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Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon shifts to virtual event due to coronavirus pandemic

The sudden changes have forced event organizers to cancel, postpone or find a creative solutions to host their events.

CLEVELAND — The coronavirus pandemic is causing a shift across the country. Stay-at-home orders have been issued and gatherings have been banned. 

The sudden changes have forced event organizers to cancel, postpone or find a creative solutions to host their events. 

The Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon is the most recent event to announce changes, switching their traditional race events to a virtual experience amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“This is certainly not the outcome anyone wanted. We love our runners, and we know that so many of them have been training hard for our race in May,” said Jack Staph, Executive Director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. “We share their disappointment and frustration. However, we know that this is the absolute right decision to protect the health and safety of our participants and the community at large, which is our number one priority. It is just the right thing to do.”

Officials say they worked with the City of Cleveland to secure alternative dates in the fall, but it wasn't feasible given previously scheduled events. 

Runners may either participate in the virtual event, or defer their participation to the 2021 or 2022 race. 

Registered runners can transfer their registration to the virtual event through May 17. Additionally, runners looking to defer to the 2021,2022 races will be able to apply their fee to those races.Emails with instructions on how to take action will sent out, officials said in a press release Wednesday.

For more information, contact officials at Info@clevelandmarathon.com. 

More than 4 decades, the Clevelamd Rite-Aid Marathon has hosted nearly 18,000 runners, showcasing the best that the City of Cleveland has to offer. Additionally, the race contributes approximately $15 million in economic impact.

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