BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Marathon has been postponed until at least the fall of 2021, the Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday.
“With fewer than six months until Patriots’ Day and with road races prohibited until Phase 4 of the Massachusetts reopening plan, we are unable to host the Boston Marathon this coming April,” B.A.A. CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement.
No official date for the 2021 race has been set yet. The B.A.A. been meeting with its “COVID-19 Medical & Event Operations Advisory Group” to figure out how to hold the next marathon.
“By shifting our focus to a fall date, we can continue to work with stakeholders to adjust the in-person experience for runners and supporters alike. Prioritizing the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members, we continue to assess all elements of the race including a potential reduced field size or weekend date,” Grilk said.
The B.A.A. said other details about registration for runners and the field size “will also be forthcoming.”
“We know there will be many questions and we will look to address them in the coming months ahead,” Grilk said.
This year’s marathon was initially moved from April to September and then later canceled because of the pandemic.
The Boston Athletic Association said more than 16,000 runners finished the virtual 2020 race. They had ten days to cover 26.2 miles in one continuous run to earn their marathon medal and become an official finisher.
The Boston Marathon draws about 30,000 runners each year.
“The Marathon is one of Boston’s most beloved traditions,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement.
“We have appreciated the BAA’s cooperation in putting public health and safety first, both by shifting the 2020 Marathon to a virtual format this fall, and by postponing the 2021 Marathon until the public health data shows that it is safe for all athletes and spectators to gather in large numbers. We look forward to holding the Marathon again to celebrate not only this world-class event, but also the resilience and solidarity that the people of Boston have shown throughout this crisis.”
Becca Pizzi has run 82 marathons, including 17 Boston Marathons. Pizzi said she wasn’t surprised by the decision, but is hopeful after hearing the B.A.A. is still hoping to run a fall event.
“I was thinking maybe it would be another virtual marathon and that would be OK if that was the case. But I’m so excited that it’s a possibility we will be able to race,” she said.
Jen Andruzzi said the Boston Marathon usually brings in $200,000 for the Andruzzi Foundation.
“To have a loss of such a high dollar amount for a fundraising activity, and then have our community need us even more will be a challenge in 2021,” she said.