The event would have celebrated its 50th anniversary this November.

By Georgia Slater / People.com
June 24, 2020
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The 2020 New York City Marathon has been canceled due to the novel coronavirus, organizers for the race announced Wednesday.

The New York Road Runners, in conjunction with Mayor Bill de Blasio, decided to cancel the November race due to health and safety concerns for the runners, spectators, and others involved in putting on one of the city's biggest annual events, according to an NYRR press release.

"While the marathon is an iconic and beloved event in our city, I applaud New York Road Runners for putting the health and safety of both spectators and runners first,” said de Blasio. "We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021."

The race — which attracts more than 50,000 runners, 10,000 volunteers, and nearly one million fans, the New York Times reported — was scheduled to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year on Nov. 1.

Last year's race had a record of 53,640 finishers, making it the world's largest marathon, according to the release.

"Canceling this year’s TCS New York City Marathon is incredibly disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective,” Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, said in a statement.

"Marathon Day and the many related events and activities during race week are part of the heart and soul of New York City and the global running community, and we look forward to coming together next year," he added.

Runners who were already registered for the 2020 marathon will be contacted by July 15 with additional information about securing a refund or an entry for a later race.

According to the release, runners will have the option to receive a full refund or a guaranteed complimentary entry in the 2021, 2022, or 2023 marathon.

Those who entered via a charity or tour operator should reach out to those organizations beginning July 1 for resolution options.

Runners will also be invited to participate in the third annual TCS New York City Marathon – Virtual 26.2M from Oct. 17 through Nov. 1, for which additional details will be announced in July.

The New York Marathon's cancellation marks the third of six major international marathons to be canceled in 2020, including Boston which canceled its annual race last month, according to the Times.

“There was hope but that turned to uncertainty, and given what we have seen the past months, this was really the only decision,” Capiraso told the outlet.

As of June 24, New York continues to lead in the U.S. with the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths. There have been 393,855 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 30,970 deaths, according to recent data from the Times.

New York City alone accounts for 217,803 of those cases and 21,817 deaths.

This story originally appeared on People .