A test event in Hatfield to pave the way for the safe return of mass participation sport has been postponed.

The Reunion 10K, one of the government's Events Research Programme pilot events, was due to take place in Hatfield Park on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25.

However, organisers confirmed today (April 13) it has been postponed and they are now looking for an alternative venue.

Three separate 10km runs were planned over the weekend at the Hertfordshire estate, with 3,000 runners and up to 3,000 spectators at each.

Organised by London Marathon Events (LME) on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), it was designed to provide scientific data on how mass participation events can safely resume as part of the roadmap out of coronavirus lockdown from June 21.

LME officials are now talking with other venues to potentially stage the pilot event next month.

An update on the Virgin Money London Marathon website states: "The Events Research Programme team and LME has concluded that the event should be postponed in order to finalise the requirements for this pilot event but Hatfield Park is not available in May and therefore an alternative venue is required."

Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon Events, said: “This pilot event, with its complex testing and operational overlay, is a very important step in the return of mass-participation sport and the team is now in discussion with a number of venues to see if it is possible to deliver the Reunion 10K in May.

“We would like to thank Hatfield Park, Hertfordshire County Council, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and other key stakeholders for their hard work and support of the event.”

Everyone attending the 10K – participants, spectators and staff – would have been required to take a COVID-19 test before and after the event.

Anyone testing positive before the event would not have been able to attend and, in the case of participants, their entry fee would have been refunded.