Northburn organisers cancel event

If in doubt cancel — that is the approach taken by the organisers of this year’s Northburn 100, who have cancelled the gruelling 100km ultra race at the 11th hour.

The race, which was to take place at Northburn Station near Cromwell today and tomorrow is yet another sports event to fall victim to fears over the spread of Covid-19.

Race director Terry Davis said the decision was not made lightly but was to ‘‘err of the side of caution’’.

‘‘We pulled the pin, based on conversations with our medic team leader.’’

His sister also had an influence on the decision, Mr Davis said.

‘‘My sister works as a [Covid-19] task force leader in Christchurch.’’

The situation unfolded rapidly, he said.

‘‘On Monday our medic was quite relaxed, on Wednesday my sister was on the fence.’’

Concerns were centred less on the event itself and more on the number of spectators and the movement of people, he said.

‘‘We were also following the recommendations of the Government, and ‘if in doubt’.’’

Some Australians scheduled to take part had made it into New Zealand before the 14-day self-isolation rule was passed but that rule had since changed, he said.

While he was ‘‘loath to join the toilet paper hoarding, over-reactionary people’’ he believed the decision was responsible.

‘‘I would have preferred if the Government banned public gatherings altogether, but the crux of it is they don’t want want public gatherings and they don’t want people moving around.’’


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