Races Are Cancelled. Since the start of 2020 we have heard news of races locals, internationals and major events being cancelled by organizers. Recently event organizers and the City of Chicago have announced the cancellation of major running event 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

This race event is close to my heart after running it in 2019 and being the opportunity to first time participate in a major running event and visit America.

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The pandemic crisis have really brought concerns and sentiments for everyone especially athletes who have planned their race journey for 2020 both local and international. Many athletes and sports enthusiasts have been training hard, registered early, in the midst of planning trips, some have their hotels and flights booked to give them motivation and to save with the costs but now most are cancelled.

people running a races


Although Tokyo was able to held the event with elites and wheelchair elites Boston marathon opted for a virtual race for its participants. Newyork and Chicago marathon organizers gave participants options for refund this year or to defer entry on either 2021, 2022 or 2023. Berlin Marathon participants can refund or participate in 2021.While London marathon as of this writing have not yet cancelled their event.

Ironman have also opened virtuaI races to athletes but instead of a swim, bike and run challenge the format have change to run, bike and run challenge again. Although some Ironman events might still happen at the later part of the year other organizers decided to pursue next year.

l have asked athletes about the recent cancellation of race events which they will participate. I want to share their thoughts about the cancellation and how they view this crisis we are facing.


Runners thoughts when races are cancelled

I haven’t joined any full marathon in my entire life. New York marathon could have been my first. But because of the unpredecent event, I may need to wait for another event like this and hopefully randomly picked again. – Gualbert

I’m glad races are cancelled for the interest of public safety. – Aaron

Runners are part of the global community and we have a pandemic. While there are some complainers I think most runners would agree that it would be selfish for us to hold a world marathon where most of the world can’t come, as well as risking the health and safety of all the people needed to put on the race. – Mary

I expected races are cancelled due to the pandemic, but I am very curious to how the big 6 races will move forward. – Tanya

This would have been my 20th marathon- I ran Chicago last in 2007 – the year of heat! – I was planning for redemption this year but was very happy with Chicago cancelling and the options they offered. The ability to just run for my mental health now is something I don’t take for granted. We are lucky we can even get out there. – Chrissy

It would have been my first. While I am sad and disappointed I am extremely grateful the organizers did not change it to a virtual as Boston did. I still plan for Chicago to be my first full marathon, now I just have more time to train. – Angie

It is a smart move to cancel during the pandemic.- Kirsten

I’m a triathlete living in Chicago and have run the marathon 12 times. Everything here is cancelling until 2021. Numbers are good right now and our hard work of sheltering cannot be undone by hosting anything with large groups. – Jeri

I am bummed, but totally understand why and it was the smart thing to do. Now we all have time to train and rock our PR’s for future marathons! – Kelly

We are runners. Our lungs are priceless. There have been countless stories of permanent lung damage and even death of fellow runners in our communities. They did the right thing it may save a pair of lungs, but more importantly, it may save a life. – Jennifer

I expected races are cancelled and am glad they did having asthma means I have higher risk, Im doing it on 2021. – Laura

I have run 23 marathons, and Chicago could have been my first outside California I was super excited but I understand that it will be there for me in the future and people may not. If a postponed trip is what will help make a difference then it’s the least I can do. I also got to run one of the worlds biggest marathons before lockdowns (Los Angeles Marathon). – Tianna

I look at it as opportunity to run the 26.2 a little differently. I’m going to run on 10/11 using a route and starting time I select. I’m inviting people to run my course with me. I’m looking to get my school community involved so I know this will be the most supported I’ll feel on the course. I’m actually pretty excited about it. I cannot break my 13 year streak! – Kathy

I am disappointed and feel like everything in life has risks but things can be done to minimize those risks. There are many ways they could have had it and reduced the risks like other races are doing. A total bummer for everyone who worked so hard to get in. If people don’t feel comfortable and not run, fine. But cancelling everything in life for an indefinite amount of time is not the answer, we must learn to live with the virus like it or not. At least they had very flexible deferral or refund options but still extremely disappointing. – Sara

I live and have ran Chicago marathon every year since 2007. I’m glad it was cancelled. That’s the right thing to do hopefully 2021 will be better I love this town.- Francis

No need to be in a crowd of 40,000 runners and a million spectators. Let’s look beyond ourselves and think of the rest of the world. – Susan

Being 73, I don’t know how many more running years are in me. I didn’t start until I was 63. This is supposed to be my 3rd marathon and hoping to qualify for NY 2021. But now it looks like NYC is on hold until 2022. Since I’ll be 75 in 2022 it means I don’t have to run fast. Only runners appreciate getting older. – Sara

Using this time to stay healthy, get stronger and fitter to accomplish my goals. I’m looking forward to participate again. – Debat

Still recovering from Covid-19 which is horrible, I do not want other runners to experience what we went through. It was a good decision that races are cancelled its impossible to limit exposure outside. We can all keep running on our own and look forward to future Chicago marathon. – Carol

Running marathon is fun! Living a full, long and healthy life is even better! – Amy

Each athlete may have different sentiments about race cancellations and it is understandable because it does affects us individually. Many have understand that even if races are cancelled it is the best thing to do to help support the efforts of minimizing and controlling the number of infections. Even though race events are cancelled the good news is they never stop training and continuously supports others who lacks motivations to run. They use this time to improve and continue to train more and work on their goals while trying to be safe at the same time.

The true power and happiness of racing is not only found in the end of the finish line but with all the combined efforts given to it especially the training days.

Let’s all hope that soon again we will be able to experience the feeling of being in the starting line as well as crossing the finish line for any race events we are aiming for. Run happy and stay safe.


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