A colourful charity fun run in Southend which has raised more than £1.6million since it began in 2007 has been cancelled this year, for “reasons outside the organisers control”.
The Colourthon, due to take place on July 2, will not now go ahead and organisers say they will be refunding fees paid by those who registered.
Thousands of fundraisers have taken part in the event since it began, raising funds for charities of their choice.
The fun event, consisting of a moonlight half marathon and the Twilight 10k challenge, gets its name from the colourful attire worn by participants.
The event has supported more than 700 charities and has become one of the top fundraising events in Essex.
The shock announcement was posted on the event’s Facebook page.
It said: “Unfortunately, and with great regret, we have to announce that this year’s Colourthon on Saturday, July 2, will now not be taking place and, as such, entries will no longer be accepted through The Colourthon website.
“This decision was taken by the Colourthon Organising Committee and is as a direct result of issues that were just out of our control.
“We apologise to all the lovely walkers that have already registered for one of this year’s events.
“If you are one of the people that have already registered, you will be receiving a full refund of your entry fees over the next week.”
Speculation has mounted that Southend Council had been involved in the cancellation, but Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for environment, culture, tourism and planning, said this was categorically untrue.
She said: “We never even got to have a view on it because the organisers withdrew it before that.
“We don’t know what the reason is, but it’s nothing to do with the council.
“It’s very disappointing but there could be many reasons for it. They might not have been able to get enough stewards. It could be anything.”
The Colourthon last took place in 2019 before COVID-19 put it on hold.
The event was created by Julian Hart, a member of Southend Roundtable.
Organisers were contacted but a response has not been forthcoming.