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Montreal marathon called off due to COVID-19 pandemic

Athletes leave the half marathon start line during the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on Sunday, July 10, 2016. The 2021 Montreal marathon has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/The Canadian Press

The Montreal marathon slated for the fall is cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision, which was announced in a statement Tuesday, comes as Quebec gradually reopens from the health crisis but some restrictions remain in effect.

“After having considered multiple scenarios, jointly with their private and public partners, it is with great disappointment that the organizers must cancel the event scheduled for Sept. 24 to 26,” the statement reads.

The province’s current roadmap when it comes to public health guidelines for festivals and other initiatives “do not permit” holding the races, according to organizers.

READ MORE: Canadian Grand Prix cancelled for 2nd year in a row due to pandemic

“Right now, there are no guarantees for organizers of large gatherings that any loosening of restrictions will happen by early fall,” said Sébastien Arsenault, president and CEO of Événements GPCQM.

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“Even though forecasts seem optimistic, the fact remains that there is still uncertainty, and the nature of our event requires significant operational and human planning that could not be arranged at the last minute.”

Runners who already signed up and paid for their spot can ask for a refund or participate in next year’s event.

The cancellation comes on the heels of the Grands Prix cyclistes race also being called off in Montreal for the second consecutive year.

The marathon was also cancelled last year due to COVID-19. Organizers are hopeful that the event will go forth in September 2022.

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with files from The Canadian Press

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