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On your mark, get set, go! New York marathon to return in November

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New York marathon runners cross the Verrazzano Bridge in November 2019./AFP
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May 18, 2021 - 06:05 AM

NEW YORK — The New York City marathon — the world’s biggest 26.2-mile race — will return in November with 33,000 runners, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday.

The run will be on its usual date, the first Sunday of November which this year is the seventh, after the 2020 edition was cancelled because of coronavirus.

The race through New York’s five boroughs, starting in Staten Island and finishing in Manhattan’s Central Park, typically has 55,000 runners.

The plan is to hold this year’s marathon at 60 percent capacity, with registrations formally opening on June 8.

The race is one of the city’s largest events and its return will mark a watershed moment in New York’s recovery from the pandemic.

Organizers said 2021 will be a “historic” year for the event.

“As we stage a safe and memorable race for the 50th running, this year’s marathon will showcase our great city’s strength, inspiration, and determination,” said race director Ted Metellus.

The run has been held every year since 1970 apart from 2020 and 2012, when it was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.

New York resumed 24-hour subway operations on Monday and is set to lift virtually all coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday.

Percentage limits on occupancy will be scrapped for many business and cultural venues in the city — including shops, restaurants, cinemas and museums.

They will be allowed to welcome as many people as they want provided six feet of social distancing is maintained.

The six-feet rule does not apply if all customers provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Cuomo announced that New York will adopt the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance on masks from Wednesday.

The CDC ruled last week that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks outdoors or indoors.

The announcement caused confusion because the policy is left for the relevant local authorities or employers to decide.

There is also no way of knowing whether unmasked people have been vaccinated.

More than 60 percent of New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose, according to official data.

“Masks will still be required on public transit, in schools  and some communal settings. Private venues may require masks,” said Cuomo.

“Unvaccinated people should continue to wear a mask,” he added.

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