While there are much more serious things than having a marathon be cancelled with the coronavirus on the loose, it is something that runners around the world are curious about as the events they have trained months for draw near. There have already been many marathon events cancelled (in China, Hong Kong, and Japan) but many are wondering which marathon will cancel next?
Which Big Marathon Will Cancel Next Due to Coronavirus?
We are about to enter the big season of spring marathons. This is the first big month of the year for marathons around the world and there are some really big ones that are scheduled to go on in the next 1-2 months. These include the London Marathon, Paris Marathon, Rome Marathon, Milan Marathon, and, of course, the Boston Marathon.
Running Updates on Upcoming Marathons
Edit March 17AM, 2020 – I will keep this section updated with current news on these and other marathons that are affected. I will also provide links to posts I do on those races so you can see what your options may be in regards to travel or alternate races.
|Marathon||Original Date||New Date|
|Barcelona Marathon||March 15||October 25|
|NYC Half Marathon||March 15||Canceled for 2020|
|Jerusalem Marathon||March 20||November 6|
|Washington DC Marathon||March 28||TBD|
|St. Louis Marathon||March 29||Canceled for 2020|
|Knoxville Marathon||March 29||TBD|
|Rome Marathon||March 29||Canceled for 2020|
|Bratislava Marathon||April 5||September 6|
|San Francisco Marathon||April 5||TBD|
|Rotterdam Marathon||April 5||TBD|
|Manchester Marathon||April 5||TBD|
|Paris Marathon||April 5||October 18|
|Milan Marathon||April 5||TBD|
|Santiago Marathon||April 19||September 6|
|Vienna City Marathon||April 19||Canceled for 2020|
|Boston Marathon||April 20||September 14|
|Illinois Marathon||April 25||TBD|
|Zurich Marathon||April 26||TBD|
|London Marathon||April 26||October 4|
|Madrid Marathon||April 26||November 15|
|Belgrade Marathon||April 26||October 18|
|Eugene Marathon||April 26||TBD|
|Toledo Marathon||April 26||Canceled for 2020|
|Oklahoma City Marathon||April 26||October 4|
|Big Sur Marathon||April 26||TBD|
|Orange County Marathon||May 3||Canceled (may be held in the fall - TBD)|
|Pittsburgh Marathon||May 3||Canceled for 2020|
|Cincinnati Marathon||May 3||October 11|
|Toronto Marathon||May 3||Canceled for 2020|
|Prague Marathon||May 3||Postponed - TBA|
|Vancouver Marathon||May 3||Canceled for 2020|
|Fargo Marathon||May 9||August 29|
|Helsinki Marathon||May 16||TBD|
|Great Wall of China Marathon||May 16||Canceled for 2020|
|Grandma's Marathon||June 20||Canceled for 2020|
Vienna City Marathon – April 19 | Status: Cancelled (as of March 11)
The Vienna City Marathon organizers announced that the 2020 edition of the marathon, to have been held over a month from now, has been cancelled. They are not postponing it and simply going to set their sights on next year.
Boston Marathon – April 20 | Status: On Schedule
The mayor of Boston said that the economic impact of the Boston Marathon is $211 million but then stressed that the safety of people is the “bottom line” of his job. The mayor and BAA staff following the CDC guidances as well as keeping in touch with state authorities, per the new update on this page.
NYC Half Marathon – March 15 | Status: Cancelled (as of 4PM, NYC time on March 10)
This race was just cancelled last evening. For more on this cancellation and information for travel plans, check out this post.
I know many of you are running the NYC Half Marathon this Sunday. At present, it is scheduled to go on as planned. It has been rumored that the governor has talked of shutting down the metro system but I highly doubt that would happen before the end of the work week, if at all. The LA Marathon had gone on as planned so, at this point, it seems that the NYC Half Marathon is a go but we will keep monitoring it.
Milan Marathon – April 5 | Status: Postponed (as of 9PM, Italy time on March 9)
Finally, the Milan Marathon organizers have provided news about their race. At this point, all they are saying (on their Facebook page) is that it is postponed to a date a few months from now. In all likelihood, that will be kicked to September at least. I will update when I get more information. Thanks to Cosimo in the comments for the heads up!
Brighton Marathon – April 19 | Status: Accepting all UK Marathons Who Had a Cancellation from Another Race
The Brighton Marathon in the UK is offering all UK residents a free entry to the Brighton Marathon taking place April 19. This includes any marathon cancelled or postponed. But, it must be a general entry and not a charity entry. More information here.
Barcelona Marathon – March 15 | Status: Postponed Until October 25
Today, March 7, the Barcelona Marathon was the latest to make a change in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe. They have opted to postpone it until October 25.
Paris Marathon – April 5 | Status: Postponed Until October 18 (as of 20:00 France time, March 5)
The Paris Marathon just confirmed that they are moving the Paris Marathon to October 18, 2020. Here is a post with the statement and some trip suggestions.
While the Paris Marathon organizers have yet to say anything, reports are already out in the news and from many vendors/exhibitors that the 2020 Paris Marathon is postponed until a currently unnamed date in the fall.
Rome Marathon – March 29 | Status:
Highly Likely to be Cancelled Race Cancelled (as of 14:45 Italy time, March 5)
Update: Check this post for the details and I will update that post with some alternate race options.
