New York/Berlin, Jun 24 (efe-epa).- The cities of New York and Berlin will not host their popular marathons this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, organizers have said.
The Berlin marathon was due to take place on 26-27 September but organizers said they would not be able to meet the emergency health and safety protocol required by the German government to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Authorities have prohibited gatherings of more than 5,000 people until at least 24 October.
“Unfortunately, it is currently not possible to organize the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2020. It will also not be possible after extensive examination, to hold our beloved marathon at a later date this year,” organizers said in a statement.
Jürgen Lock, the managing director of the SCC Events, said the weather and the shorter days later in the year prevented the possibility of rescheduling the race for another date in 2020.
The Berlin marathon is one of the most popular worldwide and seven world records in the men’s category have been set there since 2003, including that of Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge, who stopped the clock at 2:01:39 in 2018.
A similar fate has befallen one of the other major races, the New York marathon, which was slated to go ahead on 1 November.
“New York Road Runners (NYRR), the event organizer, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of the City of New York, have made the decision to cancel the world’s largest marathon due to coronavirus-related health and safety concerns,” a statement posted on the website said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “ 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.
“We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021.”
President of New York Road Runners Michael Capiraso, said: “Canceling this year’s TCS New York City Marathon is incredibly disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective.”
New York became an early coronavirus hotspot when the pandemic reached the United States.
The state has registered 389,666 cases since the outbreak begun, while Germany has had around 190,000 cases.EFE-EPA