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Calgary Marathon to host 4,000 runners this weekend

With the province in a state of emergency, race officials move forward with plans to host the race this Sunday

On Sunday, Sept. 19, the Calgary Marathon will host the largest Canadian race since the pandemic. After more than two years without an in-person event, the race will return with a 50K, marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K races. 4,000 runners are registered across the five races with more than 1,000 runners starting in the 10K and half marathon.

Photo: Calgary Marathon

Right now, Alberta is in the midst of the fourth wave of COVID-19, reporting 1,600 new cases on Sept. 15, in addition to the 11,500 active cases across the province. A province-wide state of emergency was issued earlier this week, but there are no restrictions on outdoor events. 

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The race published a statement to social media earlier today. “We are moving forward with plans to host the 2021 Calgary Marathon this Sunday, September 19th,” said race officials. “The race worked with health officials to ensure the safest possible event for participants, staff and volunteers.”

“Our plan isn’t to break the rules or offer a world-class event. This is a restricted safe event to celebrate personal accomplishment and achieve fundraising,” says race director Kirsten Fleming. “Our policies were already in place to meet the provincial guidelines set by the Alberta government.”

“We have worked with Alberta Health to ensure that this event is run safely. All aspects of the race will be held outdoors (besides race kit pickup), with no pre-or post-race celebrations,” says Fleming. Precautions will include masking at the start and finish lines, and at least six feet of separation between runners, in their corrals.

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A live broadcast of the event will be streamed online to minimize the number of spectators on the course. Spectators are also welcome to watch at the finish line of Stampede Park, which seats 17,000.

The Calgary Marathon offers a virtual race option, which 1,000 runners have chosen to participate in from across the country.