© Copyright – 2020 – Athletics Illustrated

The fall of 2020 may pan out to be the busiest and most competitive marathon season in history due to race postponements and mass gathering cancellations in an effort to help kerb the spread of COVID-19.

Many spring marathons have been cancelled or rescheduled including Boston, London, Rotterdam, and Vancouver. Vancouver was cancelled altogether. Additionally, the Vancouver Sun Run, NY Half Marathon, and other shorter road races have been postponed or cancelled, right down to the community level.

Tokyo – the Japanese Olympic Trials offered to defer registrants to 2021 but held the Trials for elites only. The Great Wall Marathon – a destination event – is completely cancelled. Track events have also been cancelled including NCAA Championships.

The Tamarack Ottawa Marathon at this time appears to still be on schedule.

Two marathons have chosen new dates: London will run on Sunday, October 4, Boston will run September 14, 2020.

Autumn has traditionally been Chicago, Paris, Berlin and Toronto’s (to name a few) time to showcase their cities – this may affect their events a little; however, most non-elite runners have already planned and or registered for their autumn marathons. People who had planned to do both a spring and autumn marathon will have to choose between the two times. For the elites, they will race just once in the fall.

For London, refunds are being offered to those who cannot make the new date; however, registered runners may also take in the event in October with their current registration.

London was planned as the UK Olympic trials. They are currently seeking an April date to take place in Tokyo, so elite athletes can achieve their Olympic qualification time. This will be closed to the public.

London is considered the largest fundraising event in the world, while Boston benefits to the tune of 200-million dollars. There is much at stake.

Most marathons raise money for charities – they too will be affected by the postponement as well as the new dates, which may result in smaller crowds and less revenue.