The Beijing Marathon has been cancelled for the second successive year ©Getty Images

Organisers have confirmed the cancellation of the Beijing Marathon for the second consecutive year due to COVID-19, highlighting the challenges faced by those in charge of the upcoming Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Beijing Marathon was officially postponed last month, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases domestically.

The race had initially been scheduled to take place on October 31.

Organisers had said the postponement was necessary "in order to prevent the risk of the epidemic spreading (and) effectively protect the health and safety of the majority of runners, staff and residents".

A statement was published by the Beijing Marathon Organising Committee yesterday, confirming the cancellation of this year’s event.

The statement said the decision was taken to control the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Runners registered for the event have been given the option to request refunds from organisers.

Runners can also elect to roll their places over to the 2022 event.

Participants who chose to enter the 2022 race will be required to meet registration requirements and relevant COVID-19 measures before they can participate.

This year’s event would have required runners to submit their health status on a daily basis over the three weeks before the event.

Runners would have had to provide negative nucleic acid test certificates within 72 hours of the race and possess valid vaccination certification.

Beijing Marathon organisers posted a statement confirming the cancellation of this year's event ©Beijing Marathon
Beijing Marathon organisers posted a statement confirming the cancellation of this year's event ©Beijing Marathon

Participants would have been required to enter a closed-loop management system for the event, which had been due to start in Tiananmen Square and finish at the Olympic Forest Park.

Approximately 30,000 people were expected to take part in the event.

Last year's Beijing Marathon was cancelled for the first time since its inaugural edition in 1981 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

China has maintained a zero-tolerance approach to COVID-19, while some nations have shifted to a "living with the virus" policy.

More than one billion people in China have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, it is claimed.

Almost all international and large-scale sporting events cancelled have been cancelled in China during the pandemic, although recent test events for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have taken place.

Beijing is set to stage the Winter Olympics from February 4 to 20 next year.

Only Chinese spectators will be allowed to attend events and those not fully vaccinated are having to serve a 21-day quarantine period upon arrival before entering the closed-loop management system.

The International Olympic Committee has said those fully vaccinated will immediately be able to enter the closed-loop management system.