Runners hoping to tackle the New Jersey Marathon will have to wait yet another year. The state's premier road race has been canceled for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Long Branch-area race event, which also included a half marathon and a 5K, was supposed to be held on Oct. 16 and 17. But city officials told the races' organizers that they're not holding any large events this fall.
"We have been working with the City of Long Branch and other neighboring municipalities for a solution. No stone has been left unturned," organizers said in a message on the event's website. "With the unknown impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant, and the City's charge to protect its citizens, Long Branch has made the decision to not allow large events this fall. We appreciate the difficult position that Long Branch is in and their 25 years of support."
Long Branch business administrator George Jackson said the marathon and half-marathon pose big challenges because of the sheer numbers of people expected and the amount of coordination needed among police and emergency medical services in Long Branch and surrounding towns.
"This race brings in thousands of people, and the finish is on a promenade where it gets pretty crowded," Jackson said. "We just felt it was too much at this time."
Registered runners have several options, including getting a partial refund or transferring their registration to the Atlantic City Marathon and Half Marathon, which is scheduled for the same weekend.
"We recognize your investment in the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon, financially, physically, and mentally. Preparing for one of our races requires a tremendous amount of time and energy," organizers said. "We share your disappointment as the prospect of watching all of you cross the finish line motivated our team through this year."
With The Associated Press