Updated: 2021-02-04 (the latest update applies to the Swedish Public Health Agency’s first report in the assignment to, based on the infection situation and from a health-promoting perspective, analyse which infection control measures should be taken at different levels of covid-19 infection during 2021. Read more below).
How the corona virus will affect races scheduled for 2021 is still not known, but at Marathongruppen we’re working hard to be able to stage safe and enjoyable events for you, our runners – despite the uncertainty we’re still living and working under.
Since March, almost a year ago, we’ve been forced to cancel all of our planned events for 2020. We’ve adapted to the current situation by, amongst other things, arranging virtual editions of the races which were cancelled, but if we are going to be able to continue to operate, we must look forward. Based on the information we have right now, we are carrying out an extensive scenario study to plan how we will organise ASICS Stockholm Marathon and our other races, depending on how the situation may be at various points in time during 2021.
On this page we’re inviting participants to follow this work. It’s a living project which will be updated according to where we stand with new knowledge, guidelines and recommendations we must follow.
On 29 March 2020 a government ban was introduced on public gatherings with more than 50 persons, which, amongst other things, means that all open competitions (such as Marathongruppen’s mass races), assembling 50 or more persons at the same place at the same time, are prohibited. The restriction was further tightened on 24 November when the limit was set at a maximum of eight people (which will apply at least until the beginning of 2021). The restriction covers the entire competition area, no matter how big it is or how long the course is, which has made it impossible for us and other organisers of mass races to obtain permission for our races.
For the sake of public health, the spread of infection must be kept to a minimum, but we know that we have the requirements to be able to organise mass-participation races outdoors, for healthy people and with the same social distancing conditions which apply for society as a whole.
(Article originally published in Swedish at marathon.se, 2021-01-21).
The Public Health Agency of Sweden was tasked by the government to analyse what infection control measures should be taken for various levels of covid-19 infection rates during 2021. This was on the basis of the infection status of the pandemic as well as from a health-promotional perspective. The first report of the study was released on 20 January, and provides some optimism for upcoming mass-participation events.
– We are cautiously optimistic and thankful that there now seems to be both room for manoeuvre and a willingness to allow a “covid-safe” organisation of mass-participation races when the level of infection becomes less serious. Sports organisations are in need of this, as well as people’s general health and well-being, said Daniel Almgren who is head of operations for the Nordic region’s largest organisation of mass-participation fitness events, Marathongruppen.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden writes that, at present, infection is still at a high level but clarifies:
“Proposals for control measures at various levels of infection will be made based on the high/moderate/low levels of infection in society. There are no exact incidence figures for when respective levels are reached but this must be a considered judgement based on the prevailing situation, and can differ at both regional and national level.”
It is the responsibility of the Public Health Agency of Sweden together with the regional infection control units to assess the current level of infection. The most important message in the report for participants and organisers of mass-participation events is:
”When the spread of infection decreases from a high to moderate level, restrictions can be adjusted for events which are held outdoors as well as events which are held indoors with a seated public. The restrictions on the number of participants should, in this case, instead be based on the number of available seats or on the available space. (….) Events which are held outdoors in a non-demarcated area can be exempt from a limit on number of participants if the organiser can ensure that overcrowding is avoided.”
– We, who are so keen to see participants again at our events, read two positive pieces of information in the Health Agency’s report. One is that mass-participation races are the type of activity which can be exempt when the infection level has improved. The other is that parameters, other than simply a fixed number of participants, will be considered, which opens up for considerably larger events, said Lotta Lindblom, event director for Marathongruppen. She continued:
– We know that we and our colleagues in the industry can take responsibility and organise safe events adapted to the existing restrictions. We have experience of handling large, complicated flows of people, and for almost a year have been planning how we can stage events as safely and professionally as possible. Finally, we believe we have reached a point where the authorities also understand that it is possible. Now the most important thing is to continue to act so that the infection rates decrease, but the recent information has given us a welcome boost and much more optimism.
We aim to hold ASICS Stockholm Marathon on 5 June 2021, and our two main scenarios are based on that being possible. But we still don’t know how the situation will be in the spring, and autumn 2021 is already becoming filled with other events. Therefore, we’ve decided now to secure an alternative autumn date. The race has not been moved, but if we find ourselves in a situation where we must do so, then 9 October is our reserve date. By 31 March at the latest, we will announce if the race has to be moved to the autumn. Read more about our various scenarios below.
Regardless of the scenario, we will carry out an infection control plan which is developed by all the organisers of large mass-participation events, together with federations within athletics, orienteering, skiing, cycling and swimming.
