The 49th Chevron Houston Marathon said that due to the current health concerns surrounding COVID-19, they'll have to restructure the event, which typically hosts thousands of runners.
"The decision to cancel the 2021 Chevron Houston Marathon is incredibly disappointing for everyone, but it is the right course to follow because of the pandemic," Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
2021 Houston Marathon Weekend of Events to be Held Virtually: Current registered participants will have various registration options including a unique virtual experience— Houston Marathon (@HoustonMarathon) October 5, 2020
Read the full press release ➡️ https://t.co/e52xQZ6kds
Registration is OPEN ➡️ https://t.co/HI38cwMVuA pic.twitter.com/aFrl0SDlYe
Committee members have been reportedly working on a solution for months on how to keep the event, but adhere to the many CDC guidelines.
A virtual marathon will be held over the span of 10 days, according to the marathon's website. Runners have the option to finish their race individually anywhere and at anytime between Jan. 8 and Jan. 17.
Virtual participants will receive pre-race sponsor gifts, including encouraging letters to help them cross the finish line. Race participants who submit their completed race timing will have finisher items mailed to them after Jan. 17.
All participants who registered for the marathon will have the option to opt-in to this unique, virtual race experience, which includes a discounted registration rate for the 50th marathon scheduled for 2022.
There are also options for runners to defer their registration to 2022 or 2023, or donate their entry to a non-profit organization.
Video above is from the race held in Jan. 2020.