BERLIN, Germany – The organizers of the Berlin Marathon said Wednesday, June 24, that they have canceled the race for 2020 because of problems finding an alternative date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In late April it was announced the race scheduled for September 27 had been postponed, but organizers have now canceled this year’s event, which attracted 62,000 runners in 2019.
“Due to the weather conditions alone and shortening days, it’s very difficult to hold the Berlin Marathon… before the end of this year,” said race director Juergen Jock.
“The question of whether athletes will be able to travel internationally again by then cannot be answered now.”
Organizers added: “Your health, as well as all of our health, is our first priority.
“Therefore, taking into account the Containment Measures Ordinance due to the COVID-19 pandemic… the Berlin Marathon 2020 will not be able to take place.”
The city of Berlin has banned events with more than 5,000 participants since April.
The flat, fast course around Berlin’s city centre is where Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya set the men’s world marathon record of 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds in 2018.
It was the eighth time in the previous 20 years that the men’s world record has fallen on the streets of Berlin.
Kipchoge ran 1:59:40 over the marathon distance in Vienna last October, but the time is not recognized as a world record as the event was not an open competition.
The decision comes weeks after Boston canceled its marathon for the first time in the event’s 124-year history.
The New York City marathon was also canceled in a bid to halt the spread of COVID-19.
The London Marathon has been postponed until October 4, while the Tokyo Marathon was held with a reduced field of elite runners.
The Chicago Marathon is still scheduled for October 11. – Rappler.com