The Royal Parks Foundation has dismissed concerns by The Times and the Liberal Democrats that President's Trump's visit could disrupt its annual fundraising marathon.
A spokesman for the Royal Parks Foundation told Civil Society News that the Royal Parks Half Marathon, scheduled for 8 October “will be going ahead as planned”, after the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron made a statement which said the fundraising event must “trump Trump”.
The question of whether or not the visit of President Trump, now scheduled for the second week of October, might disrupt or even force the cancellation of the annual half marathon fundraiser was first raised by Times journalist Sam Coates over the bank holiday weekend, with Farron quickly issuing a statement in support of the event.
Coates said that Trump’s arrival, and apparent insistence on “a carriage journey down The Mall” to Buckingham Palace, would see security shut down much of central London, including many of the parks – such as Hyde Park, Green Park and Kensington Gardens – through which the half marathon is run.
Tim Farron, said reports that Trump’s visit to the UK may impact on the running of the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon were “concerning” and that to his mind it was “clear which of the two events would be most popular”.
“The Royal Parks Half Marathon is a huge event for thousands of runners, their friends and families. So many charities are supported by those taking part and it has become a renowned event that must go ahead,” said Farron.
“Reports that it may be impacted by Donald Trump’s visit to the UK are concerning – the invitation for this visit was made far too hastily in any instance, but it shouldn’t jeopardise such a set piece event
“I think it is clear which of the two events would be most popular – the Royal Parks Half must trump Trump.”
Over £25m raised through half marathon since 2007
The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon was first run in 2007 and has since raised over £30m for its partner charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK and the NSPCC.
In Fundraising Magazine
Over 16,000 runners took part in the 2016 event, which raised approximately £4m.
The 2017 Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon is scheduled to be the event’s 10th anniversary.
The Royal Parks Foundation, itself a registered charity, had an income of £3.9m and spending of £3.7m up until the year ending 31 March 2016, according to its most recent set of accounts.