The 2020 Knight Frank Point to Pinnacle, Tasmania’s largest fun run, has been forced to follow the same fate as many other events state-wide, nationally and globally, announcing the cancellation of this year’s annual run or walk from Wrest Point to the Pinnacle of Mount Wellington.
This will be the first time in 26 years that the event has not been run.
Organisers say the event was due to open entries this Saturday 1st August, but it is simply unable to proceed with so many current uncertainties going forward. Event Director Tim Smith said there are several factors that forced the decision “Currently we are faced with a mass gathering limit of 500 people and social distancing rules of 1.5m, last year’s event gathered over 4500 entries (plus over 400 officials and volunteers) and the nature of our course makes social distancing extremely difficult”
Organisers were hopeful of staging a ‘Tasmanian residents only’ event this year, however the mass gathering restrictions apply and it is still unknown whether they will increase to 3000 – 5000 by November.
The event now brings hundreds of interstaters and international participants annually, but with current and constantly changing travel restrictions and the current COVID-19 outbreaks, it is very unlikely that interstate participants would be able to enter this year.
Kim Gillard (Race Director) said “Obviously no one can predict what will be happening over the next 3 months, but as we have seen there is potential for COVID-19 outbreaks, particularly as border restrictions start to ease, It is
extremely disappointing that we have been forced into this situation, but we are no different to all other major events that have been affected by this pandemic.
Organisers indicated a COVID-19 Management Plan for the event would be extremely difficult to comply with, “We have 3000 people finishing on top of a mountain that is parked out with 65 Buses and we are unable to effectively move finishers on quickly like other events. Our space is very limited on the mountain and cuing for buses with appropriate social distancing is unachievable”
Weather on the mountain is unpredictable and can also play a major factor with participant safety “If we were faced with changing, potentially freezing weather, our concern would be managing the effective exit of everyone from the mountain while also complying with a COVID-19 Management Plan.
Organisers have also explored other options for staging the event, such as altered courses and staggered starts, however these changes would have significantly impacted on residents and traffic flow across Greater Hobart, with longer road closures required.
Although the P2P event will not look like it normally does this year, with a run or walk up Mount Wellington. Mr Smith and Mr Gillard are currently working on developing an exciting and unique physical challenge that can be completed this November along with opportunities to continue fundraising for charity, which has become a huge part of the event. “We still have big plans to offer something that will allow participants to engage on a huge scale this year, challenging times call for things to be done differently, so please stay tuned for future announcements”