The 2020 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

The 2020 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon has been canceled.

The event, previously slated for October, joins several other races and festivals in the Columbus area that have been shelved, rescheduled or replanned to take place virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“No one at the finish line last October could have anticipated that we would cancel the event for this year, but it is absolutely the correct thing to do,” Board Chairman Dan Leite said in a news release. “The safety of our athletes, volunteers, first responders, team and the entire community is the top priority for our event. “

The event has raised $10 million for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the marathon’s benefiting charity, since 2012. 

“It pains us to not be able to bring our race forward in 2020, but these are no ordinary times,” Race Director Darris Blackford said in the release. “Everyone has faced changes to our ‘normal’ ways of life. When you think about the best health and safety practices needed to help slow the spread of the virus, holding a major running footrace isn’t the responsible thing to do right now.”

Race participants will have their fees refunded. However, would-be participants will still have a chance to fundraise for Children’s Hospital’s patients and families. There will be a forthcoming announcement on fundraising activities.

"This is the right decision and whole this news might disappoint in the short term, our 128-year-old mission is not taking a break,” Steve Testa, president of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation, said in the release.

“Kids still get cancer, babies are still born prematurely,” Testa said. “We look forward to working with everyone to help children.”

posted Tuesday June 30th