Baltimore Running Festival organizer Corrigan Sports Enterprises on Wednesday canceled in-person running for the city’s annual marathon as new coronavirus cases continue to rise.
“This year countless heroes have helped the city and our great state battle the COVID 19 pandemic,” reads a statement posted to the festival’s website. “After assessing the current status of the novel virus both at a local and national level, it’s apparent the situation remains fluid and a potential safety threat… we will run this year, but it will have to be apart.
“There are still too many unknowns about the novel pandemic to safely conduct a large running event so the 2020 Baltimore Running Festival must switch to a virtual event.”
The virtual event will include a marathon, half-marathon, four-person team relay and 5K. Participants will receive a medal — with a “Stronger Together” theme of runners around the world uniting on race day — and a t-shirt.
Runners who pre-registered have two options: to run their respective distance at home or to defer fees for the 2021 event.
The October race has never been canceled before, organizers said in a statement — not after 9/11 or after the Boston Marathon bombing.
On July 1, organizers said they were “hopeful” they would be able to pull off the Oct. 17 race day. It was to be the marathon’s 20th anniversary, and the race was poised to start on Eutaw Street inside of Camden Yards for the first time ever. Organizers said it likely would have attracted an estimated 20,000 people.
“We’ve also decided the unique circumstances warrant us postponing our 20th anniversary to next year, when Charm City can fully role out our red carpet,” said Lee Corrigan, the event’s founder and executive race director, in a statement.