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Pandemic forces cancellation of Detroit marathon; virtual race to be run

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Detroit’s premier distance race will have a different feel this year, with extreme physical distancing.

The 43rd Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon has been canceled, according to the organization’s website.

The 43rd Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon has been canceled, according to the organization’s website.

The event, which was scheduled for Oct. 16-18, will be run virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In March when our world as we knew it seemed to change, we were hopeful that we would be able to run together in October. As time has gone on, it has become clear to us that this will not be the case,” the organization posted on its website. “It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing we will not be gathering together at the start line this year.”

For participants registered for the event, there’s an option to participate virtually or defer registration fees to the 2021 or 2022 race at no cost, or to get 50% of the registration fees. More details about the virtual race will be sent to registrants in an email on July 30; registration for prospective runners is closed.

“We are heartbroken and disappointed. However, we are working to create the most engaging and collective virtual experience possible — there are celebrations still to be had this year!” the organization posted. “If we’ve learned anything from our community, it’s that the only way we persevere is together.

"So even if it’s virtually from our own start lines, we look forward to commemorating our achievements together, even if we’re apart.”

rod.beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard