The Oct. 17 Tokyo Marathon has been postponed with the capital among areas remaining under a state of emergency over COVID-19, the race's organizing body said Friday.

The Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced its decision following a board meeting, and said the race and all its related events are now scheduled to be reorganized to take place in March 2022, while the 2022 Tokyo Marathon has been canceled.

Runners in the Tokyo Marathon set off from in front of the metropolitan government offices on March 1, 2020. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"With the difficulty to forecast the trend of COVID-19 and involved restrictions on mobility, it is decided...that the Tokyo Marathon 2021...will be postponed to Sunday, March 6, 2022," the foundation said in a statement.

The organizers stated that ensuring a safe and secure event would be difficult. The event's operating outline had stated the race would not go ahead if there was a state of emergency in the capital a month before the scheduled date.

Runners who were to take part will be asked in October either to participate next year or have their fees refunded.

The rescheduled event is planning to retain the same scale of 25,000 runners with those originally accepted for October getting priority for March's event.

Last year's marathon was restricted to elite runners, with general participants allowed to choose whether to take part in October in 2022.

Those who opted last year to take part in the 2022 edition will also be asked if they want to participate then. But even those who wish to may not be able to take part.

"I would like to sincerely apologize not only to our runners and volunteers, but to everyone who has been looking forward to our event," race director Tadaaki Hayano said.