2021 Hong Kong Marathon postponed to October 24 due to the pandemic

The 2021 Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, one of the city’s showpiece sports events, is postponed to October 24 because of the uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers announced the decision on Friday, saying: “Public health and safety are our top priority. In light of the uncertain pandemic situation and to align with the government’s prevention measures, the organisers will continue to work with relevant government departments and stakeholders for appropriate preparation work.”

The event, which in February 2019 attracted 74,000 entrants in the 10K, half marathon and marathon categories, was originally scheduled to take place on January 24. But in August, the organisers announced a postponement without providing a date, although it is believed they were looking at April.

However, with Covid-19 still a major health threat in Hong Kong and around the world – with no sign of easing – organisers have decided to push it back to October to avoid the summer heat. They also wanted to avoid holding it too close to the following year’s marathon, which is scheduled for early 2022.

The 2020 event, originally set for February 9, was called off because of the outbreak of Covid-19 in Hong Kong.

The October date has gained support from relevant government authorities, including the police – who will provide the road permit – and Home Affairs Bureau, the de facto sports ministry.

The Hong Kong Association of Athletics Affiliates – the local governing body – needs five to six months to register runners, which means they do not have enough time to hold the race in early 2021 when the weather in Hong Kong is suitable for long distance running. Registration for the 2021 event is expected to open in the second quarter of next year.

posted Friday December 4th
by Chan Kin-wa