The NN Mission Marathon, involving Kenya’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and more than 70 other athletes seeking either to secure their Tokyo 2020 place or prepare for the Olympic event, will go ahead this Sunday (April 18) at Enschede in The Netherlands.
Originally planned to take place in Hamburg yesterday (April 11), before the local coronavirus situation obliged organisers - Global Sports Communications - to seek an alternative date and venue, the race will go ahead on a specially designed course at Twente Airport that will be closed to the public.
Kipchoge will be using the race to prepare for the defence of his title in Japan.
Frank Thaleiser, race director of the NN Mission Marathon, said: "We are very happy that, with permission from the authorities, the NN Mission Marathon can now take place on Sunday April 18th.
"Since last week we have been really busy trying to find an alternative location.
"We were grateful to the many organisations around the world who offered to help us out.
"The importance of giving athletes a fair chance to qualify or prepare for the Olympic Games gets a lot of support."
Sandra Melief, director of the Enschede Marathon, added: "It is a dream come true - world-class athletes in Enschede.
"I am super proud.
"We are very happy to welcome these athletes and we will do everything possible so they can run their best possible time on a flat and fast course."
In these challenging times and with the road race calendar for the first half of 2021 decimated by the pandemic, the involved parties were keen to arrange the race to provide a much-needed competitive opportunity for athletes.
Given the limited nature of the road race calendar this year because of the pandemic, this one-off marathon has been organised "to serve up an opportunity for athletes to run a fast race and in many cases to help secure a qualification mark for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games."
Kipchoge, who headlines the NN Mission Marathon, will be the discipline's defending champion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.