BOSTON (CBS) – Runners have downloaded their personal Boston Marathon breaktape and race bibs. They have put in their training. Their marathon gear is ready to go.
There is no doubt the 2020 Boston Marathon will look very different from every other year. Each athlete is running their own course, in the place of their choosing – even on a treadmill, between September 5 and 14.
This year’s virtual marathon is open to all 18,000 runners who were registered for the April 20 marathon – athletes representing all 50 states and 97 different countries; athletes as young as 18 years old and as old as 83. Twenty percent are charity runners, who have helped raise nearly $30 million for the marathon’s charitable partners this year.
The Boston Athletic Association is trying to make the virtual race special for them all.
Participants were able to download and print out mile markers, cheer cards, race bibs, and their own breaktape to mark the end of their personal 26.2 mile run.
In order to make the marathon experience a bit more realistic, a special app will mimic the course, complete with visual and audio cues runners would normally experience along the Hopkinton to Boylston Street course.
The 2020 Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April 20, was postponed to September 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then in late May the B.A.A. announced the marathon would be held as a virtual event.
There will be live, 8 p.m. shows on CBSN Boston all next week, featuring some of the day’s runners, inspirational stories, and some of your favorite Boston Marathon alumni like Des Linden, Tatyana McFadden, and Meb Keflezighi.
“WBZ-TV has been a proud partner of the B.A.A. and the exclusive local broadcast partner of the Boston Marathon for more than 35 years. We are honored to continue this partnership by providing coverage on our digital platforms, CBSBoston.com and our streaming news service CBSN Boston, that will enable fans world-wide to share in the experience,” said WBZ-TV President and General Manager, Mark Lund.
Meanwhile, registration for the 2021 Boston Marathon has been postponed. Registration was supposed to take place in September, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.