The Reykjavík Marathon 2021 has been cancelled after initially being postponed to September 18th due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The organisers of the event came to this decision following discussions with the Ministry of Health, the Department of Civil Protection and others, RÚV reports.
The biggest obstacle in putting on the marathon this year stems from the continuation of the assembly limit of 200-persons which is unlikely to be lifted significantly by September 18th.
Frímann Ari Ferdinandsson, managing director of the Reykjavík Sports Association (ÍBR), says the announcement is a serious blow to participants and the causes for which they run. However, the marathon cannot feasibly take place with less than 500 runners in each zone/group. In recent years, each marathon has brought nearly 15,000 people to the streets.
There has been criticism that the tickets for the marathon will not be refunded according to their terms of purchase. RÚV reports that a considerable amount of the push back comes from foreign participants who will now need to change their travel plans. More than 1,000 foreign runners registered for the event. Instead of refunds, those who purchased tickets will be offered a gift certificate to participate in next year’s marathon.
In lieu of the organised marathon, the Sports Association is encouraging participants to participate in “Hlauptu þína leið” (Run Your Own Way) between August 21st and September 20th by running independently and contributing to the charities of their choice at hlaupstyrkur.is.
Silja Úlfarsdóttir, Information Officer at ÍBR, says that fundraising for charities through the marathon so far stand a 21.5 million ISK this year. A typical marathon year would see figures well over 100 million.
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