In autumn 2020, when we opened the registration for this year’s ASICS Stockholm Marathon, we strongly believed that it was going to be possible to hold the race on 5 June 2021. Then, just before the infection rates increased again, we also set an alternative date for autumn 2021, in case we needed to move the race.
Through scenario planning and lobbying we’ve been fighting to be able to organise ASICS Stockholm Marathon according to the original plan but we’ve now reached a point where we’ve had to make the decision to move the race to our alternative date – 9 October 2021. For those of you who are already registered for ASICS Stockholm Marathon 2021, your start place will automatically be transferred to the new race date.
We wanted to wait as long as possible as we’ve continued to hope for an easing in the restrictions for organising mass-participation sports events outdoors. However, as we announced in the autumn, 31 March is the deadline for a decision on a change of date and as the situation looks right now, we will not be given permission to organise ASICS Stockholm Marathon as early as the beginning of June.
The level of infection is still critical but we are optimistic about the autumn, given the existing vaccination plan and the signals we’ve received from the authorities about how infection rates will be in the autumn. We also expect that the government will soon present new regulations regarding our type of event. The Public Health Agency of Sweden states that when the infection rates are low and the health care system is in a more favourable position to deal with patients suffering from Covid-19, there will no longer be a limit on number of participants in a race. We are continuing to follow updates and will, of course, adapt to possible restrictions and the guidelines which are in force in October.
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.
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: 9 October 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: 9 October 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.
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
Your registration will automatically be transferred to the new race date. 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
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
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.
26 October 2020: The first communication about the scenario study for ASICS Stockholm Marathon 2021.
16 March 2021: The decision is mage tomove the race to our alternative date 9 October 2021.
5 June 2021: Original date for ASICS Stockholm Marathon 2021.
9 October 2021: 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.