Yesterday (March 4), the Italian government has issued a statement that will halt all public and private sporting events until April 3. This means that football games will be played without fans and it should mean that all running races in Italy set to take place before April 3 will be cancelled or postponed. As of this time (March 5 at 12:35PM Italian time), the Rome Marathon organizers have not spoken to this. However, it should be considered highly likely that this race will be cancelled. Also, the Rome Marathon has halted new registrations while previously they were accepting them. This could also point to an imminent cancellation.
Jerusalem Marathon – March 20 | Status:
Likely to be Cancelled Postponed (as of 15:44 Israel time, March 5)
The Mayor of Jerusalem has decided to postpone the Jerusalem marathon until October. See this post as I will be updating it with more information as it is known.
Yesterday (March 4), the Israeli government issued restrictions that will not allow Israel to host international conferences and will not allow mass events of over 5,000 people. While this would seem to be a definite step towards cancelling the marathon events, the Jerusalem Marathon organizers were quick to issue a statement that they were examining the guidelines carefully and will shortly announce what will happen with the Jerusalem Marathon.
Los Angeles Marathon – March 8 | Status: On Schedule
In spite of the fact that the state of California has issued a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, the LA Marathon organizers have said as recently as last night (March 4) that the race will continue as planned. At this point, it would seem that the only thing that would halt such plans would be that the city/state says it must cancel.
Cancelled Races[March 5] The Rome Marathon has been cancelled.
The Paris Half Marathon was forced to cancel this past weekend and leave the 44,000 entrants without this footrace through the city of Paris. There are not that many cases in France yet but it was likely more the worry of participants from around Europe/the world that may have caused this decision (the government also cancelled any event with more than 5,000 participants in close quarters).
The Seoul Marathon made the decision to cancel their marathon that was due to take place on March 22.
Last weekend also, the Tel Aviv made a different move by announcing that only foreign runners that were in the country the 3 or 4 days prior to the marathon would be allowed to run. Those arriving closer to the races were not allowed to run in the Tel Aviv Marathon.
Also, while the Tokyo Marathon was technically cancelled for almost everyone, what Tokyo did was to still run the race for elites (as there were some elites trying for Olympic qualifying spots) while cancelling the race for all non-elite runners. So, this was cancelled for most.
Which Marathon Will Be Next – Or Are They Done Cancelling?
The Boston Marathon organizers have said that there is no change to the Boston Marathon for this year. There is also no word from other marathons that are set to take place in a month or less – as to any plans to cancel/change them. Here is the lineup of big marathons (as in marathon events with over 10,000 runners) that are scheduled over the next many weeks:
- Los Angeles Marathon – March 8 | Was run as scheduled
Barcelona Marathon– March 15Postponed until October 25 NYC Half Marathon – March 15Cancelled for 2020 Jerusalem Marathon– March 20Postponed until October Rome Marathon– March 29Cancelled for 2020 Paris Marathon– April 5Postponed until the October 18 Milan Marathon – April 5Postponed with date TBA Vienna City Marathon – April 19 Cancelled for 2020
- Boston Marathon – April 20
- London Marathon – April 26
There are plenty of other marathons as well but those on the list above have a large foreign contingent that runs in them. I am actually signed up for the Jerusalem Marathon so I am certainly tracking that one closely. If they follow the same routine that Tel Aviv did, I will be out of luck as I am due to arrive in Jerusalem the day before.
If a Marathon Will Cancel, When Should They Announce?
This is the tricky part. A marathon is a huge and expensive event to put on and no one wants to cancel it unless they absolutely have to. At the same time, runners would like a bit of a heads up before they actually travel to the event if it will be cancelled. Also, it helps to know so that they can cancel any travel reservations that allow cancellations (like many hotels need to be cancelled 48 hours or more before check-in, if paid as a standard rate).
Finally, for the runners, it is nice to get a bit of notice as well so that they could possibly pick another event. There are plenty of smaller events that would be happy to have runners and may not have the same risk factor as an event with tens of thousands of runners.
At this point, going the rate of those getting sick in Italy, it would not be a shock to me if Milan ended up cancelling. Yes, there is still just over a month but I would hope that they would copy Seoul’s approach and give runners fair enough notice before it is too late for traveling.
With the Paris Half Marathon being cancelled yesterday, I would imagine many are wondering what will happen with the actual Paris Marathon in just over a month as well. Wait and see on that one as well.
Virtual Marathons – Good Idea?
Something that has grown a bit over the last couple of years (with things like athlete connections on social platforms) is virtual races. This could be a great time for something like this. If a marathon does cancel, I think it would be a great idea for them to encourage runners to go ahead and run the “virtual” version of the race.
This would mean running the 26.2 miles and tracking it with their watch/device. After the race, they could upload that and claim their medal to be shipped. Of course, running 26.2 miles by yourself is not the most fun thing in the world (I have done it over 30 times myself) but it could be one way to not let your training program go to waste if you cannot make it to another marathon around the same time.
Tip: This could be a great time to consider some of the more exotic marathons since many of these places have not had coronavirus outbreaks. I will start posting about some of these options as well.
Are you signed-up for one of the marathons coming up in the next two months? What are your feelings about the marathons in light of the coronavirus?