The race had originally been scheduled for April 20 before being postponed for five months because of the coronavirus.
The move follows Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s cancellation of the marathon as a mass participation road running event due to COVID-19. The virtual Boston Marathon will be complemented by a series of virtual events 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 marathon. “While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for a historic 124th Boston Marathon.”
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 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 to bring the Boston Marathon experience to the constituencies that the organization serves in Boston, across the U.S., and around the world.
Virtual offerings for participants during that week will include panel discussions, champions interviews and a downloadable Boston Marathon toolkit that includes signature race elements such as a printable finish line, winner’s break tape and more. Further details will be sent to all entrants in the near future.
Participants in the virtual Marathon will be required to complete the 26.2-mile distance within a six-hour 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 the coronavirus. All participants who were originally registered for the April 18vevent will be offered a refund. More information will be sent to participants.
For the 35th year, John Hancock will serve as principal sponsor of this year’s virtual Boston Marathon.
Photo courtesy Boston Marathon/Getty