MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Runners will not pound the pavement for the second year in a row in Monroe County.
Run for the Red Pocono Marathon and half marathon, scheduled for May 2021 has been canceled.
"We have made the decision to cancel the marathon of 2021. This is a very difficult decision. The Run for the Red Marathon, it would have been our 15th marathon," said Michele Baehr, Red Cross Executive Director NEPA Chapter.
Registration normally opens on November 1st.
Organizers did not want to open registration in the face of unknown future gatherings and travel restrictions.
Michele Baehr is the Executive Director of the Red Cross chapter in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
"We are concerned about all the travel restrictions that may occur in the spring, especially with the COVID-19 resurgence that we are seeing right now in the state. We generally have about 34 states and 6 countries represented in our marathon. It's just too risky with safety precautions. We always want to protect our runners, our staff members, our volunteers," said Baehr.
The marathon usually brings in more than $100,000 for the Red Cross. Since it was canceled this past year and this upcoming year, that's a lot of money. Directors decided they will hold a virtual telethon instead.
"We are hoping to have a virtual telethon, heroes celebration at the end of March. It will all be done without any contact, or minimal contact, to see if we can replace those funds. Our mission doesn't stop and every single day since COVID-19 happened, our Red Cross employees and volunteers have been out there preventing and elevating human suffering in the face of all the recent emergencies," said Baehr.