Marathon runners continue to lose 2020 races, including two of the largest in the world on Wednesday. The New York Marathon and Berlin Marathon both were canceled as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on and hamper world travel and large gatherings.
The New York City Marathon, the world’s largest marathon, was supposed to run its 50th edition in November. Officials felt the expected 50,000 runners, 10,000 volunteers, and an estimated 1 million fans posed too large a health risk during a pandemic. The 50th running is now scheduled for Nov. 7, 2021.
The Berlin Marathon was scheduled for Sept. 26-27. Germany’s ban on public gatherings of 5,000 people or more will not lift until at least Oct. 24. The event was already postponed from the original date, but further exploration of the situation led to the ultimate cancellation of the 2020 race.
Racers can either be refunded entry fees or have their entry deferred to another year. Many other major races have been canceled or have seen their start dates moved this year, including the Boston Marathon shifting from April to a virtual race in October. The London Marathon, normally held in April, was rescheduled to October, while the Paris and Tokyo races “won’t take place as planned.”
However, there is a silver lining for the running industry during the pandemic: participation in running and jogging grew 1.2% and treadmill workouts jumped 5.7% year-over-year, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.