The New York Road Runners today joined the legions of sports organizers who have realized there is no safe way to hold a crowd-participatory sports event during a pandemic, and announced they have canceled the 2020 running of the New York City Marathon.

The starting gun for the world’s largest 26.2-mile race wasn’t supposed to go off for another five months, on November 1.

But in an abundance of caution, and given nationwide concerns over how the coronavirus has spread, officials pulled the plug.

Organizers said they made this decision in collaboration with the office of New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio. He praised the group for choosing to cancel this year’s race for the benefit of everyone involved.

“While the marathon is an iconic and beloved event in our city, I applaud New York Road Runners for putting the health and safety of both spectators and runners first,” De Blasio said in a statement. “We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021.”

A record 53,640 runners, including of course hundreds of out and proud LGBTQ participants, finished the NYC Marathon in 2019.

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