For the First Time Ever, People Will Run the Boston Marathon Remotely Due to COVID-19
On May 28, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced that, for the first time in its 124 years of existence, the 2020 Boston Marathon is canceled. The event was originally scheduled for April 20, then rescheduled to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "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," Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced on Twitter. Instead, a virtual marathon will be hosted over a number of days.
Here's the good news: runners who were originally registered for the 2020 Boston Marathon will be offered a full refund of their entry fee, according to a notice posted on the BAA website. And, they will have the opportunity to participate in the 124th Boston Marathon remotely anytime between Sept. 7 and 14. In terms of logistics, participants will be required to complete 26.2 miles within six hours, and they will also need to provide proof of timing to the BAA. Information for how to enter the virtual race and how to submit those times is forthcoming — so stay tuned!
More good news: if you had requested a race refund prior to May 28, you are still eligible to participate virtually. In finishing the Boston Marathon remotely, participants will receive an official Boston Marathon program, T-shirt, runner's bib, and medal. Virtual events, including panels, will also be offered throughout the week.
According to the BAA, registration for next year's Boston Marathon (in 2021) will open toward the end of September, and runners cannot use their virtual times toward qualifying. That being said, runners can use their 2020 Boston Marathon qualifying time for the 2021 Boston Marathon, though further information is yet to be released. To learn more about the virtual Boston Marathon this year, you can visit the BAA FAQ page dedicated entirely to new details.