It is with great regret that the Fellsman Committee has taken the decision to cancel this year’s Fellsman, scheduled for the 25th and 26th April 2020, in light of the current situation with COVID-19. This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are aware that many will be bitterly disappointed. We wished to make the decision ourselves, before it could be made for us, and felt it was only fair to give you our reasons for taking this action:
- The Fellsman is wholly dependent on volunteers to run the event on the weekend. With the current spread of the virus we cannot ensure that we will have enough staff available to man the event to the required levels of safety. All we need is one checkpoint team to require to self-isolate on the Friday evening and the whole event could not run.
- Whilst we are aware that at the current time the Government is not advising cancellation of outdoor sporting events, the logistics involved with running the Fellsman mean that we could not guarantee provision of sufficient facilities for maintaining increased hygiene levels out on the route. Also, there are periods where large numbers of people are confined in relatively small spaces across the event (e.g. kit check, the start, checkpoint tents, etc.) which makes the Fellsman not a normal outdoor event. In all conscience we feel we cannot put either entrants or staff in positions of increased risk.
- We are concerned that, should the unnecessary stockpiling of goods and provisions continue, we would not be in a position to provide adequate refreshments around the route.
- The event is dependent upon use of a school as our HQ. Given that school closures may well by imposed by the Government at some point over the coming weeks, it is possible that the school management/local council may not allow us access to the building for the event.
- As you are aware the Fellsman is a non-profit event run by a team of volunteers from Keighley District Scout Network. The monies paid to us in entry fees support the year’s event and we do not have a large cash buffer in place to absorb costs from a cancelled event. At the current time the outlay for this year’s event has been minimal with large payments due in the next week or so. By taking the decision to cancel now, before these payments are made, we can ensure that, after refunding entrants their entry fee, the Fellsman still has sufficient funds in reserve to allow us to run in 2021.
- Finally, and most crucially, our decision as a Committee to cancel the event has coincided with a decision from Keighley District Scouting that the event cannot be held.
The Committee would like to thank you for your patience whilst we sort out refunding entry fees, and meal and transport payments, through PayPal. Only monies relating to map orders will not be refunded.
We are aware that some entrants will have made accommodation bookings in the local hotels and B&Bs. Please consider using the weekend to still come and spend some time in our lovely countryside – without the need for a 62-mile slog through bogs and moorland.
Please contact us if you have any concerns/queries.
We will be back in April 2021. Entries open 1st Jan 2021.
The Fellsman Committee