Boston Marathon canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19, will be run as virtual race
The Boston Marathon will not be run in 2020, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Thursday. It will be the first time in its 124-year history that it is not held through the streets of the city.
The race had initially been postponed from its annual date on Patriots Day, which fell on April 20 this year, to Sept. 14. The race draws at least 30,000 runners from around the world and hosting it during the COVID-19 crisis is “not feasible” this year, Walsh said. Runners will have their fees refunded.
Boston mayor Marty Walsh says the "traditional one-day running of the Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons."
"...Instead, we’ll be joining in supporting the BAA an alternative approach to the marathon that allows runners to participate remotely." pic.twitter.com/hXSwPZrPHE
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) May 28, 2020
As of Walsh’s announcement, there are 12,634 confirmed cases and 627 deaths of COVID-19 in Boston with 6,272 having recovered
The Boston Athletic Association will instead hold the race virtually. Those who were registered for the 2020 race have the opportunity to participate in the virtual event between Sept. 7 and 14.
BAA CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement:
“Our top priority continues to be safeguarding the health of the community, as well as our staff, participants, volunteers, spectators, and supporters. While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon.”
The @BAA has announced that the 124th Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event, following Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s cancellation of the marathon as a mass participation road running event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/tlIdvsU9sq
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) May 28, 2020
If competing, virtual runners are required to complete the 26.2 miles in six hours and provide proof of timing. Finishers will get the official Boston Marathon program, T-shirt, medal and runner’s bib. The virtual program the BAA will host includes panel discussions, champions interviews and a downloadable toolkit. The kit includes “signature race elements” like a printable finish line and winner’s break tape.
The 5K race run in the days around the Boston Marathon is also canceled.
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