CHICAGO — For only the second time in the race’s history, organizers of the Chicago Marathon announced Monday this year’s race is a no-go due to COVID-19 concerns. The 43rd edition of the race was scheduled for Oct. 11.
Held every October since 1977, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon draws around 50,000 athletes to the city and draws more than a million spectators. The decision, made in conjunction with the City of Chicago, also cancels all activities associated with the race.
“While we had hoped to hold the event, we also felt a responsibility to the health and well-being of our event participants, volunteers, event staff, vendors, city partners, and spectators, as well as the communities and neighborhoods that line the 26.2-mile course route,” organizers said in a press release. “The planning, resources, and coordination needed to produce an event of this magnitude would have added a tremendous amount of constraint on city resources that are already taxed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was reached with all of these factors in mind.”
The Chicago Marathon starts and ends at Grant Park with runners traveling throughout the city during the race.
Registered runners for the 2020 event will have the option to receive a refund for their race entry or to defer their place and entry fee to a future edition of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon (2021, 2022 or 2023), according to the release. The event will provide an update to runners in the coming days with additional information on the options available to them.
Registered runners for the International Chicago 5K will also be given the option to receive a refund or defer their entry to a future year (2021, 2022 or 2023).
Organizers are working on developing a virtual experience to recognize “the dedication and commitment of everyone” who would have taken part in the race. Details on how runners, their network of supporters, and fans of the sport can get involved will be shared in the coming weeks.