Riga Marathon pushes on despite virus fears

Rimi Riga Marathon organizers are dealing with the possible challenges presented by the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, and have announced the new marathon routes for the races on May 16 and 17 at a press conference on March 10.

“We are carefully monitoring the development of events worldwide. We are in consultation with our long-term partners the State Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) and the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) on the potential impact of the Coronavirus and the decisions necessary to ensure maximum participant health, wellbeing and safety, and we are working to ensure that the events on May 16th and 17th can take place in full,” said Marathon Director Aigars Nords.

“Our advice to participants is to prepare, be active and exercise, as well as to bear in mind the preventative advice given by epidemiologists,” said Nords.

However he does admit that the spread of the virus will impact the participation of foreign athletes, as the competition must adhere to the international IAAF Gold Label Road Race criteria set by the World Athletics organization. The spread of the Covid-19 has already led to the cancellation or postponing of the Rome, Paris and Barcelona marathons. London is following the situation and several marathons in China and South Korea were canceled. Tokyo only allowed elite runners to participate in the marathon.

This year the marathon routes will begin at the Freedom Monument and finish on the November 11 Embankment, winding through Riga on both sides of the Daugava River. The organizers are also planning on a green event, so there will be no printed booklets or individual bags for finishers. All water cups and receptacles will be recycled.

Register for 4.2k, 6k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon races on the marathon website, and also find out more information about the free training program. The Riga Marathon has been held since 1991 and gathered 38,398 participants last year from 82 countries, including 13,000 children.

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