Chicago Marathon admit they are are 'preparing for both outcomes' with four months to go

Andrew Dawson
Photo credit: Quinn Harris - Getty Images

From Runner's World

  • Organisers of the Chicago Marathon sent an email to registered runners explaining they are still 'unable to say definitively whether or not the race will proceed'.
  • The race, scheduled to run on October 11, is one of the five World Marathon Majors taking place this autumn.

The Chicago Marathon—scheduled for Sunday, October 11, this year—has sent an email to registered runners explaining they are still 'unable to say definitively whether or not the race will proceed'. As many runners must decide whether or not to start training for the race, organisers have said 'we want you to know that we are preparing for both outcomes.'

A few weeks ago, the marathon announced a cancellation option for runners registered for the 2020 race. The policy is not new for the race, but this year is slightly different with the uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, which has put many races this year in jeopardy because of the risks related to mass gatherings.

On Monday 8 June, Chicago organisers sent an email to entrants and shared the following statement on their website:

'For more than 40 years, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has welcomed runners from every Chicago neighborhood, every U.S. state and every corner of the globe to celebrate our sport, personal achievement and the endurance of the human spirit.

'We’re reaching out to you now as June marks the beginning of the journey to race weekend for our runners, volunteers, sponsors and partners. We recognize the personal commitment that is made by each of you and acknowledge the lingering question about the status of the event due to public health risks brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

'At this time, we are unable to say definitively whether or not the race will proceed and we want you to know that we are preparing for both outcomes.

'We’re continuing our preparations for the event with the goal of providing a safe race weekend experience. This includes working with city and state officials to align our preparations with their current guidelines and re-opening framework.

'Work is being done every day knowing that external factors could mean that we cannot safely hold the race. In addition, we’re also working to ensure that in the event of a cancellation, we are able to provide you with unique options outside of our standard event policies.

'Just as you make your commitment to the race, it is our commitment to you to share our decision with you as soon as possible.

'We look forward to the future when we can celebrate our sport and the bonds we share with one another. For now, we encourage you to stay safe and stay motivated.'

The move is one we’ll likely see from various races around the world that are cancelling or postponing their events due to the coronavirus. The Boston Marathon has been cancelled, as has the Berlin Marathon. London Marathon organisers have also voiced concerns about holding the rescheduled 40th race in October and are set to make a decision in the next few weeks.

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