The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) 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.
Originally scheduled for April 20, 2020, Patriot’s Day, the Boston Marathon was initially moved to September 14, 2020 in the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now it will be virtual throughout the second week of September.
Mayor Walsh said, “The traditional one-day running of the 124th running of the Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons. There’s no way to hold this usual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity.”
B.A.A. CEO Tom Grik 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.”
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.
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.
Virtual offerings for participants during that week will include exclusive panel discussions, champions interviews, and a downloadable Boston Marathon toolkit that includes signature race elements such as a printable finish line, winner’s breaktape, and more. Further details will be sent to all entrants in the near future.
Participants in the virtual 2020 Boston Marathon will be required to complete the 26.2 mile distance within a six hour time period and provide proof of timing to the B.A.A. All athletes who complete the virtual race will receive an official Boston Marathon program, participant t-shirt, medal, and runner’s bib.
The B.A.A. 5K scheduled for September 12 has also been canceled due to coronavirus. All participants who were originally registered for the April 18, 2020 event will be offered a refund. More information will be sent to participants.
The B.A.A. has been regularly communicating with city and state officials to discuss all efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. John Hancock Company remains the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon.
The world’s oldest continuous marathon, the Boston Marathon was held on April 19,1897, inspired by the first modern Olympic Games held the previous year in Athens, Greece. The first Boston Marathon included 15 contestants, where as the 2019 marathon attracted 30,000+ runners and 9,700 volunteers.