(Reuters) - This year’s Athens Marathon, scheduled to take place on Nov. 7-8, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said in a statement.
The Greek athletic federation, SEGAS, said they considered a number of scenarios, including conducting only the full 42 km race and reducing the number of participants, but were forced to call it off as they could not guarantee the safety of the runners.
The Athens Marathon, which was first held in 1972, has grown in popularity in recent years and routinely attracts over 15,000 participants.
SEGAS said they would organise a “Special Edition Virtual Race” instead, with details set to be announced in the coming days.
The pandemic has disrupted the global running calendar, with four of the six marathon majors -- Berlin, New York, Boston and Chicago -- cancelled.
The London Marathon, originally set for April, was postponed to Oct. 4 and will be run as an elite-only event.
Greece has reported more than 18800 cases of the novel coronavirus and over 390 deaths.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill
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