BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Marathon won’t be run Monday April 20 as planned and it could be rescheduled to the fall because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, WBZ-TV has learned.
Officials from the eight cities and towns on the route – Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston – met Wednesday at Boston City Hall to talk about a change of date for the race, a day after Gov. Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency in Massachusetts on Tuesday.
Those authorities are now looking at the possibility of holding the event on a Monday in September, instead of Monday, April 20. They hope to reach a decision by the end of this week, but there are a great deal of logistics in those communities that still need to be worked out.
“Announcements will be coming shortly,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told WBZ-TV Thursday afternoon. “I would say people will know within the next 48 hours.”
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The race has never been canceled or rescheduled in its 124-year history. The marathon brings in more than $200 million to Boston’s economy each year, according to Walsh, and raises $36 million for charities.
“It’s still an evolving situation here,” Mayor Walsh said. “Obviously we’re looking at in some cases taking very extreme measures to keep people safe. Whatever the decision is it’s based on keeping people safe and to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus.”
The anticipated postponement of the Boston Marathon isn’t stopping runners from training on the route in Newton.
“We got to just keep training and going until we have a decision,” runner Laura Sexton said. She plans to keep fundraising no matter what. “I’m running for Dana-Farber and the point is to raise money for cancer research and we’re just going to keep that up.”
Earlier this month, Rome canceled its marathon and Paris moved its race to October because of coronavirus concerns.
Running coach Adam Vess said athletes will have to adjust their training when a new date is selected. “At this point it’s just a waiting game,” Vess said. “Boston is not a race that people just turn their back on and decide not to do.”
About 30,000 people run the Boston Marathon each year with about a million spectators along the 26.2 mile course.