The organizers of the New York Marathon have formalized the cancellation of the event. The race, one of the most popular in the world, was initially scheduled for November 1. In the process, Berlin also announced the cancellation of its marathon.
These are two monuments of running which, in a few hours, disappear from the calendar of sporting events for 2020. The New York and Berlin marathons were officially canceled on Wednesday June 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a another sign that the return of mass sporting events is not yet on the cards.
Races late in the marathon calendar, New York and Berlin are also the two most followed, the first for its popular fervor and the second for its performances which set the standard for the discipline.
This is only the second time that the New York Marathon, originally scheduled for 1is November, is canceled, after the parenthesis of 2012 following the passage of Hurricane Sandy.
The 2020 edition should have been exceptional, as it was the 50the New York marathon, created in 1970, four years before the Berlin one, which had never been canceled in its 46 years of existence.
Scheduled for September 27, the German event was suspended because it was subject to the ban on any gathering of more than 5,000 people in the capital, which runs until October 24.
“As hard as we have worked, it is currently not possible to organize the marathon,” the Berlin organizers said on the official website.
Since 2003, all world records have been achieved on the German course, which is flat and particularly favorable. The current world record belongs to the Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, in 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds, and dates from September 2018.
“Canceling this year’s marathon is a huge disappointment for all involved,” commented New York Road Runners (NYRR) CEO Michael Capiraso, quoted in a statement, “but it was clearly the march to monitor from a health security perspective. “
Globally, New York has been by far the city most affected by Covid-19, which has caused more than 22,000 deaths.
New York organizers will offer registrants the opportunity to have their registration fees refunded or to postpone their participation to 2021, 2022 or 2023.
Reflections around Paris and Chicago
“I applaud the decision of the New York Road Runners to make the health and safety of spectators and runners a priority,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in the statement.
Although far from being the most competitive in terms of times achieved, due to a difficult course, the New York Marathon is the most popular annual cross-country race in the world.
In the 2019 edition, he broke the record for the number of participants who crossed the finish line of a marathon, with 53,640 runners.
Contacted by AFP, NYRR vice-president in charge of media, Chris Weiller, said that before the cancellation, the organization was counting on “more than 53,000” runners to finish this year, including 25,000 about came from abroad.
Asked about the cost of this cancellation, he said that the organizing committee would benefit from compensation under an insurance contract.
The 50th New York Marathon is now scheduled for November 7, 2021.
Boston and Tokyo already canceled, several of the most important marathons have not yet thrown in the towel.
As for the Paris marathon, already postponed from April to October, the organizers “are still working to ensure that the marathon is held on the scheduled date (October 18)”, they told AFP.
“If we postponed the marathon to the fall, it is precisely to give ourselves time and see how the situation will evolve”, explained a spokesperson for ASO (Amaury Sports Organization), organizer of the event. .
“We are not yet in a position to say whether the Chicago marathon will be held or not,” Alex Sawyer, communications manager for the event, scheduled for October 11, told AFP.
“We are working closely with the city authorities (of Chicago) and will communicate our decision to our riders as soon as possible,” she added.
Another major race on the calendar, the London Marathon plans, for now, to hold the event on October 4, instead of April 26 as initially planned.