A RUNNING race due to be held at a Chester village this weekend has been called off by the council over rising coronavirus fears.

The Farndon 10k had been due to take place on Sunday, September 27 at 10am, with a number of changes in accordance with Run Britain guidelines to make races Covid-19 secure.

It would have seen hundreds of runners set off in staggered start times on closed roads.

But organisers Run Cheshire & Gogledd Cymru confirmed on Wednesday, September 23 they had received notification from the Director of Public Health Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council that they were no longer able to stage the race on Sunday.

A statement on the Farndon 10k Facebook page, which has been emailed to all those who were expected to take part in the event, said: "Whilst the race complies with Covid-19 guidance from both the UK government and UK Athletics/Run Britain, Cheshire West and Chester Council are concerned with the 'current increase in infection rates and the footprint of the event'.

"There is also the concern that 'Entrants coming from outside the area risk 'seeding' of the virus locally'.

"It was also commented that '...since the end of August our daily rates have doubled, our 7 day and 14 day rates have trebled'.

"This is not a reflection on us, our recent Covid-secure race the Mid-Cheshire 5k was described by the UK Athletics official as being 'conducted to the highest standards...the best race I have ever adjudicated at. Truly an example to follow'.

"We are of course disappointed, the weather forecast looks great (for once) and we have amassed a brilliant field of local and not so local athletes.

"However, we have to respect the decision of the Director Public Health in the region.

"We are also residents in the Cheshire West and Chester authority region so we also have some responsibility towards our neighbours."

Runners are being invited to choose either to run the 10k distance 'virtually', by running 10km on a route of their choice, to obtain a medal, defer their entry to 2021, or donate their entry fee to the organisers.

Most running events have been postponed or cancelled for 2020 in the Cheshire West and Chester area since the onset of the pandemic, notably including the Chester Marathon.

Currently, the Cheshire 10k at Arley Hall on October 11 and the Running Grand Prix at Oulton Park, Tarporley on December 6 are still scheduled to go ahead on private road courses.