The decision to cancel the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon because of the spreading coronavirus is completely understandable, but that does not mean the months of training you have put in have to be wasted. 

There are a host of marathons and half marathons still going on around Asia in the coming months that you can sign up for. Most of the major events are already full, but some smaller ones still have spaces. Check them out here:

The Kep Halfmarathon, Cambodia – February 23 (registration closes on February 22)

On the south coast of Cambodia, next to the shimmering Gulf of Thailand, this could be a great weekend away for Hongkongers looking to nail their running goals and then relax.

The Yodogawa Ecomarathon, Osaka, Japan – March 8 (registration closes on March 1)

Head to one of the most famous cities in Japan, with its neon lights and blossom trees, to run a marathon. Once you are done, stick around for the culture, take a short trip to taste the famous beef in Kobe or jump on the high speed rail to Tokyo.

The 2020 Hong Kong Marathon route. Another race might not be the same, but at least your training is not wasted.

2XU Compression Run Singapore, Singapore – April 5 (registration closes on March 20)

If there’s one city in the world like Hong Kong, it’s Singapore.

A quick flight and you’ll be running a marathon in the Lion City. It might be a bit more humid than the Hong Kong Marathon, but you can expect much of the same atmosphere and efficiency you would get from the Hong Kong race.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announces the marathon cancellation in a press conference about measures to contain the coronavirus. Photo: Bloomberg

The Fast 50, Hong Kong – March 7 (registration closes March 1)

Road racing is not the same as trail running, especially in Hong Kong where the hills are steep and full of stairs. The Fast 50km, organised by The Trail Hub, is as close to a marathon as you will find in the Hong Kong trail scene, if you cannot find the time or afford the extra money to fly abroad.

It is flatter than most trail races and is hence runnable – but be warned, adjust your goals, flat for a trail race is still relative. If you fancy something steeper, shorter or even longer still, check out our trail running calendar here.

Jim Walmsley chases Yun Yanqiao, wears him down and wins last year’s Fast 50. Photo: Hong Kong Biji

Resolve 2020 Virtual Run, anywhere – March 18 (registration closes March 17)

If the cancellation has ruined your schedule and you do not have time to travel to another race but still want the competition of comparing yourself against others, this virtual race is for you. Enter the full or half marathon and upload your time afterwards, be it on a running app or treadmill. It won’t be the same as running the streets of Hong Kong, but needs must.