The New York City Half Marathon has been cancelled for the second successive year as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to hit record levels in the United States.
New York Road Runners (NYRR) - the group which organises the event, said the decision to call off the 2021 edition was down to "health and safety concerns" related to the coronavirus pandemic.
It follows the cancellation of this year’s race, scheduled to take place on March 15, at the outset of the outbreak of COVID-19.
The annual race that runs from Brooklyn to Manhattan usually features 25,000 participants and is one of the world’s largest half-marathons.
Runners who were previously registered for the cancelled 2020 event and opted to defer entry to 2021 will have to option to gain a full refund, according to NYRR.
The organisers are also inviting people from around the world to take part in a virtual half-marathon although precise details are yet to be released.
Mass-participation events have been severely affected by the global health crisis with the New York Marathon - another race organised by NYRR - cancelled along with three other World Marathon Majors in Boston, Chicago and Berlin.
NYRR said it usually hosted about 50 in-person running events a year, but admitted it would not be organising its "normal schedule" in the first quarter of 2021, with races expected to be "limited to a few hundred runners".
The United States has registered more cases and deaths from coronavirus than any other country.
Yesterday saw the US report 200,000 new infections - a daily record - as it closes in on 14 million total cases.
The country also reported a record 3,157 fatalities yesterday to increase its death toll to 1.49 million, with100,000 currently hospitalised with the illness.