A series of major marathons in April had to be delayed or canceled due to the influence of Covid-19.
The world sport is holding its breath watching the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic with a series of major events that have been postponed or canceled. Marathon runners are no exception, especially this April.
London Marathon is one of the six most prestigious annual running events on the planet, besides the tournaments in Boston, New York, Chicago, London, and Tokyo, belonging to the World Marathon Majors (WMM) system. The London run this year was supposed to take place on April 26 with the expected run by the Joggers between Eliud Kipchoge, Kenyan, and Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopian. These are the world’s top two full marathon running legs (42,195 kilometers).
Kipchoge used to cost a lot of sports newspapers when he became the first to run a marathon sub2 (under two hours) in October 2019 during the INEOS 1:59 Challenge at Vienna, Austria. This foot runner born in 1984 is holding a world record with 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds, set at the Berlin Marathon 2018.
A year later, at the Berlin Marathon 2019, Bekele – an athlete born in 1982 – finished first in 2 hours 1 minute 41 seconds. This year’s London Marathon will be the 20th encounter at major leagues around the world, but only the fifth between Bekele and Kipchoge within 6 major.
Covid-19 also significantly influenced the training process of the world’s leading marathon runners.
“I’m still training to keep up my pace. However, you can’t train alone and then get to your best state. Mentally, if you run alone for an hour, you will feel depressed because of loneliness. I practicing with the team for the past 15 years and feeling alone is really crazy, uncomfortable at all. But safety is my number one priority, “Kipchoge shared on Runner’s World.
Bekele faced similar challenges. He said: “Running alone is not comfortable while not being allowed to run many people. I try to stay in shape, but it really does not work. I pray it will end soon. I run 4-5 days every day. week, alone in the forest. Most of the time I spend with my family. Everything’s fine. It’s sad to hear that many people are infected with nCoVid in the US and Europe. “
Two thousand athletes who ran the news of the London Marathon, if it went as planned, would be very fierce. But both also admitted to not being able to finish in less than 2 hours, partly because the weather could be unfavorable.
The London Marathon is scheduled to be held on October 4, and the tournament’s CEO, Hugh Brasher, said on April 26 that the organizers are considering a plan to reduce the scale, exclusively for professional runners. Brasher also did not confirm whether Kipchoge and Bekele had registered for the race in October.
By now, the Tokyo Marathon is the only major to take place on schedule, on March 1. But because of the concern that Covid-19 spread, the organizers were limited to just 200 professional athletes participating, instead of expanding to the entire 38,000 people on the registration list. Birhanu Lesage, running in Ethiopia, came first with 2 hours 4 minutes 15 seconds.