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Marathons don't get cancelled very often. It takes a real act of nature. But if your race does get cancelled, some options:
-Look for a smaller race around the same time. If your big city marathon was cancelled, you might be able to find a small or midsize race within a few weeks of your original marathon. You may not have the huge crowds, but small marathons are often as well-organized and well-supported as large ones, with plenty of folks to point you along the course, even if there aren't bands on every corner and thousands of runners surrounding you.
-Plan your own. If you are really ready to run 26.2 on your appointed day, just do it! Take one of your long training run routes, and figure out a way to add enough mileage to make the marathon distance. Chalk it up to a training run, and look for another marathon to race.