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The Boston Marathon has been called off for the first time in 124 years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, held annually since 1897, was earlier postponed from April 20 to September 14. However, keeping in the mind the COVID-19 outbreak the event has been cancelled.
The marathon is one of the most prestigious ones in the United States and garners over 25,000 runners and a million spectators to cheer them. The race, which begins from Boston’s western suburbs and moves downtown and is held every year on the third Monday in April—Patriots' Day, will be hosted virtually this year.
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
According to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), the virtual marathon will include a series of events, such as panel discussions and interviews, throughout the second week of September.
“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 BAA. “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 participants originally registered for the event will be offered a full refund of their entry fee and can participate in the virtual alternative. The race can be run, remotely, anytime between September 7-14. Participants will be required to complete the 26.2-mile distance within 6 hours and provide proof of time to the BAA. Those who complete the race, will receive an official Boston Marathon programme, participant T-shirt, medal, and runner’s bib, said the BAA website.
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