UPDATE: On March 12, the Vancouver Sun Run confirmed its 2020 race has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
ORIGINAL STORY: Organizers of Vancouver’s largest marathon events say the races will proceed as planned despite growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
The Vancouver Sun Run and the BMO Vancouver Marathon are expected to go ahead on April 19 and May 3, respectively.
Thousands of runners are meant to participate in the events, and organizers say they are monitoring the current status of COVID-19 in BC.
According to the Vancouver Sun Run website, “there remains uncertainty around how guidance may change in the coming weeks.”
If the Vancouver Sun Run is cancelled, participants will have the option to transfer to next year’s race for a $15 processing fee. Runners should note that all terms and conditions remain in full effect, including its “no refund policy.”
In an emailed statement, the Vancouver International Marathon Society said the country’s Public Health Agency has “assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 (coronavirus) as low for Canada” adding that it will be taking guidance from appropriate health organizations regarding preparedness.
Organizers say they are investing in prevention measures, including extra hand sanitizing stations for race week.
“We’ll also review other large-scale events such as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens, which proceeded this past weekend in Vancouver, and closely consult with BC Athletics, the City of Vancouver, and other key event stakeholders,” said the society.
Participants travelling to Vancouver from a country with an active travel advisory in place can apply online for a deferral discount towards the 2021 race.
“As we continue to work closely with the appropriate health authorities, we are committed to providing you with timely updates should there be any changes to the status of this year’s event,” said organizers.
Multiple sporting organizations, conferences, and music festivals around the world are limiting crowd size or being cancelled altogether as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus.