As the organisers of the SwissCityMarathon - Lucerne, we too find ourselves in an unfamiliar situation and cannot estimate whether and how our event will take place at the end of October. As one of the largest running events in Switzerland, we are a member of the Swiss Runners and are committed to the concerns and promotion of running in Switzerland.
Lobbying in Bern
First loosenings from the lockdown are imminent. Together with Swiss Athletics, the Swiss Runners are working to ensure that the running events are not forgotten when developing strategies for exiting the lockdown. Reto Schorno, Managing Director of the SwissCityMarathon - Lucerne and President of the Swiss Runners, however, admits: "As long as minimum distances between people apply, it will be difficult in mass sport to hold running events in the current framework. We will have to get used to a new normality". The Swiss Runners will make sure and find solutions together with the Swiss Confederation to ensure that mass sport also benefits from the promised financial support. In this context, in addition to ongoing lobbying, a letter to the Federal Council has been written to draw attention to the difficult situation of running events.
The association Swiss Runners, founded in 1994, operates the online platform swiss-running.ch together with Swiss Athletics (the professional association for athletics in Switzerland). This platform supports the running organisers in communicating cancelled events or postponements. All current dates for the runs in Switzerland can be found in the online running guide at https://guide.swiss-running.ch/de. With the help of the social media of Swiss Running, a direct and constant communication to the runners takes place. Follow Swiss Running on instagram and facebook.
Launch of the viRACE APP for virtual runs
Together with running.COACH, Swiss Running launched the "viRACE" app in a very short time. This app enables runners to hold a virtual race for running events despite a cancellation, thus giving them a little racing feeling.
Participants run at a specific time, individually, at any location and with virtual rather than direct contact to other runners. The requirements of the authorities regarding social distancing must of course also be observed in virtual races. The cancelled "Luzerner Stadtlauf" on 25 April was the first time held as a virtual race. Over 1500 people took part and ran somewhere in the world. A family in New Zealand got up at 03:00 (local time) in the morning to be able to participate in the race on time.
More about viRACE can be found here.
Runners show solidarity
Special times require special measures and it takes all of us. We were all looking forward to a great and successful 2020. But things turned out differently. Many organizers prepared for their event in vain and invested a lot of time, money and enthusiasm. Due to the numerous cancellations, some of them at very short notice, various events are now facing a shambles. To ensure that the diversity of the running scene in Switzerland is maintained in the future, the support of every runner is needed and is most welcome. "Many runners have already donated their paid entry fees at cancelled events," says Reto Schorno, President of Swiss Runners, enthusiastically about the solidarity and great help from runners throughout Switzerland.
For this, we as organizers of the SwissCityMarathon - Lucerne say THANK YOU, MERCI, GRAZIE, GRAZIA and hope that there will be as many imitators as possible. Only this way the survival of many running events will be possible. And now there is nothing left for us but to continue and look ahead positively in the hope that we will get clarity in the coming weeks as to what will happen to the running events this year.
The current situation in the Swiss running scene was also discussed in TV in the Sportpanorama of 3 May 2020. If you are interessted have a look (in German only)