The Hong Kong Marathon, which was set to take place on Saturday, February 8, has been cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. As of Saturday the virus has infected 1,400 people and in China alone, 41 people have died. The country has now declared a level one public health alert–which is the highest level possible.
There are no documented cases of the virus in Canada thus far.
The organizers statement reads: “Public health is our top priority. To support the government’s epidemic prevention efforts, the organizer has decided to cancel the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon originally scheduled for 8 and 9 February.” The entry fees will reportedly be refunded to the 70,000 entrants.
The Hong Kong Marathon is known for attracting a strong elite field because of the very impressive prize purse. Winners would take home $65,000 USD, which is larger than some World Major marathons (London for example gives $55,000 USD to their winners). There was also the potential to take home an addition $12,000 USD for setting a course record.
The men’s 2019 race was won in 2:09 and the women’s in 2:26.