Chicago Marathon is canceled over coronavirus concerns

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya poses with her world record-breaking time of 2:14:04 at the 2019 Chicago Marathon.
(Paul Beaty / Associated Press)

The Chicago Marathon has been canceled over health concerns for runners, spectators, volunteers and others during the coronavirus crisis.

Marathon organizers and city officials on Monday cited the challenge of staging the large-scale Oct. 11 event while COVID-19 endures.

As of Sunday, Chicago’s health department had reported 55,184 confirmed infections and 2,682 coronavirus-related deaths.

The city’s marathon typically draws about 45,000 runners and wheelchair athletes, and more than 1 million spectators.

“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 [during] race weekend as one community here in our city,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a news release.


“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,” she added.

The winner of last year’s women’s race, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, set a world-record time of 2:14:04, beating the previous record by more than a full minute.

The New York City Marathon, which was scheduled for Nov. 1, also has been canceled. The Boston Marathon was scheduled for April 20, postponed until Sept. 14 and then ultimately canceled.