The pandemic wiped the major world marathon events in 2020 off the map. Boston, New York, Chicago and Berlin had to suspend their trials.
And the one in London was held on October 4, but mass participation was canceled and only elite athletes were allowed.
Worse was in Tokyo.
In addition to the 2020 test, last week the appointment scheduled for October 21 was postponed until March 6, 2022. Those responsible for the test consider that the fact that the city of Tokyo continues in a state of emergency with the Restrictions on the mobility that it entails makes it necessary to make this decision.
In the midst of this gloomy panorama for the great popular races - the so-called World Marathon Majors -, one of the sectors most affected by the coronavirus, the Berlin race announced on Monday a relative return to normality in its current edition.
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The test in the German city will be held next Sunday with the participation of a maximum of 25,000 runners, which represents more than 40% of its usual capacity (around 62,000 participants), according to the organizing company, SCC Events, announced yesterday. .
The race returns to the streets of Berlin with some restrictions to ensure its viability, but the marathon will become the most massive since the start of the pandemic.
"The time has come for us to also send a signal as a sports metropolis," said Jürgen Lock, CEO of SCC Events.
He pointed out that it is estimated that more than 90% of the participants will go to the test with the full schedule of vaccination against the coronavirus or already recovered from their infection.
The rest of the runners, he explained, must undergo a PCR test at least 48 hours before departure.
The organizers explained that the runners will have to wear a mask in the start and finish areas, while the spectators must wear it at all times.
The event, which will take place on the same day as the German elections, as it happened four years ago, has been prepared thanks to the holding of two minor races in recent weeks as a test.
The most outstanding runner of the event will be the Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, 39-year-old Olympic champion. In the 2019 edition, he won with a time of 2h 01m 41s, just two seconds behind the world record set in 2018 by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. In the women's category, the best runner of the year will participate, the Ethiopian Hiwot Gebrekidan, who stopped the clock in 2h 19m 35s in Milan this year. The New York Marathon is scheduled to take place on November 7 with the participation of a maximum of 33,000 runners, which is 60% of its usual capacity (around 55,000 participants). The race director, Ted Metellus, assures that the return after a year-long hiatus "will show the strength, inspiration and determination of a great city."
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