events is always our number one priority.

“We would also like to highlight the fantastic support we get from health professionals at our events, many of whom work with us on a voluntary basis. We know they will be dealing with additional pressure both in their work and personal lives at this time.

Great east swim entrants 2019 (31007989)
Great east swim entrants 2019 (31007989)

“We want to thank all of our participants and partners for their continued support and understanding.”

The statement added that those who are signed up to take part in the John West Great East Swim will still have the opportunity to claim their medal.

"All swimmers have to do is submit a photo showing how they have been managing to get their swimming, or any other activity, in at home and they will receive their medal in the post," it said. "Instructions confirming the medal process will be emailed to them."

Paul Foster explained the decision to still celebrate and recognise people's personal achievements in the lead up to the race.

Great east swim entrants 2019 (31007949)
Great east swim entrants 2019 (31007949)

He said: “Event day is only a small part of the challenge our swimmers take on, they put in a huge amount of preparation and training in the weeks and months before. They should be able to celebrate that achievement.

"We encourage those who were signed up to swim to recognise all the hard work they have already put in and consider still passing on the money raised to the charity if possible.”