Hanoi (VNA) – VPBank Hanoi Marathon 2021 is delayed to December 26 and even March 6 next year if the COVID-19 pandemic remains complicated in the capital city, according to the Vietnam Sports Administration under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The plans came up after organisers consult with relevant agencies, including the Vietnam Athletics Federation (VAF) and leaders of Hanoi, with priority given to ensuring safety of participants.

VPBank Hanoi Marathon 2021 was initially slated for October 24, then postponed to December 26 due to impacts of COVID-19.

In 2020, as Vietnam took the role as Chair of ASEAN, the race has been selected as the official marathon of the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship and launched with a new name: "VPBank Hanoi Marathon ASEAN 2020".

Sponsored by the Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank), the race is Vietnam's leading professional marathon which has been held annually in October in Hanoi and the only official marathon event of the city.

It has been accredited by the World Athletics, officially certified by Grade A Measurers of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and affiliated with the Vietnam Athletics Federation (VAF). Through the marathon, 200 non-professional runners will be selected to run in the 31st SEA Games marathon.

Since September 28, Hanoi has allowed local residents to do outdoor exercise.

Meanwhile, Longbien Marathon 2021, an annual running tournament in Hanoi and one of the largest marathons in Vietnam, has been delayed to December 12.

The race has opened for registration since February 13. Only after one week, Longbien Marathon 2021 received over 3,000 registrations./.