- The historical longest-running major annual marathon in the world, Boston Marathon has been officially confirmed on Thursday as canceled for the first time in the event’s 124-year history because of ongoing coronavirus fear.
The race that had already been postponed to September 14 from its April slot has been called. Boston mayor Marty Walsh said that the race would not now be held as planned for public health reasons.
“There’s no way to hold the usual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity,” Walsh announced.
“While our goal and our hope were to make progress and contain the virus in recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or anytime this year,” he added.
The marathon has been held every year without fail since 1897, making it the longest-running major annual marathon in the world but its stretch has been halt thanks to the pandemic COVID-19.
As the Boston Marathon is canceled, the other two major marathons scheduled in the US later this year – the October 11 Chicago Marathon and the November 1 New York Marathon – remain on the calendar.
Despite the cancellation of the event, all is not lost as the Boston Athletic Association said that entrants to the marathon could instead take part in a “virtual” Boston Marathon, anytime from September 7-14. Entrants would need to complete the 26.2-mile distance within six hours and provide proof of timing, Boston Athletic Association chief Tom Grilk statement said.
“Our top priority continues to be safeguarding the health of the community, as well as our staff, participants, volunteers, spectators, and supporters,” Grilk said.
“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for a historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Grilk stated.
Other races have been affected like the London Marathon has been postponed until October while the Tokyo Marathon took place with only a reduced field of elite runners.
But the September 27 Berlin Marathon, another of the world’s major marathon races, has also been canceled as the novel pandemic continues to disrupt.
The cancelation is a blow to Kenyan marathon runners as they have always look forward to triumph in this event.