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  • NYC and Berlin Marathons Cancelled, Other Races in Limbo


    (ATR) Marathon organizers in New York City and Berlin are the latest to make difficult decisions regarding the 2020 editions of their races. 

    53,640 runners finished the 2019 New York City Marathon. (@nyrrnews/Twitter)
    On June 24, the historic New York City and Berlin marathons were officially cancelled and will not be rescheduled for this year.

    Of the six World Marathon Majors, these races are the second and third to be cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Boston Marathon was cancelled on May 28, the first time in its 128-year history that the race was called off.

    The 2020 TCS New York City Marathon, scheduled for November 1, was going to be the 50th edition of the 26.2-mile race. With 53,640 finishers in 2019, this event is regarded as the “world’s largest marathon.” The semicentennial iteration of the marathon will instead take place on November 7, 2021.

    “Canceling this year’s TCS New York City Marathon is incredibly disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, which organizes the event.

    The BMW Berlin-Marathon 2020, originally planned for September 27, will also not be rescheduled for later this year. Organizers had hoped that German government restrictions might ease but said the measures currently in place make it impossible to hold the event "with its usual Berlin charm".

    At the time of writing this article, organizers of the Chicago Marathon cannot give a definitive answer on whether the race will be run as scheduled on October 11. They are continuing to monitor the pandemic and preparing for both possible outcomes.

    Hugh Brasher, event director of the London Marathon, is “hopeful” that the event will go on as scheduled on October 4. This comes after the official cancellation of The Great North Run 2020, the largest half marathon in the world, held in northeast England.

    “The team at London Marathon Events has been looking at the logistics of the Virgin Money London Marathon and coming up with innovative ways to socially distance the event,” Brasher said.

    The Tokyo Marathon was held on March 1 but was limited to elite runners only. 

    Of the cancelled marathons, organizers have presented registered runners two options. They have been offered either a full refund or to defer their entry to a later year.

    The Boston and New York marathon organizers will also offer registered runners a chance to participate in a “virtual” marathon, encouraging participants to stay in shape and prepare as if the event will go on as planned.

    Written by Jose Chavez

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