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Coronavirus Concern Closes Tokyo Marathon To Denver Runners

DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado runners who were planning on going to Japan for the Tokyo Marathon are scrambling to rearrange travel plans. Race officials are restricting the marathon to elite athletes due to coronavirus concerns.

As of Monday, the global coronavirus death toll hit at least 1,873, and the number of confirmed cases rose to more than 73,000. Those totals include cases that were confirmed in a lab and cases that were confirmed clinically. The WHO decided Monday to include the clinically confirmed cases, which are slightly less certain, in the totals.

Tokyo Marathon
Participants run during the Tokyo Marathon in the Japanese capital on March 3, 2019. (credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)

Denver resident Alexandra Leo learned that she would not compete in the Tokyo Marathon Monday morning.

"Someone I knew had heard and he emailed me and said sorry about the cancellation. I ran out of bed to see if it was true, which apparently it is," she told CBS4's Dominic Garcia.

TOKYO CORONAVIRUS RUNNER 10 PKG.transfer_frame_607
(credit: CBS)

The Tokyo Marathon is considered a major marathon, along with London, Berlin, New York, Boston, and Chicago. Alexandra only needed to Tokyo to complete the series.

Not only is she missing out on the race, she's not sure if she'll be able to get a refund on her plane tickets and hotel reservations.

"We were going to go to Kyoto to see historic Japan, and then we were headed up to Niseko to do some skiing. So we already have everything booked, we haven't really canceled anything yet," Leo told CBS4.

The event is scheduled to take place March 1. More than 30,000 people took part in last year's event.

TOKYO CORONAVIRUS RUNNER 10 PKG.transfer_frame_2035
(credit: CBS)

"You can't really take your health for granted, I think if this is the biggest problem we have with the coronavirus, then we're pretty lucky compared to what the world is facing right now," said Leo.

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