TAUNTON Marathon has been cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit sports events across the globe.

Orgnaisers of the annual Taunton Marathon and Half Marathon have announced that the 2020 events will not take place as the UK works to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The event was scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 5.

Taunton Carnival Committee Chair Marilyn House said “There is a very real prospect of mass gatherings being banned.

"With the races only three weeks away it would be irresponsible of us to go on taking entries from runners in these circumstances.

"After a lot of heartsearching we have decided it is in everyone’s interests for us to say now the races will not take place."

“We know this will disappoint many people, ourselves included “said Race Director John Lewis, “but the decision will be taken for us if we don’t act now.

"We will make a statement by the end of the week about where we go from here. We’ve obviously incurred some costs but are seeking to minimize others. That will enable us to look at any possible refunds or deferments.

"We will contact everyone again in a few days. We'd appreciate it very much if we weren't bombarded immediately with questions about refunds."

2020 would have marked the 37th annual Taunton Marathon. Last year, more than 1,000 signed up for the full marathhon, and an additional 250 took part in the half marathon.