The 2020 Boston Marathon, set to run on Monday, April 20, has been postponed due to health concerns related to coronavirus. As of Friday morning, there have been over 4,000 deaths from the illness worldwide, and more than 100,000 cases. The race will now run on Monday September 14, 2020.
The 124th Boston Marathon has been postponed – the @BAA understands the city's decision that the marathon cannot be held on April 20, and we offer our full support to take all efforts to postpone until September 14, 2020. Read more: https://t.co/CsnHNKOAZz pic.twitter.com/eBEGDM18FT
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) March 13, 2020
The Boston Marathon has 31,000 registrants from over 100 countries. First run in 1897, the race hasn’t been cancelled in its 124 years (though it was modified to a relay race for the military in 1918, during WWI). Organizers came close to cancelling in 2007 due to extreme weather, but the race ended up proceeding.
Canadians Krista DuChene, Dylan Wykes and Josh Cassidy were scheduled to race. The new qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games allows athletes who’ve placed in the top 10 at a World Major to be considered for entry. If DuChene had a good day, her placing in Boston could have placed her in the conversation for Olympic team selection. The team will be selected at the end of May.
The Boston Globe reports that postponement is preferable to cancellation as cancellation would see an economic loss of roughly $200 million USD for the city. Several dates were considered for postponement, but officials settled on creating a Monday holiday in the state in September to accommodate the race.
Organizers also ask runners to not run the course on Monday April 20, when the race was initially scheduled.