A HUGE Southampton running event will take place this year, organisers have said.

Bosses organizing the ABP Southampton Marathon have confirmed that the event will return to the city this September.

Originally scheduled for April this year, following talks with Southampton City Council and other key stakeholders, it has now been decided to move this popular Spring event to September 5.

The event will be hosted during the autumn when Covid-19 restrictions should be eased far enough to allow the event to happen safely for runners, the volunteers and the city.

Alastair Welch, Director of ABP Southampton, said: “It’s fantastic news that one of the most popular sporting events in Southampton is back on the cards for this year.

"We have been a sponsor of the marathon since it began and have seen the excitement and wellbeing benefits it brings to the local community, which we are proud to support.”

With 10,000 runners regularly attending the event, the organisers, ReesLeisure, are working closely with Southampton City Council and UK Athletics to ensure the event meets all Covid restrictions and up to date requirements at the time.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Homes Councillor Satvir Kaur said: "City events have been sorely missed from Southampton’s calendar during this pandemic. Southampton City Council have and always will prioritise health and wellbeing, but we are still working with event organisers and our Events Safety Advisory Group which includes our Public Health team to explore what may be possible and safe later this year.

"It is an evolving situation, but we are excited that the ABP Marathon organisers are keen to run this year; with keeping active being so important for our wellbeing, many like myself have tried to use lockdown as an opportunity to get our running shoes out and exercise more."

Runners already signed up to this April’s event will be automatically entered in to the September event and those who are unable to make the new date will be offered several options including deferring to a future event or receiving a refund.

Organisers have also issued a Covid guarantee so anyone who signs up from now will also be able to defer or get a refund if further restrictions are brought back in, but with good news of vaccine roll outs the organisers are confident for the return.

Spaces are available until the end of May or when the 10,000 runners limit is reached.