NYC Marathon Canceled Over Coronavirus Concerns

The 2020 TCS New York City Marathon is canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, race organizers said Wednesday.

The race had been scheduled for Nov. 1. According to New York Road Runners, the decision to cancel was made due to concerns over the health and safety of runners, spectators and volunteers. Last year’s marathon saw a record 53,640 finishers — making it the largest 26.2-mile event in the world. What’s more, the event typically is a financial juggernaut for the city, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars.

“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. “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.”

New York mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement indicated that the cancelation was a necessary decision given the pandemic.

“While the marathon is an iconic and beloved event in our city, I applaud New York Road Runners for putting the health and safety of both spectators and runners first,” he said. “We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021.”

Similarly, New York Road Runners has canceled the 2020 Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K, which had been scheduled for Oct. 31. NYRR had previously announced the cancellation of all in-person events and programs through mid-August.

During its 50-year-old history, the NYC Marathon had only been canceled once before, in 2012, following Hurricane Sandy. Runners who signed up for this year’s marathon can either take a refund or defer their entry to a later year.

Like the NYC Marathon, the 2020 Boston Marathon was called off after initially being pushed back from April to September. The coronavirus crisis has resulted in the cancellation of live sports across the board, with the NBA and NHL both suspending their seasons in mid-March and the MLB delaying the start of its season. What’s more, the NCAA made the decision not to hold its March Madness basketball tournament, as well as other winter and spring championships.

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