This year’s Kaohsiung Fubon Marathon, Kaohsiung Metro-LRT Marathon and Tainan Half Marathon have been postponed, while the Kinmen Marathon has been canceled due to the possibility of COVID-19 infection, the municipalities announced.
The Kaohsiung Fubon Marathon was due to take place on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, and more than 20,000 people have registered for the race, while the Kaohsiung Metro-LRT Marathon was planned for Feb. 21.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) yesterday afternoon announced that the marathons had been postponed, after he hosted a COVID-19 response meeting.
Photo: Liu Wan-chun, Taipei Times
Chen said that as the global COVID-19 pandemic remains serious, the Kaohsiung City Government is prioritizing disease prevention and adopting the highest standards to ensure the city’s residents remain safe.
Kaohsiung Department of Health Director-General Huang Chih-chung (黃志中) said that although there is little risk of local infection in the city, the city government has continued to enhance its COVID-19 prevention measures, as the number of confirmed cases around the world continues to grow.
With more than 20,000 participants, the marathons would have been very crowded and it would have been difficult to guarantee disease prevention standards, so the department had suggested postponing the events, he said.
Kaohsiung Sports Development Bureau Director Hou Tsun-yao (侯尊堯) said that new dates set for the marathons would be announced as soon as possible after the Lunar New Year holiday, and participants who could not take part on the new dates could apply for a full refund of the admission fee.
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) yesterday announced that the Tainan Half Marathon, which was originally scheduled for March 7, with more than 16,000 registered participants, had been postponed to Oct. 3.
He said that with many people concerned about the safety of the major event, as it was scheduled within 21 days after the Lunar New Year holiday, during which many overseas Taiwanese are expected to return to home, the city government had postponed the half marathon to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Kinmen County Commissioner Yang Cheng-wu (楊鎮浯) on Monday had announced that the annual Kinmen Marathon, which was due to to take place at the weekend, had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said although there are no confirmed cases on the island, the county government had to make the difficult decision to ensuring the safety of residents, which is more important than promoting tourism.
Kinmen County Education Department Director Lo Te-shui (羅德水) said that the county government is planning to set up an online marathon for registered runners to upload their data using a mobile app before the end of the month, so that they could receive gifts as finishers, while those who opt out of competing onine would be given a full refund of the admission fee.
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