Coronavirus: Richmond runner's marathon dream killed

In 13 days, it would have been a case of four down, two to go for Richmond avid marathon runner Sandy Sumra.

However, fears over the spread of the deadly coronavirus has killed off Sumra’s hopes of completing next week’s Tokyo marathon, to go alongside his New York, Boston and London feats.

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The risk analyst had been training for four months for the coveted spot before Japanese officials pulled the plug Monday morning for non-professional runners, over fears of the virus spreading.

“I was scheduled to leave a week tomorrow,” said Sumra, who lives in Burkeville.

“Air Canada has kindly cancelled my flight and returned my money, as has the hotel in Tokyo. They have been very understanding.

“I’m obviously disappointed, as I’d committed to four months of training ahead of the event. But stuff like this happens.”

Sumra, who trains with several local running clubs, said he had harboured some fears over coronavirus, but didn’t think organizers would take the action they did.

“I guess extreme circumstances call for extreme decisions,” he added.

“It’s very, very difficult to get in (the race). I went through the donation route, donating 100,000 Yen (about $900) to World Vision. So the charity will still get its money, which is good.”

Sumra hasn't lost his spot in the Tokyo Marathon, however, it has just been deferred to next year.

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