The Chicago Marathon has become the latest event on this year’s World Marathon Majors circuit to get cancelled because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Organisers announced on Tuesday that the race, which had been scheduled for October 11, would not take place due to the “ongoing public health concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic”.
The Chicago Marathon, which attracts around 45,000 runners and wheelchair athletes each year, was set to be the last World Marathon Major of 2020 following the cancellation of the New York City event last month. The Boston and Berlin Marathons were also called off due to the COVID-19 virus.
The only Marathon which is scheduled this year is Tokyo Marathon, while organizers of the London Marathon are not sure whether Marathon will take place in October or not.
In a statement, Chicago Marathon organisers cited “the challenges of staging an event of this scale at this time and out of concern for the safety of event participants, volunteers, event staff and spectators” among the main reasons for the decision to cancel the event.
“Our highest priority has always been the safety of our participants and our volunteers,” race director Carey Pinkowski said.
“We understand the disappointment, but when we return to the streets of Chicago, it will be a celebratory moment and an uncompromising statement about the collective spirit of who we are as a running community: we are powerful, we are persistent, and we will reach the finish line again.”
“Like all Chicagoans, I’m personally disappointed that this year’s event won’t take place as originally planned, however, we look forward to welcoming all runners and their cheering squads once again when the Chicago Marathon returns to our city in full force for another very exciting race,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Chicago Marathon organisers have rescheduled this year racing to 2021 and the fans who have booked the tickets for this year can ask for a refund from their registered site.