SINGAPORE - The Osim Sundown Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on May 23 at the F1 Pit Building, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The race organisers announced in a press release on Thursday (March 12) that the mass running event would not take place after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over 127,00 people and killed 4,636 worldwide, a pandemic.
Max Phua, spokesman for the Sundown Marathon, said: "This decision is not made lightly. This is the first time in our 13-year history that we have to cancel a race.
"Even though this decision may derail the plans of some 25,000 runners we host year-on-year, public health and safety come first. Every year, Sundown attracts runners from over 30 countries. This also mean it elevates the health risk above all other public outings.
"We choose to put no one in danger. We appreciate the commitment of all the runners who are looking forward to the race and we hope to have their continued support when we organise it next year."
While Loveena Sharma, who had signed up for the 21.1km race, was a little disappointed, the graduate student, 24, said it was a responsible decision as the virus situation is now a pandemic.
She added: “There will be other marathons to train for once the coronavirus situation is under control. So hopefully, most runners can keep training on their own time and continue to enjoy the sport.”
Those who have registered for this year's race will gain direct entry into next year's event.
Any requested refunds will be handled by this year's race organiser, Infinitus Productions.
This is the first major local running event to be cancelled amid the coronavirus situation.
Several other runs such as the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (April 8), the Home Team NS Adventure Race (March 21) and the Terry Fox Singapore Run (March 22) have also been postponed.
The JP Morgan Corporate Challenge has been pushed back to Nov 26, while dates for the other two running events have yet to be confirmed.
Other marquee sports events here have also been hit by the coronavirus situation, with the Feb 27-March 1 HSBC Women's World Championship golf tournament and the International Champions Cup scheduled for July cancelled. The April 11-12 HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens has been postponed to October.