Manitoba Marathon postponed due to COVID-19

The Manitoba Marathon has been postponed because of COVID-19.

Organizers planning to reschedule popular event for fall

Runners begin to cross the finish line in the half marathon race at the 2019 Manitoba Marathon. The 2020 edition has been postponed due to COVID-19. (Walther Bernal/CBC )

The Manitoba Marathon has been postponed because of COVID-19.

Executive director Rachel Munday said the decision was made when the city cancelled all special event permits until June 30 in light of concerns about the new coronavirus.

"I think that once we had the direction from the government and the city it was a fairly easy decision to make," Munday told CBC News on Sunday. 

Munday said organizers are working to reschedule the marathon for sometime this fall. Registration is paused until a new date is confirmed.

"The last probably two to three weeks feel like it's been a year," she said. "For us, it was the stress and the uncertainty of not knowing whether we should be pushing forward and planning for June, or whether we could just focus on staying well and isolating and pause for fall. 

"So now that we know that, we can move forward with our plans and the certainty of knowing that we'll be able to do that is somewhat of a relief." 

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Munday said 1,600 people had already registered for the marathon. About 10,000 took part last year.

"I think people are very sad that almost all the events across the country have cancelled, obviously it was necessary but I think it's something for them to look forward to," she said of the plan to postpone the event until fall.

She said organizers are aware that there are several other races and events planned throughout the summer and fall.

"We're trying to be very aware that we're not taking away runners from other events that are happening already," Munday said. 

She said she's confident the event will be able to move forward once COVID-19 is no longer a threat. 

"We're just really trying to stay positive," Munday said. "I mean, I think we're all in the same boat right and we're all just doing the best we can and every day is something new." 

A new date has not been announced.

with files from Leslie McLaren