Boston Marathon 2020 canceled because of coronavirus pandemic

A detail of the Boston Marathon finish line

Athletics: Rescheduled Boston Marathon now cancelled due to coronavirus

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh made the announcement Thursday canceling the race for 2020. 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.

"The Boston Athletic Association, with our input and support, has determined that the traditional one-day running of the 124th Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons", Walsh said at a briefing outside City Hall. The B.A.A. will also offer a series of virtual events and activities throughout September's Marathon Week in an effort to bring the Boston Marathon experience to the constituencies that the organization serves here in Boston, across the United States, and around the world.

This is the first time in the 124-year history the Boston Marathon has been cancelled.

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The Boston Athletic Association made the call to go virtual on Thursday. after Mayor Martin Walsh canceled the in-person race (which was rescheduled to September 14) due to COVID-19.

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

"While our goal and our hope is to make progress in containing the virus and recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or any time this year", said Walsh. The B.A.A. and marathon runners also raise about $40 million for charity.

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The B.A.A. said those who paid the entry fee for this year's race can get their money back. Those who were registered for the 2020 race have the opportunity to participate in the virtual event between September 7 and 14. The virtual program the BAA will host includes panel discussions, champions interviews and a downloadable toolkit.

Organizers said Thursday that they instead will have a "virtual event" in which participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles on their own will receive their finisher's medal.

Qualifying times for this year's race will be eligible for the 2021 Boston Marathon, which is scheduled for April 19.

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