The Great Run Company have announced that the Great East Run and Great East Swim will not be staged in the future. The Great East Swim has been staged at Alton Water since 2009 while the Great East Run was launched in 2017, starting and finishing in Ipswich.
The decision comes after the cancellation of the Great East Run in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Great East Swim was also last held in 2019, with the 2020 event cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2021 event postponed twice and then cancelled due to high levels of blue-green algae at the Alton Water event site.
A spokesperson for the Great Run Company said: “The ambition was to bring a bring high quality running and open water swim event to Suffolk and we’ve achieved that goal, which makes the decision to no longer stage these events a very difficult one.
“From the first firing of the start gun in 2017 to the last finisher crossing the line in 2019, we’ve enormously enjoyed delivering the Great East Run and seeing thousands achieve their goals and raise significant funds for charity.
“Unfortunately, following the Covid enforced cancellation of the event in 2019 and 2020, as well as ongoing operational challenges, it is no longer viable for us to stage the event.
“For a very different reason the Great East Swim is no longer feasible due to ongoing challenges with Blue-Green Algae which has caused the event to be impossible to stage in 2021. We have explored ways to mitigate this as well as looking for other locations, but unfortunately, we haven’t found a solution to the problem and we can’t continue to operate without confidence the event will go ahead.
“We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to our partners Suffolk County Council, Jaffa Run Club and Anglian Water for their excellent support. We would also like to thank everyone who has taken part or supported the events over the past thirteen years.”
Anyone who currently has an entry into the Great East Swim event will receive a full refund – all entrants will receive an email from the event organisers with more details.