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Participants take part in the 2017 iteration of the Hong Kong Marathon.
Participants take part in the 2017 iteration of the Hong Kong Marathon. Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

A marathon that was due to take place in Hong Kong in a couple of weeks has been canceled by its organizers amid fears of the coronavirus outbreak, organizers’ said.

The event’s 70,000 participants will get refunds.

This comes as Hong Kong raised its response level to the virus to “emergency,” and the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said all large-scale events, including the Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, will be canceled.

“Public health is our top priority. To support the government’s epidemic prevention efforts, the organiser has decided to cancel the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon originally scheduled for 8 and 9 February,” read a statement from the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on its website and Facebook page Saturday.

Many Facebook users agreed with the decision to cancel the race.

Vivo Wong wrote: “wise decision — I can’t imagine it being an easy decision for the organisers. Health & safety is of utmost importance. There will always be next year.”

Several runners posted on social media that they had been looking forward to receiving the race’s finisher medal, which commemorates the Year of the Rat.

One user, ImEe LoVe, responded to the organization’s Facebook page saying: “please send us the Year of the Rat medal and runners pack. We don’t need the refund.”

Another user, Matthew Lee, wrote: “Yeah, can we have the medals back. We have prepared…

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