The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been canceled for its 2020 race due to "the ongoing public health concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic," organizers announced Monday.
The race was set to step off on Oct. 11, but event organizers announced the decision "citing the challenges of staging an event of this scale at this time and out of concern for the safety of event participants, volunteers, event staff and spectators."
“Hope drives us as runners and as humans. My hope was to see everyone on the start line on Sunday, October 11, but our highest priority has always been the safety of our participants and our volunteers,” Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “We understand the disappointment, but when we return to the streets of Chicago, it will be a celebratory moment and an uncompromising statement about the collective spirit of who we are as a running community: we are powerful, we are persistent, and we will reach the finish line again.”
Those who registered for the race will have the option to receive a refund for their entry or defer their place and entry to a future Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2021, 2022 or 2023. Anyone who registered for the International Chicago 5k will also have the same options.
Last year's Bank of America Chicago Marathon saw history made as Brigid Kosgei, of Kenya, broke not one but two records with her finish, setting a world record and breaking the course record in Chicago.
“The Chicago Marathon is our city’s beloved annual celebration of more than 45,000 runners, as well as tens of thousands of volunteers, spectators and city residents, all of whom come together race weekend as one community here in our city,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Like all Chicagoans, I’m personally disappointed that this year’s event won’t take place as originally planned, however, we look forward to welcoming all runners and their cheering squads once again when the Chicago Marathon returns to our city in full force for another very exciting race.”
Event organizers said they are planning a "virtual experience to recognize the dedication and commitment of everyone who would have taken part in the 43rd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon."
Last month's Bank of America Chicago 13.1 was also canceled.