ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The annual SNICKERS Marathon Weekend that is held every year in Albany has been postponed, according to a press release.
Albany Marathon, Inc., Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, MARS Wrigley and community leaders decided to postpone the 2021 SNICKERS Marathon Weekend because of safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was a very difficult decision, but it is in the best interest of our community, all participants and spectators,” said Chuck Knight, the chairman of the Albany Marathon, Inc. board of directors. “The COVID-19 situation is too fluid to accurately predict the conditions we will see in March. We don’t want to do anything to risk the health and safety of anyone involved as we are also following the lead of the City of Albany as they have canceled and postponed past events.”
The race weekend for 2021 was scheduled for March 5-6. However, that has now been tentatively pushed to April 16-17 and will still be held in downtown Albany at 7 a.m.
While postponement does affect the SNICKERS half and full marathon and the Annual Downtown Street Festival, officials told WALB News 10 that it will have no impact on runners being able to use the race to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
“Everyone running the marathon will still be able to qualify for the Boston as usual. The only thing changing about the race is the event date. We will still offer the same support and a certified course,” Rashelle Beasley, race director, said.
The press release also states that registered runners will be transferred to the April date. Per the race’s COVID-19 policy, they do have the option to run virtually or defer their registration to the 2022 or 2023 race. Registered runners who choose to not run in April will need to contact race officials.
“This community event was designed to show off our Southern hospitality and give runners a 26.2-mile tour of Albany, GA,” said Beasley. “With our supporting sponsor and medical staff provider, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, working hard to keep our community healthy, we must join them by postponing the race to a time we feel would be safer.”
The 2021 race will mark 15 years running.