Date: 5 June 2021
.Summary: The event is organised according to the original plan but with clear infection control measures.Arrangement: Infection control measures such as surgical masks for officials, hand sanitizer, requests to stay home if you feel sick, etcetera, according to the current recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
Date: 5 June 2021.Summary: Event which is completely adapted to corona requirements.Arrangement: Social distancing, no friends/family/support in the event area, controlled corralling of runners and several start groups under a longer period of time, event’s expo times extended, one-lap course, maximum number of participants can be reduced, ”first-come, first-served”, quicker dispersal of runners after the race, etcetera.
Date: 9 October 2021.Summary: Event is moved to autumn and is organised with clear infection control measures.Arrangement: Infection control measures such as surgical masks for officials, hand sanitizer, requests to stay home if you feel sick, etcetera, according to the current recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
Date: 9 October 2021.Summary: Event is moved to autumn and is completely adapted to corona requirements.Arrangement: Social distancing, no friends/family/support in the event area, controlled corralling of runners and several start groups under a longer period of time, event’s expo times extended, one-lap course, maximum number of participants can be reduced, ”first-come, first-served”, quicker dispersal of runners after the race, etcetera.
ASICS Stockholm High Five, Stockholm Mini Marathon and Leos Minsta Maran are organised in conjunction with ASICS Stockholm Marathon and the arrangement of these races will be adapted to the scenario which applies to the marathon race.
Update 2021-02-10: ASICS Premiärmilen will be postponed to 28 August and ASICS Premiärhalvan to 18 September. Our goal is still to hold ASICS Stockholm Marathon on 5 June 2021. By 31 March at the latest, we will announce if the race has to be moved to its reserve date, 9 October. Thank you for your patience – we look forward to seeing you on the starting line againl
Our recommendation is that you block both dates in the calendar and, if possible, wait to book travel and accommodation or select options with free cancellation. No later than 31 March, we will announce if we will have to move the race to the autumn. We have also developed registration alternatives that will make it safer for you who want to participate in one of our races in the future. Read more about the voucher (värdecheck), our flexible start place, below.
ASICS Stockholm Marathon 2021 will take place and we have presented above, as extensively as we can at the moment, how it will be arranged. In order to further safeguard your position, we’ve introduced a product which we call värdecheck (voucher). The voucher is like a normal start place but you can choose which of the next three years you will run the race you have paid for. If you buy a voucher for ASICS Stockholm Marathon now, it will be valid as a start place in 2021, 2022 or 2023. So you can take it easy and wait until you feel ready to redeem your start place. This must happen at the latest one month before the start, to guarantee you a place. Once you have cashed in your voucher, it will no longer be possible to postpone your race to a later date. → Read more about the voucher
The requirements for organising events during this pandemic are constantly changing. In early September when we opened registration, there were indications that restrictions were already easing and we were, therefore, confident that we could open a normal registration. At this time, we launched our flexible start place värdecheck (voucher) and updated our General Terms and Conditions in order to make the conditions for participants as clear as possible. Over the autumn we have invested a lot of time and energy in being able to present, as early as possible, the various scenarios for how the event is going to be arranged. We will continue to update these, on an ongoing basis, so that participants will always be able to have an insight into our plans. → Read more about the voucher → Read the General Terms and Conditions here
We have an ongoing dialogue with the police and other authorities in order to establish how we can best organise ASICS Stockholm Marathon 2021. Our starting point is that we will hold the race on the usual course, and if we need to make changes due to prevailing restrictions, then we will look at alternative courses as central as possible. The exact course depending on the scenario will be announced as soon as it is possible.
If the date of the race is moved to 9 October, your registration will automatically be transferred. In our new general terms and conditions, which you accepted at registration, it specifies what happens in the event of a date change. → Read the General Terms and Conditions here
26 October 2020: The first communication about the scenario study for ASICS Stockholm Marathon 2021.
31 March 2021 (latest): The decision if we have to move the race to our reserve date 9 October 2021.
5 June 2021: ASICS Stockholm Marathon 2021.
9 October 2021: Reserve date for ASICS Stockholm Marathon 2021.
It is a challenging but also rewarding task, as we want nothing more than to be able to deliver race experiences for you, our runners and to continue to channel the profits back into the sport. Our aim in both cases is to promote people’s general health and well-being. That is our job. We believe in and look forward to 2021 with more opportunities to keep fit and run races together!
Marathongruppen is a non-profit organisation where all profits go back to our owner associations Hässelby SK Friidrott (Track & Field) and Spårvägens Friidrottsklubb (Track & Field), and other non-profit organisations what we cooperate with. Our owners’ associations run children’s and youth activities and they also have elite athletes. More importantly, before our owner associations receive their contribution, a much larger proportion has gone to other associations, a total of over a hundred sports associations that receive a large portion of their annual income through our events. Revenue that make it possible to conduct daily operations with everything from coaches and office staff to local rents and equipment.