ATHENS — The Athens Marathon has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The marathon had been scheduled for Nov. 8. It follows the legendary route purportedly run by the ancient Greek messenger Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens to announce victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C.
The classic marathon route has grown in popularity since the 1970s and the event now includes 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer races.
The Greek track federation says it had considered holding only the marathon with fewer participants and compulsory COVID-19 tests for all runners but its proposal to Greek health authorities had not been answered.
The federation says participants will be contacted and offered a refund or to transfer their participation to 2021. It says it will organize a virtual race in November that will be open to all.