70,000 runners will have their entries refunded.
The Hong Kong Marathon, which was due to take place on Saturday 8 February, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to news reports today, 27 January, the virus has killed 81 and infected 3000 people to date.
According to BBC news, Hong Kong has, at present, got eight confirmed cases of the coronavirus. There has been a city-wide emergency declared and schools have been closed until 17 February.
Organisers of The Hong Kong Marathon have confirmed all entry fees will be fully refunded. A statement given by the organisers read, “Public health is our top priority. To support the government’s epidemic prevention efforts, the organiser has decided to cancel the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon originally scheduled for 8 and 9 February.”
Runners have been sharing their reaction to the news on social media, with most feeling disappointed, but agreeing with the organiser’s decision.
Well, sad news came to me yesterday. No Hong Kong marathon this year 😔. Oh well… what can we do, right? Healthy life always comes first! At least I have a plan B set, so keep working on it! 🤨 #TrainSmart pic.twitter.com/snfRMskiBn
— Eric-san エリックさん (@kuwamuraeric) January 26, 2020
Ireland’s Caitriona Jennings, who competed for her country in the marathon during the 2012 Olympics in London, now lives in Hong Kong and was planning on running the race. She told local news outlets, “I’m very disappointed that the race has been cancelled as I have been targeting it since November and was looking forward to racing Hong Kong’s top athletes as well as the international field. That said, public health is much more important and I fully agree that it was the right decision by the organisers.”