As reported on the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon website today:
March 25, 2020
Cleveland, OH – March 25, 2020 – The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon announced today that the 2020 marathon and related events scheduled for May 16-17 have been converted to a Virtual Event due to the COVID-19 epidemic. As alternatives, runners may participate in the Virtual Event or defer their participation to the 2021 or 2022 race.
“This is certainly not the outcome anyone wanted. We love our runners, and we know that so many of them have been training hard for our race in May,” said Jack Staph, Executive Director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. “We share their disappointment and frustration. However, we know that this is the absolute right decision to protect the health and safety of our participants and the community at large, which is our number one priority. It is just the right thing to do.”
The marathon staff worked diligently with the City of Cleveland to find an alternate date in the fall, but it was not feasible due to the Cleveland Browns schedule not being released until mid-April and events that were already planned for that time frame.
For 43 years, the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon has been the choice for thousands of runners, showcasing the great City of Cleveland and its rich, diverse neighborhoods to people from all over the world. Each year, the marathon hosts approximately 18,000 runners, plus volunteers and spectators, and contributes $15 million in economic impact to the city. The race also has a long-standing commitment to the charitable community and has provided an extremely profitable avenue for non-profit organizations to raise millions of dollars throughout its long history.
“We appreciate the patience of our participants, partners and sponsors, especially Rite Aid and University Hospitals, while we deliberated over this decision during this uncertain and unprecedented time,” said Staph. “We will continue to provide updates and ways for our runners to connect on our website and social media platforms.”
As alternatives, the marathon is offering participants one of the following options:
Virtual Event. Registered participants of the 2020 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon are eligible to transfer their registration to the Virtual Event through May 17 (an email will be sent with instructions). Once they are signed up for the Virtual Event, they may begin logging and submitting their miles from April 15 – May 17 whenever they’d like at the location of their choice. Shirts and medals will be mailed in June 2020. Those who registered for the Challenge Series will also receive their free duffel bags via mail.
Deferment to 2021 or 2022 race. Those who registered the 2020 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon can apply their registration fee to our 2021 or 2022 race. An email will be sent with instructions.
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