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COVID-19: Excitement and cheers as runners unite in coronavirus-safe London races | UK News

A cheer erupted as the horn sounded for the start of the race.

The scene at Kempton Park in Surrey would once have looked so normal … hundreds of runners piled up next to each other ready for the start.

But lately it was far from usual and the joy of being together was clear.

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The joy of being together for the race was evident

“It’s incredibly exciting,” said Hugh Basher, Event Director, London Marathon Events.

“It’s been 16 months since we last hosted an event and bringing the nation together, getting them back to good physical and mental health is an incredible feeling.”

There were two races, both very different, and the two vital opportunities to gather evidence of the impact of mass participation events in relation to the coronavirus.

The first saw the runners start two by two to three seconds apart.

But just being at a big event doing what they love to do was pretty exciting.

“It feels good to be back!” Janet Conde said at the finish line.

“I do half marathons normally but not being able to do it for over a year is difficult.”

For the second race, social distancing was nowhere to be found and when the horn sounded, the runners leapt forward.

Across the racetrack, 30 cameras were installed to monitor crowd movements and research interactions.

Runners had a home PCR test before the race
Runners after taking part in the 5K Reunion in Kempton Park, London
There were two races at Saturday’s event

Trevor Michaels, who ran the first race, was delighted to get involved saying “the faster you get back to normal the better”.

“Data is really important to government … so being able to contribute to it and give something back – that’s very important.”

Each person on site was to undergo a lateral flow test the day before admission.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-15 13:27:00