Chicago Marathon Becomes Latest to Cancel Due to Pandemic – runnersworld.com

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  • The Chicago Marathon, scheduled for October 11, officially canceled this year’s event because of COVID-19.
  • The event typically brings in 45,000 runners to the streets of the Windy City.
  • Registered runners for 2020 race can either get a refund or can defer their place and entry fee to the Chicago Marathon in 2021, 2022, or 2023. Organizers are also working on a virtual version of the race.

    The Chicago Marathon, which was to be held on October 11, today became the latest race to cancel in response to COVID-19. Organizers announced that the in-person race will not happen, and registered runners for 2020 will be offered either a refund for their race entry or will be able to defer their place and entry fee to the Chicago Marathon in 2021, 2022, or 2023.

    Chicago was the last of the American races in the six-city World Marathon Majors series to go public with its plans. The Boston Marathon was initially postponed from April to September, before organizers announced on May 28 it was canceled for a virtual race. The New York City Marathon announced on June 24 that it would not be holding its 50th anniversary race on November 1.

    Of the other races in the Majors series, only the London Marathon, which was postponed from April to October 4, still has a chance of happening. The Tokyo Marathon went off in February with an elite-only field and the Berlin Marathon, originally scheduled for September, was canceled on June 24.

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    The Chicago Marathon began in 1977 with 2,128 finishers, and the flat, fast course has made it the site of multiple national and world records. Last year, Brigid Kosgei of Kenya ran 2:14:04 to shatter Paula Radcliffe’s world record, which had stood since 2003. The race typically draws 45,000 runners, making it the world’s second-largest marathon behind New York.

    Chicago had previously announced a deferral policy, which would allow runners to cancel their 2020 entries and gain guaranteed entry for 2021.

    Jordan Hasay, who finished second in Chicago in 2017 in 2:20:57, the second-fastest time by an American woman in history, said, “I feel for all the athletes and the world marathon majors that have had to cancel, but I feel it’s the safe decision and will be that much sweeter a celebration for all when races can be held again.”

    According to a statement, race organizers are currently working on a virtual version of the event.

    “My hope was to see everyone on the start line on Sunday, October 11, but our highest priority has always been the safety of our participants and our volunteers,” said Carey Pinkowski, the race’s executive director. “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.”


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    Sarah Lorge Butler is a writer and editor living in Eugene, Oregon, and her stories about the sport, its trends, and fascinating individuals have appeared in Runner’s World since 2005.

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