SAN ANTONIO – Update (1:30 p.m.):
Officials with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon have canceled San Antonio’s event, which had been scheduled for Dec. 5-6, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Race officials on Thursday afternoon said the decision was made “after further conversations with city and health officials."
The race is scheduled to return next year, on Dec. 4-5, 2021.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called the cancellation of the “beloved” event a disappointment, but said it was the “right decision for our community.”
“By working together, we can and must suppress the virus as much as possible this year,” he said in a news release. “I look forward to resuming the marathon as soon as possible. This year’s sacrifices will make our city healthier.”
According to an email sent from Rock ‘n’ Roll to a participant, runners can choose from several deferral options, including free entry to next year’s race or a race in another city.
Participants can also compete in the virtual Rock ‘n’ Roll race that will include a medal and T-shirt. Participants must make their selection by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 28.
Up until Thursday afternoon, runners and walkers were able to register for the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon races.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Rock ‘n’ Roll has canceled certain races like those in Seattle, Atlantic City and San Diego.
The coronavirus pandemic has robbed San Antonians of several events this year, but the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is not one of them.
The major running event is still on track for Dec. 5-6 in San Antonio, but organizers are promising a “safe return” despite a growing number of COVID-19 cases.
Organizers did not give details on the expo, number of athletes, corrals, spectators or post-race activities in San Antonio, but the program has released guidelines for all its races going forward.
Race officials told KSAT that San Antonio-specific questions will be answered “as we get closer to the event date."
New rules for this year include:
- Participants must wear face coverings around the event venues, including the start corrals and finish lines. They will be provided a face covering when they pick up their packets. Staff and volunteers will be required to wear face coverings.
- Participants and volunteers must complete a health questionnaire. They will be subjected to temperature checks at “many venues,” the guidelines state. Those with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed to participate.
- Hand sanitizing and handwashing stations will be located around event venues.
- The expo, packet pickup area, merchandise area and finish line will be “redesigned and reimagined” to minimize possible exposure.
- Runners will be encouraged to provide their own hydration, aid and nutrition.
- Social distancing guidelines will be implemented in typically dense areas like the expo, start line and finish line.
Organizers said non-essential functions like the expo and merchandise area could be eliminated or modified.
“Safety has always been of greatest importance for our events, and while the decision around when to host an event will ultimately depend on local communities and public health authorities, we have been working with experts and event stakeholders on how to conduct events safely in this new reality that allows for the continuation of positive economic impact for host cities, and the mental and physical benefits for participants that endurance events provide,” Andrew Messick, President & CEO of The IRONMAN Group, said.
Both the marathon and half-marathon on Dec. 6 are slated to begin at West Market and South Alamo streets, like previous years. They are expected to end on Cesar Chavez Boulevard near the Institute of Texan Cultures.
The 10K and 5K races on Dec. 5 will begin near Hoefgen Avenue and Heiman Street, near St. Paul Square. They are expected to end near Travis Park.
Start times and routes are subject to change.