THE Edinburgh Marathon has been postponed until September due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers have announced.

The event, much of which takes place in East Lothian, had been due to take place in May but has now been postponed until the autumn as events across the country are called off in a bid to stop the spread of the disease.

A statement from the organisers on the event's website said: "We have been working closely with the local authorities in Edinburgh and East Lothian, the emergency service teams and our other delivery partners, and are delighted to confirm that the Edinburgh Marathon Festival will take place on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September, 2020."

Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival race director, said: “We are grateful that an alternative date has been secured for the event and we want to thank those who have been part of making this happen.

“We know how important the event is for our affiliate charities and those who have been committed to training through the winter months to put themselves on the start line.

"The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is a beacon of positivity, at a time when it is needed most. It gives people the opportunity to focus on what comes beyond the concerns and uncertainty of the coming weeks, to know that it will pass, and that they still have the opportunity to achieve something truly great – 2020 does not need to be defined by the virus, it can remain defined by our participants as a year of personal triumph.”

The website statement continued: "The importance of selecting a date that would allow participants an appropriate timeline to successfully alter their training programme and travel itinerary, has been paramount.

"We sincerely hope that all our current participants will be able to join us on September 5 and 6; however, if that is not possible, we have extended the entry transfer period until 5pm on Friday, July 31.

"Entries for the 2020 event have now re-opened and will remain open until noon on Friday, May 22, or until they reach capacity, whichever comes first. At this point, entries for the May 2021 event will become available.

"We would like to thank our participants for their understanding and patience over the past few days, to encourage everyone to continue following the advice given by the World Health Organisation to prevent the wider spread of the virus, and to continue making sensible decisions to keep others safe during this time."