Boston Marathon cancelled, will be virtual race

Boston Marathon cancelled, will be virtual race

The 26.2-mile race (42km), which extends from the suburb of Hopkinton to downtown Boston, is the first of the six World Marathon Majors to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, which brought live sports to a standstill in mid-March.

All participants who were originally registered for the April 20, 2020 event will be offered a full refund of their entry fee associated with the race and will have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative to the 124th Boston Marathon, which can be run any time between September 7-14. That presented organizers with a social distancing problem that won't be solved by the fall.

Boston mayor Marty Walsh said that the race, which had already been postponed to Sept 14 from its April slot, would not now be held as planned for public health reasons.

The longest-running annual marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon began in 1897 when 15 men drew a starting line in the dirt in Ashland and headed for the city to commemorate the first modern Olympic Games the previous year. "There's no way to hold this usual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity".

"While our goal and our hope was to make progress and contain the virus in recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on Sept 14 or anytime this year".

Every years since its inception, the Boston Marathon has been run on Patriots' Day, which commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, marking the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The Tokyo Marathon went on as scheduled in March with just over 200 elite runners but not the 38,000 recreational runners who had signed up; spectators at the Los Angeles Marathon were advised to practice social distancing.

"That's not the Boston Marathon".

The B.A.A. 5K scheduled for September 12 has also been cancelled.

In place of the Boston Marathon, the BAA will organize a virtual race, which will happen between September 7 and September 14. A downloadable "virtual toolkit" will include a printable finish line and winner's tape.

All athletes who complete the virtual race will receive an official Boston Marathon program, participant t-shirt, medal, and runner's bib.

The 2021 Boston Marathon is scheduled for 19 April and the 125th anniversary edition is scheduled for 18 April 2022.

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