#Coronavirus: Tokyo marathon organizers cancel the participation of more than 30,000 runners
On February 17, runners from all over the world, who were preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, one of the six Great World Marathons, were surprised by the news that the federation of runners canceled several marathon categories. An official announcement on the website of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation stated that, as a preventive measure to control a greater spread of coronavirus cases, only elite and elite wheelchair riders could participate in the race that will take out this sunday. The participation of more than 38,000 people from other categories was canceled, such as semi-elite, general, charity and 10 km.
The announcement provoked mixed reactions from the brokers. While most of them agreed that it was for a greater good, many were also surprised to learn that the organizers were also not going to reimburse their registration fees. The only sigh of relief for these registered runners is that they will be allowed to participate in the 2021 edition without having to compete for a place in the race again. However, they will have to pay the registration fee again next year.
A tweet from the Tokyo Marathon Foundation
It is for the common good
Sheran Mehra, a marketing professional from Mumbai, was supposed to run in the 2020 Tokyo Marathon with her husband, Chandramohan Mehra. “We were supposed to end our Six Star World Tour in Tokyo. We are disappointed because we had been training hard for the race, but given the circumstances, it was forever. We feel sad, and it was unfortunate, but it is something that is beyond anyone's control, says the 45-year-old. She adds: Yes, it took us a while to digest the news of the cancellation, but we understand that it is for the greater good. Sheran did not let his preparation for the Tokyo Marathon be wasted and, instead, he competed in the recently held Delhi Marathon.
Like Sheran, Kavitha Reddy de Pune, a well-known name on the city racing circuit, hoped to complete his WMM record in Tokyo. With the news that the coronavirus claimed its life, the runners expected this, says Kavitha, and adds: It is a great setback for me, but it is a preventive measure since several runners from several countries participated in the race. , and would have been a great risk. Therefore, prevention is better than cure. In addition, the organizers are also lost here, not just the runners. ”
First I received the news from social networks, not from the organizers
While the Pune-based broker, Tanmaya Karmarkar, agrees that the registration fee will not be reimbursed, she shares: The registration fee is a small amount compared to other expenses, time and effort spent on preparation.
Chicago-based runner Sadia Imran, who has completed the London, Berlin and Chicago marathons, adds: “I agree that the organizers do not reimburse the registration fee and require us to pay again for the 2021 race. But What disappoints me is that we first listen to the news of groups that are active on social networks. The official mail of the organizers arrived four days later. This is not something you expect from world-renowned event organizers. Sadia has been training for 16 weeks for the marathon.
He also wonders how the coronavirus scare will affect the 2020 Olympics, which are scheduled to happen in Tokyo between July and August. “The Olympic Games are a great event for all the representative countries. Japan is currently in preventive management mode and that is why the cancellation occurred in the Tokyo Marathon. Instead of risking the lives of more than 30,000 people, it is somewhat more sensible. But I hope the Olympics will continue as scheduled, ”adds Sadia, who has planned to go to Tokyo anyway, and will spend the holidays there instead of cranky over the cancellation.
'Petty on the part of the runners will get angry'
Reacting to chaos, confusion and disappointment among the runner community, after the announcement, runner Ash Ash Nath, who has been training runners across the country for Indian marathons and WMM, says: “We have to look at the big picture . Running is the second place to save hundreds of lives. And, this is not the first time that a sporting event is canceled due to an epidemic or a calamity. Therefore, it is insignificant for the brokers to get in a bad mood because the registration fee is not refunded and cannot run this year. Ash, who is also an executive member of India Amateur Runners Trust (IART), adds: The Tokyo Marathon Foundation only acts in the ‘ overwhelming force , Which is included in the registration form, to mitigate the outbreak of coronavirus. It was expected. All they could have done is make the announcement before.
The cancellation of this year's race will also affect the marathon next year.
Gauri Jayaram, founder of Active Holiday Company, based in Bengaluru, the official tour operator for the Tokyo Marathon in India, says: It was assumed that around 50 Indian runners would run in the Tokyo Marathon 2020. The number is smaller because they enter in the Tokyo marathon is extremely hard. His company manages the stay in Tokyo along with the entrance to the race and other local arrangements for the participating Indian runners. She adds: “Tokyo Marathon has made the decision not to reimburse the race registration fee, since its race conditions did not include such an outbreak. We manage our own margins and we are giving it up for this race, since our current clients are already losing money for reasons that are beyond their control.
Speaking of how this year's cancellation, in the massive category, will impact next year's race, she says: It is a big concern about how it will be managed next year. They cannot increase the capacity of the race, so the people who were originally planning for 20221 will be affected as the 2020 runners will enter next year.