Belfast Marathon organisers have bowed to the inevitable and cancelled what would have been the 39th running of the event which had been rescheduled for Sunday, September 20.
It is now planned to run the event on its normal calendar date next May.
It became increasingly obvious in recent days that Belfast would have to take the same cancellation decision as other autumn marathons such as Dublin, Boston, Berlin and many others. No decision has yet been taken regarding London which is scheduled for October 4. However it is rumoured that if the event takes place at all it will be confined to elite athletes only.
Belfast City Marathon issued a statement to all this year's entrants saying: "Due to the unprecedented situation with the global pandemic of Covid-19 our fundamental priority must be your health and others, so at this time we do not believe we can stage our sporting event safely or to the standard which you frequently rely on.
"In a bid to sustain our cherished Belfast City Marathon we would like to defer all entries to the 2021 event scheduled for May 2."
The statement went on to say that a £5 voucher plus a 10% reduction would be given to all entrants of next year's Belfast City Half Marathon scheduled for February 28, 2021.
Those who complete the various virtual events (currently some 3,000) by September 20, will receive t-shirts and medals.