The 45th edition of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon scheduled for Sunday 18 October 2020 has been cancelled. Despite the significantly modified programme, the Municipality of Amsterdam and organizer Le Champion have decided to cancel the running event, given the rising numbers of coronavirus infections in the capital. The international nature of the marathon has also been a deciding factor behind the decision. Participants come from all over the world: in normal times, 140 different nationalities would show up at the start in the Olympic Stadium. The bib numbers for the participants registered so far will be transferred to the 46th edition on Sunday 17 October 2021.
Over the past few months, sports organisation Le Champion and its partners have done everything it can to make top sports and broad-based sports possible. The organisation had a lot of confidence in the fully modified programme with fewer participants. However, the development of the coronavirus in recent weeks has made it no longer justified to grant a permit from the municipality for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2020.
Ron van der Jagt, Managing Director of Le Champion, is disappointed but understanding: ‘It’s extremely regretful that we have had to cancel the TCS Amsterdam Marathon due to the corona crisis. It is our mission to help as many people as possible to take part in sports and exercise and contribute to a healthy society. Public health is always our top priority, which is why we wanted nothing more than to allow the TCS Amsterdam Marathon to take place in a safe, responsible way with a modified edition this year. However, the development of the corona crisis over the past few weeks, both in the Netherlands and beyond, has made it impossible for this edition to go ahead.’
Since last year, the TCS Amsterdam Marathon has been the only Dutch marathon to be awarded the Platinum Label by World Athletics, the international athletics federation. The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is therefore recognised as one of the best in the world and meets the highest quality standards. The organiser of the fastest marathon in the Netherlands of course wanted to live up to this name.
In the spring, cancellation after cancellation was announced to the marathon world. For Le Champion, this was the time to join forces both internally and externally to come up with a suitable solution for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, which last year had 47,000 participants. ‘We did everything in our power, in consultation with our partners, to come up with a feasible modified programme. Of the twelve scenarios, one alternative ultimately remained that would guarantee the quality of our TCS Amsterdam Marathon and ensure that the 1.5m distance could be maintained. The plan involved 12,500 runners, with the international elite race, Dutch Championships and recreational runners. We believed it would have been safe and therefore possible with these arrangements in place. However, in recent weeks we have been faced with the reality’, says René Wit, Race Director for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon.
Olympic Games and Dutch Championships
This year, there will be no unforgettable start and finish in the Olympic Stadium, and no unique route through the Rijksmuseum and the Vondelpark. It is a huge disappointment for runners from the Netherlands and across the world. For the top runners, two other great performance opportunities have also been cancelled. For the fifth year in a row, the Dutch Championships for the marathon would have been held in Amsterdam, with the favourite, Abdi Nageeye, competing as the Dutch record holder. There was also an opportunity to qualify for the Olympic marathon in Tokyo. World Athletics recently brought the qualification period for the Olympic Games forward from 1 December to 1 September 2020.
Virtual TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2020
Josu Devasia, Country Head of title sponsor Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Netherlands: ‘In light of the development of the virus, we support the decision to cancel the event. As title sponsor and technology sponsor, we are fully committed to our partner Le Champion and have built a virtual racing app. Of course, it is extremely disappointing for all participants registered that the marathon cannot go ahead, but there is no greater priority than people’s health and safety. We therefore hope that all participants will join in the virtual race in the week of Sunday 18 October.’