Olivia Harvey
Updated May 29, 2020 @ 10:20 am
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boston-marathon
Credit: Getty Images, MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

The Boston Marathon is both a New England and American staple, with participants traveling from all around the globe to participate in the 26.2-mile footrace. However, this year, the City of Boston was forced to cancel the marathon for the first time in its 124-year history due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But rather than skip the event totally, marathon organizers are attempting to take the Boston Marathon to the virtual sphere.

Originally, the marathon was simply postponed from its usual Patriot’s Day date (April 20th) to September 14th. However, officials have realized that an event of this scale comes with too many risks during such an uncertain time.

“There’s no way to hold this usual race format, without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Thursday, May 28th, per CBS Boston. “And while our goal and our hope was to make progress and contain the virus in recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14, or any time this year.”

The Boston Athletic Association is now aiming to hold a marathon-related event virtually in lieu of the actual footrace. The current plan for the virtual race is to reward those who run the marathon remotely with participant shirts and medals akin to those given out on the actual day.

According to the official Boston Marathon Twitter account, virtual events and activities like panel discussions, champions interviews, and a downloadable toolkit with signature race elements will be offered to those interested in joining the virtual marathon.

Furthermore, “participants in the virtual 2020 Boston Marathon will be required to complete the 26.2 mile distance within 6 hours & provide proof of timing,” the Twitter account states.

To learn more about how to get involved in the first-ever virtual Boston Marathon, which will be held from September 7th through the 14th, check out the official Boston Marathon website. It looks like your training wasn’t all for not (phew!).