Toronto Waterfront Marathon cancels 2020 race and goes virtual
Although race organizers held out as long as they could, in the end, the Toronto Waterfront Marathon scheduled for Oct. 18, 2020 has been cancelled. But, a virtual race has been announced, so there will be something for runners to look forward to this fall.
"After extensive discussions with the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory, we have made the decision to cancel the event due to COVID-19 related health and safety concerns," read a statement, in part, posted on social media. "It is just not viable to host a mass event of 25,000+ runners and their families from 75 counties, plus over 3,000 volunteers and thousands of spectators."
We are sad to announce that the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, set to take place on Sunday October 18th, has been cancelled. We cannot wait to connect with you online as we host the race virtually this year!— Toronto Waterfront Marathon (@TOwaterfront42k) July 13, 2020
Read the full statement here https://t.co/zqxXL2wojb pic.twitter.com/1wD8JZ1bsS
Indeed, in Toronto on July 13, the Ontario government announced that social gathering will indeed increase very soon but only to 50 people. Any mass events such as the Toronto Waterfront Marathon will not be held in Ontario for the foreseeable future.
According to a statement by race director Alan Brookes, currently registered runners have been contacted with information about their registrations. New runners are now welcome to sign-up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race.
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has been cancelled for 2020. Not super surprising, but still disappointing, it's the race Canadian marathoners traditionally use to qualify for Olympics.— Lori Ewing (@Ewingsports) July 13, 2020
The virtual event includes two new distance options: a four-person marathon relay and a 10K in addition to the marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Participants can also still sign up to fundraise for one of the race's official charity partners. The STWM provides vital funds for charities, and this aspect of the race should not be forgotten.
Long-time race director Brookes, in a statement, was bowed but unbroken.
"Since 1990, like running itself, we've had good days and bad days," Brookes says. "We've learned to bear down and overcome injuries, illness, a multitude of setbacks and adversity. And now we have COVID-19. But our community is made of sterner stuff: dedicated, determined, courageous, and strong. Together, we will prevail and return to the races that are beacons of solidarity and joy in our country and our lives."
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race will take place between Oct. 1 and 31.