The New York City Marathon is not happening this year. On Wednesday, the organizers of the race announced the event, which was set for Nov. 1, is canceled after talking to the mayor, and deciding to have it during the COVID-19 pandemic was too much of risk. The runners were ready to take on the New York City Marathon as it was going to be the 50th-anniversary edition. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the world's largest marathon will be back 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," he said in a statement via ESPN. "We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021." This is the first time the race has been canceled since 2012 when Superstorm Sandy hit the city. Officials decided to call off the race two days before it was going to start.
"This I know: a setback is just a setup for a comeback," 2017 Shalane Flanagan wrote on Instagram. Please stay safe, visualize the streets of NYC in your training for 2021 and work hard when no one is looking, because it always pays off," she wrote. "What's the best way to cope with disappointment or grieve a lost goal?? I say, go for a run."
Last year's New York City Marathon had 53,640 finishers, which is a world record. Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya won the women's race in her debut at the 26.2-mile distance. Geoffrey Kamworor won the men's event for the second time in three years. The runners who have signed up for this year's marathon are invited to take part in a virtual race from Oct. 17 to Nov. 1.
The announcement of the New York City Marathon being canceled comes one month after the Boston Marathon being called off for the same reason. At the time, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said: "The traditional one-day running of the 124th Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons. There is no way to hold this unusual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity. While our goal and hope was to make progress and contain the virus and recover our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on Sept. 14 or anytime this year."