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April 1st, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you and your family in the best of health.

We are living under unprecedented conditions. On behalf of the IAU I want to extend our most sincere thoughts to you, your families and your communities during these trying times.

As you know the pandemic has spared very few areas globally and has been affecting our everyday lives. Citizens around the world have re-aligned their priorities to align with the current circumstances.

We have been closely following the Covid-19 spread across the world, reading advice from the WHO and we are in regular discussions with the Local Organizing Committees for all Major IAU Championships this year. We have very strong partnerships with several global athletic organizations and we have had regular calls with them about the situation.

There are a lot of athletes from the IAU Family who are finding themselves in financial uncertainty, several other who are in heavily infected areas and thousands who are unable to train in a community setting due to the restrictions in place. The situation is varied from region to region but in essence the conditions are very restrictive throughout the world.

Please be assured that we are working very diligently on the status of our upcoming championships. We are discussing closely with the LOCs and monitoring the situation carefully. We want to respect our athletes, federations and LOCs keeping in mind that any decision we make whether it is cancellation or postponement will be done at the earliest time possible keeping the health, safety and security at the forefront.

Currently we have postponed both our Nordic Challenge and the Americas 24Hr championships which were to be held in April and May respectively.  We will be considering with the LOCs  the possibilities of holding these later in the year or not depending on the situation. The Balkan Challenge has been cancelled for 2020.

These are difficult times for our global IAU family. All of you are in our thoughts and we want to ensure that when we do host our next championship it will be safe for everyone involved.

The IAU Executive Council had met at the end February in Athens and we have made decisions on several important initiatives on international ultrarunning. We will be sharing some of these developments in the upcoming weeks and months.

Please take this time to stay safe respecting your local recommendations. Our borders might be closed right now, social distancing might seem what is pulling us apart but in the end all of this is what will bring us closer together. We are all in this together. Ultrarunning is a great metaphor for life and it is more relevant today than ever. Ultrarunners are resilient and we will all come out of this stronger!

We at the IAU Council want to wish you and your families the very best as you stay safe from Covid-19. We will continue to work on the development of the sport and inform you of any changes as we progress through the next few months.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can assist with. Stay healthy... Stay safe Friends!

Yours in Sport,

Nadeem Khan
IAU President 

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