One of Wellington's unluckiest Covid casualties has been hit for a fourth time, leaving its organisers more than $150,000 out of pocket.
The 2021 Wellington marathon, scheduled for this Sunday, has been cancelled following the government's announcement yesterday that the region would be remaining at alert level 2.
Event organiser Michael Jacques said the fourth cancellation was "gruelling", especially as the situation had looked positive after the postponement of the event in June.
"When it was postponed in June, at Wellington's alert level 2, we were reasonably confident because things seemed relatively stable in the country, outside of that wee blip in Wellington.
"Even when we went into the snap level 4 six weeks ago, even then we were reasonably confident we might pop out of it, but apparently not."
An email from the event organisers said they had spent more than $150,000 trying to hold the event, which was in its 35th year in 2020.
It was the fourth time the event had been postponed or cancelled.
The original 2020 event had been scheduled for June and postponed until August, before eventually being cancelled due to the August Auckland outbreak.
The 2021 marathon was initially scheduled for June, and postponed to October after a Covid-positive person from Sydney travelled through the capital, triggering a move to alert level 2.
With the costs and timeframes associated with planning an event – such as a 12-week application for road closures – the organisers said they were beyond the point of rescheduling the 2021 race.
All 2020 and 2021 entrants would be transferred over to 2022.
"There is literally nothing we can do – all we can do is organise what's in front," Jacques said.
Of the five events they organised each year, every single one had been postponed or cancelled in the past 18 months, he said.
The cancellation of the Wellington marathon on Sunday would be their seventh.
"The event industry, if nothing else is just a series of mass gatherings. We were the first people impacted and we'll probably be the last as well.
"You just keep working with what you've got and seeing what will happen."