Organizers called off the Brooklyn Half marathon Friday, after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the cancellation of city events through May to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We love those events, but what do we know about those events? It inherently means large numbers of people crowded together in a pretty small space,” said de Blasio at his daily briefing on April 17.
The race that snakes its way 13.1 miles through the borough from Prospect Heights down to Coney Island’s Boardwalk was expected to draw more than 27,000 runners on May 16. It is the largest half-marathon in the country, according to the New York Road Runners, the group behind the event.
People who registered for the endurance race can get a full refund for their entry fee, the sports organization said in a release.
In the spirit of social distancing, the Road Runners will host a free “virtual” Brooklyn Half, where runners from around the world can run or walk the distance of the race wherever they are. Those wishing to participate in the online Half are encouraged to do so from May 1 through May 17 while following the group’s guidelines for staying safe and healthy.
De Blasio’s order came a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended New York’s statewide Policies Assure Uniform Safety Everyone (PAUSE) directive to May 15, mandating that all businesses stay closed except for essential services.
Hizzoner said he and other leaders would soon make a decision about June events, though he appeared doubtful that they would take place as usual.
“If we have to make particular sacrifices, I think those huge gatherings which run so much risk for the health and safety of New Yorkers, those are the things we’re going to set a really high bar on whether we’re going to continue that in the short term, because job one is to get out of this crisis and move us forward,” de Blasio said.