The 2020 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & Half Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 18, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the organization.

The event’s board of trustees also voted to provide a full refund of registration fees for 2020 participants.

“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,” said board Chair Dan Leite in the release. “The safety of our athletes, volunteers, first responders, team and the entire community is the top priority for our event. With the ongoing pandemic and based on consultation with our valued partners at Nationwide, NCH and the city of Columbus, it became quite apparent to the board that the best way to protect everyone’s safety would be to cancel our event for 2020. It was a very difficult decision to make but one we strongly believe is in the best interest of everyone involved.”

Since 2012, the event has raised $10 million for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the marathon’s benefiting charity. According to the release, there will be a future announcement about new fundraising activities.

Registered athletes will receive instructions about how to obtain their refund for the event. There will not be a deferral option of registration fees for a future year’s race.

In 2019, the Marathon celebrated its 40th anniversary, and was one of the 20th largest marathons in the country, the release said. The half-marathon, the largest in Columbus, saw its 14th anniversary last year.

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