NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The 2020 TCS New York City Marathon has been canceled over coronavirus concerns, despite infection rates being down in the city and surrounding area.
This year’s marathon, which was scheduled for Nov. 1, was set to be the 50th running of the event.
New York Road Runners, the organizers of the event, decided to cancel the marathon due to "coronavirus-related health and safety concerns for runners, spectators, volunteers, staff, and the many partners and communities that support the event."
“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."
"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,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021."
The event, which draws runners and spectators from all over the world, began in 1970 and has grown to become the world’s largest marathon with 53,640 finishers in 2019.
"It's a global destination event. Folks from over 100 countries every year and so travel restrictions and social distancing, when you add it all up the model doesn't make sense in this kind of climate," race director Jim Heim said. "It's a sad day."
Veteran marathoner Gabrielle Klineman was hoping to run the race for her 50th birthday.
"Part of me wanted to hold out a little more hope, you know, and wait a little longer, but you just can't see how, not just the runners but the spectators, all the volunteers, I just couldn't figure out, you know, how they could make that happen," Klineman said.
Runners who registered for the marathon will have the option to receive a full refund of their entry fee or defer their entry to the race during the next three years. They will also have the option to run the race virtually at no cost. More details are expected to be released in July.
New York Road Runners says the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon will take place on Nov. 7, 2021.
The marathon was previously canceled in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy.