The 124th annual Boston Marathon has been cancelled for the first time in the race’s history due to the coronavirus pandemic and will instead take place online, the Boston Athletic Association announced Thursday. “The traditional one-day running of the 124th Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in an announcement. “There is no way to hold this usual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity.”
The race, which was initially postponed from its original March 13 date to Sept. 14, will be replaced by a virtual event that will require participants to run the full 26.2 miles in six hours or less with proof of timing. The esteemed marathon, which typically has a field of 30,000 runners, has taken place every year since 1897 and brings more than $200 million into the city’s economy. “This is a challenge, but meeting tough challenges is what the Boston Marathon is all about,” the mayor added.