The Gold Coast Marathon was among a handful of major events that have been forced to cancel following the Queensland’s Government’s decision to go into a snap lockdown.
The Brisbane Air Show, The Sanctuary Cove Food and Wine Festival and Moreton Bay’s Bonfire Night have also had to cancel.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk threw the state into a three-day lockdown because a 19-year old hospital receptionist and an Ipswich mine worker tested positive for Covid.
It marks the second year the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon was forced to cancel in what was meant to be a triumphant return to mass participation events since the pandemic first hit.
Organiser Events Management Queensland said the decision was not “made lightly”.
“It is with the utmost regret that due to the three-day lockdown enforced by the Queensland Government to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, Events Management Queensland has been left with no choice but to cancel the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon,” the organisers said.
“This decision has not been made lightly given the experience of the 2020 cancellation and comes with heartfelt disappointment.”
The event was set to see the largest ever Australian field of marathon runners in the event’s 42-year history with 5,200 entrants, half of who were traveling from interstate, and 20,000 people overall expected to participate in eight races over two days.
The expected loss due to this year’s cancellation is estimated at $25 million.
Events Management Queensland chief executive Cameron Hart told the ABC that in the run up to the event “everything was looking so promising”.
“We had perfect conditions [and] at that stage there were no restrictions in Queensland,” he said.
“That rapid spread of the virus now is just too big a thing for us to handle.”
Hart called on the government to offer some financial assistance to the beleaguered events industry and its suppliers.
“This industry needs some help to continue,” he said.
“There’s a lot of suppliers and a lot of them are small businesses.”