HONG KONG, 20 August 2021: The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic, is set to resume 24 October 2021, the organisers confirmed on Wednesday.
They are billing the event as the first major mass participatory sporting event in Hong Kong since the pandemic, but it will be a far cry from past races that attracted top runners from around the world.
The event returns, but only for 10,000 runners, who must be fully vaccinated to participate.
Usually, the marathon attracts registrations close to 20,000, including foreign competitors. Very few foreigners will bother to register. They would have to undergo a 21-day quarantine if they were travelling from high and medium risk countries.
The only consolation for overseas marathoners is the virtual event that follows on 25 October.
But international runners posted on the official Facebook page concerns over refunds as the present rule would exclude them from attending. Some had already paid for the cancelled 2020 marathon, and their registrations automatically migrated to the 2021 event.
Now, as the authorities reintroduce the 21-day quarantine, 20 August, along with other stricter measures, the million-dollar question for those who deferred their registration cash to the 2021 marathon is clearly; “will we get a refund or be invited to defer the registration payment once more to the 2022 event?”