Coronavirus: 2020 Boston Marathon canceled, mayor announces

BOSTON — The Boston Marathon will not be held this year, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Thursday afternoon.

Walsh announced earlier this year that the marathon would be postponed until Sept. 14 amid coronavirus mitigation measures, but he said it "became increasingly clear" that the date would not be feasible.

A virtual Boston Marathon will be held in its place this year, the Boston Athletic Association announced.

All participants who were originally registered for the April 20 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 from Sept. 7–14.

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.

“Our top priority continues to be safeguarding the health of the community, as well as our staff, participants, volunteers, spectators, and supporters,” said Tom Grilk, CEO of the B.A.A. “While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon.”

More than 30,000 people run the Boston Marathon each year, and millions of others come into town to participate in the festivities. Travel is planned months if not a year in advance.

Walsh said running the marathon without spectators “was never discussed.” The hundreds of businesses along the parade route spend months preparing for the marathon in April and also count on the more than $200 million the race brings to the greater Boston area.

Countless events -- sporting and otherwise -- have been canceled or postponed this month as response times to the disease’s spread have lagged across the country.

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