Calling the cancellation “incredibly disappointing,” Michael Capiraso, head of the New York Road Runners organization, said “it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective.”
The world’s largest marathon — 53,640 runners finished in 2019 — New York’s race was set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020.
“While the marathon is an iconic and beloved event in our city, I applaud New York Road Runners for putting the health and safety of both spectators and runners first,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement.
“We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021.”
Those registered for the 2020 edition will have refund options or they can defer entry to races in the next three years.
The decision comes weeks after Boston canceled its marathon for the first time in the event’s 124-year history.
The Berlin Marathon, another major race, was also canceled in a bid to halt the spread of COVID-19.
The London Marathon has been postponed until October 4, while the Tokyo Marathon was held with a reduced field of elite runners.
The Chicago Marathon is still scheduled for October 11.