The UNICEF Charity Run 2016 scheduled for today (27 November 2016) has been cancelled due to adverse weather that had started since yesterday afternoon. As gusty wind and heavy rain over the venue of the event, the carpark area outside the Hong Kong Disneyland, continued into midnight without sign of slowing and the inclement weather gathered force, it made installation of the facilities for the Run a huge challenge. Some of the structures assembled for the event were being blown down by strong winds while others were just unable to be set up, causing concerns for safety hazard to our contractors, staff and volunteers.
The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) and its supporting partners, including the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA), conducted a thorough risk assessment of the event by inspecting the race track as well as the entire venue. Concluding by 1:00am this morning, as strong wind and rain continued unabatedly, compounded by some fallen trees and the potholes along the track, the Run was considered to pose increased risks to runners and would potentially create more injuries and incidents, that would be exacerbated by the drastic fall of temperature, posing threats of hypothermia to some runners.
Safety is of utmost importance in all UNICEF events. Having assessed the weather conditions under which the Run was conducted, UNICEF HK, together with HKAAA, has come to a decision at 1:00 am this morning that the Run had to be cancelled.
Cancellation notice was broadcast through various channels, including SMS, email, UNICEF Charity Run Facebook page and website, and news media. Arrangement has been made with public transportation to provide information to runners at pick up points while volunteers were also in place to give assistance. We noticed that a small handful of runners, having missed the information, made their way to the venue. We apologise for the inconvenience so caused.
Cancelling this well anticipated event was a tough decision but was for the safety of our participants, many of whom are young children and others of are more mature individuals. UNICEF HK is proud to be offering this annual fun and sporting event to families, corporate and elite runners. Major efforts have been spent to organize the Run and with huge support of over 14,000 runners this year, along with corporate partners and sponsors, it would not have been an easy decision to call it off. We apologise for having to come to this decision.
UNICEF HK is discussing with Hong Kong Disneyland with regard to pursuing further arrangement of the Run. We would take this opportunity to thank our supporters, partners and sponsors for your understanding. We hope to be able to provide further information about the progress of the alternative arrangement for the Run at the earliest.