As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the health and safety of people around the world, the virus also continues to wreak havoc on the racing calendar. What was once shaping up as a crowded fall marathon season will not go off as planned. The New York City Marathon is the latest to cancel, officials announced on Wednesday.
After the 2020 Boston (April 20) and London (April 25) marathons were rescheduled to September 14 and October 4, respectively, runners were looking at the possibility of five World Marathon Majors races within eight weeks, however the domino of cancellations for the fall started when the Berlin Marathon announced its race (on October 24) would not go on, then the Boston Athletic Association announced in May that the September 14 race was canceled for the first time in 124 years.
On Wednesday, New York Road Runners followed that lead and announced that the 2020 New York City Marathon, which was supposed to take place on November 1, has also been scratched. It had been slated as the 50th anniversary celebration of the race.
“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, in a written statement. “Marathon day and the many related events and activities during race week are part of the heart and soul of New York City and the global running community, and we look forward to coming together next year.”
The 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of New York is the largest marathon in the world—53,640 people finished it last year. It was canceled once before, in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy inflicted damage and devastation on the region. Officials said that 2020 participants will be sent details in July, but will be presented with options for refunds or deferring their entries until next year.
The London Marathon has yet to make an announcement about its race on October 4. Officials at the Chicago Marathon, slated for October 11, have said that they are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and have not made any decisions. Nonetheless, in an email to registered runners, they outlined a policy for participants who have decided against racing this year.
“During these unprecedented times, we understand your plans to run…may change,” the email to runners said. “We hope to see you on race day, but if you are unable to participate in the 2020 Chicago Marathon, the opportunity to cancel your 2020 entry will open on Tuesday, May 5.”
More details on the Chicago cancellation policy are available on the race’s website.
The current status of the 2020 fall marathon schedule:
Boston Marathon: Canceled
Refund policy information available on the race website
Berlin Marathon: Canceled
Refund and deferral policy information available on the race website
London Marathon: Reschedule from April 25
Refund policy available on the race website
Chicago Marathon: As of June 24, going on as planned
Entry deferral policy available on race the race website
New York City Marathon: Canceled
Updates on entry refunds and deferral policy available on the race website