New York City Marathon Falls Victim to Coronavirus

The world's biggest marathon, scheduled for Nov. 1, would have brought more than 50,000 runners to the Big Apple.
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The New York City Marathon, one of Gotham’s landmark institutions, was cancelled for 2020, another victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

The race was scheduled for Nov. 1 in what would have been its 50th anniversary. It’s one of the biggest events of the year for the city - literally and figuratively.

The marathon hosts more than 50,000 runners, 10,000 volunteers and about 1 million fans, who surround the streets of the race in all five city boroughs.

City officials and New York Road Runners, which owns and organizes the event, cited the grave coronavirus risk in packing so many people from all over the world into a small place.

The mayor’s office and NYRR “have made the decision to cancel the world’s largest marathon due to coronavirus-related health and safety concerns for runners, spectators, volunteers, staff, and the many partners and communities that support the event,” they said in a statement.

"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,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021."

As for NYRR’s take, cancelling the marathon is “incredibly disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective,” said NYRR President Michael Capiraso.

Famous winners of the event include Bill Rodgers, Grete Waitz and Alberto Salazar. The marathon is sponsored by TCS (Tata Consultancy Services).