The New York City Marathon (NYCM) – with more than 50,000 participants annually the largest marathon in the world – will not take place this year, announced the organizers. “The cancellation is incredibly disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we had to take from a health and safety perspective,” said Michael Capiraso, President of the New York Road Runners event.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed the decision. It shows that the health of runners and spectators comes first: “We are looking forward to the 50th marathon in November 2021.”
Second rejection in 50 years
It is only the second rejection in the history of the NYCM, which was held for the first time in 1970. The edition planned for 2012 fell victim to the devastation after hurricane “Sandy”, which hit New York just a week before. Even the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which killed around 3,000 people, could not prevent it from being carried out. Less than two months later, people were walking through the streets of the US metropolis.
The CoV crisis hit New York particularly hard. In recent months, the city has been one of the centers of the pandemic, but has been able to significantly reduce the number of new infections and deaths and is now considered a success story in the United States in fighting the virus.
However, the organizers were concerned that participants from other countries and US states could raise the infection rate again. The organizer said that registered runners would now be notified by July 15, when the entry fees could also be reimbursed.
Organizers in Berlin are also giving up
For the first time since 1974 there will be no marathon in Berlin this year. The organizers canceled the event because of the effects of the CoV crisis. “As much as we try, it is currently not possible to organize the BMW Berlin Marathon with its usual Berlin charm,” says the website. At the same time, all participants were informed of the failure. “Furthermore, it is also not possible – after extensive testing and various discussions, including with the authorities – to hold the event later this year,” wrote the organizers.
The coronavirus measures in Berlin and at the same time the uncertainty as to which conditions will still apply at a later point in time and whether participants can then also travel internationally were the decisive factors for the decision. The participants of the largest German running event can now choose: Either the personalized starting right is transferred to the coming year, or the participation fee is refunded. Before the final cancellation, the organizing SCC Berlin had also checked whether the race should be carried out purely as a profile event. “That would not reflect the character of the event,” said SCC Managing Director Jürgen Lock.
London and Chicago still hope
After the cancellations in New York and Berlin, at least half of the six-run World Marathon Majors series cannot take place this year. The organizers of the most traditional marathon in Boston had already announced the final end for 2020 in May after only elite runners were allowed in Tokyo at the beginning of March. The London Marathon (October 4th), which has been postponed from spring to autumn, and the race in Chicago (October 11th) are currently still planned. Whether the two runs actually take place depends on how the pandemic continues in these cities.