The junior world cup for mountain running due to be staged in Ambleside this summer has been postponed till the autumn.
The International Under 18 Mountain Running Cup will now be held on October 17.
The world’s premier competition for young runners is being staged in England for the first time, and is a remarkable coup for the host club Ambleside AC. Young athletes from around the world are due to take part in what promises to be a festival of running for the town.
There will be a parade with national flags through the streets to an opening ceremony on the evening of October 16, which will also see an uphill time trial race to the summit of Wansfell.
The chair of the organising committee, Duncan Richards, said: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty created by COVID-19 it has been decided to postpone the WMRA International U18 Cup. This event will now take place on October 17, when we hope things will have returned to some form of normality.
“It is obviously disappointing but in the circumstances appropriate. The Local Organising Committee is determined to have a celebration of international junior mountain running for us all to look forward to.”
The youth event has been a stepping stone for under-18 fell and mountain runners to race internationally since 2006. Olympic triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee are among those who have started their international racing careers at this championship, and for the last 12 years teams from across the world have converged annually at mountain locations in Italy, France, Ireland, Bulgaria and Czech Republic to compete for the trophy.
The races will start in the town’s Rothay Park and cover marked courses on Loughrigg fell. The athletes will be accommodated at Ambleside YHA over the weekend.