Add the Boston Marathon to the list of sporting events canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After being postponed from April 20 and moved to Sept. 14, the race was called off on Thursday by Boston mayor Marty Walsh, who said it wouldn’t be safe to run it in the fall.
Walsh added the city and Boston Athletic Association will work to hold the event virtually in September. According to the BAA, guidelines surrounding the virtual marathon will be communicated via email “in the near future.”
The race had never been canceled or rescheduled in its 124-year history until this year.
“Economically, it’s a big hit there’s no question about it,” Walsh said. “This entire three months has been a big hit for most sectors economically. Certainly we’re feeling it in our budget, our restaurants are feeling it [and] our small businesses are feeling it. Many of our offices are feeling it. We’ll survive. It might be a different reality for a lot of people.”
Roughly 30,000 people run the Boston Marathon each year with about a million spectators along the course.
When the marathon was rescheduled, Walsh said the decision was made with the hope that coronavirus “would no longer be a significant public health risk.”
That changed Thursday. All large events in Boston, including parades and festivals, have already been canceled through Labor Day.
The New York City Marathon is still scheduled for Nov. 1.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference last week that it was still too early to consider canceling the New York City Marathon. De Blasio added he is working with the New York Road Runners to discuss potential alternative scenarios to hosting the race.