The Boston Marathon is canceled. For the first time ever. It’s been a rough year for the running community. Even though it is not surprising the Boston Marathon which had been postponed from April until September, is now off completely. This is the first time ever that the Boston Marathon got canceled. With the cancelation of this historic race, it is ending a 124-year run. It took place through two World Wars, and a volcanic eruption.
Of course, the Boston Marathon 2020 being canceled is really disappointing, but I’m 100% sure that the local communities, as well as the BAA and John Hancock, have made the right decision for all parties involved. From athletes to spectators, race organizers, and volunteers.
Boston Marathon canceled: What you need to know!
Today it was officially announced that instead of the race on September 14 in Boston, there will be a virtual Boston Marathon. Let’s mark our calendars for next year already: The 2021 Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19! But until then for athletes who were supposed to run the Boston Marathon this year, you all have a chance to run the first virtual Boston Marathon ever.
“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for a historic 124th Boston Marathon,” said Tom Grilk, the CEO of the Boston Athletic Association.
The Virtual Boston Marathon: Here is how it works
Race week is always exciting and part of the whole Boston Marathon experience. With the Boston Marathon canceled for 2020 the B.A.A. will offer a series of virtual events and activities throughout September’s marathon week from September 7-14. Of course, it is crushing for the runners who won’t be able to run the Boston Marathon as planned in Boston but this is at least a nice effort to bring the Boston Marathon experience to you.
Get ready for panel discussions, champions interviews, and a downloadable Boston Marathon toolkit. Yes, if you wanted you can print your very own Boston marathon finish line. There will be a winner’s break tape and more. Participants of the virtual Boston Marathon will receive will an official Boston Marathon program, participant t-shirt, medal, and runner’s bib.
If you decide to participate in the virtual Boston Marathon, you will be required to complete the 26.2-mile distance within a six-hour time period. You have to run continuously. Also, you will have to provide proof of timing to the B.A.A. After your finish, you will receive a medal as well. All rules and regulations and how to submit your timing will be announced soon via email.
Will entry fees for the Boston Marathon will be refunded?
Yes! If you paid an entry fee for the Boston Marathon, you will be refunded in full. Information on how you will receive your refund will be communicated by e-mail in the coming weeks. The organizer says that it can take weeks or even months due to the high volume of refunds who have to be processed. Also, tickets for race week events will be refunded.
Does my time of the virtual race count towards the 2021 Boston Marathon qualification?
Unfortunately, your time for the 2020 virtual Boston Marathon won’t count towards qualification for the 2021 Boston Marathon. I’m only assuming people would try and take advantage and this is the organizers trying to avoid fraud when it comes to the qualifications for the 2021 Boston Marathon.
Can I defer my 2020 Boston Marathon entry?
Boston Marathon canceled for 2020: Can you defer the Boston Marathon at least? I personally feel bad for all the people who raised A LOT OF MONEY with fundraisers in order to participate in the Boston Marathon this year. Also, athletes work so hard to meet the qualifying times. Nevertheless, you cannot defer entry to the Boston Marathon 2020. Almost 31.500 runners were expected to run this year. I also understand that giving all of them the option to defer, would make things extremely complicated for next year’s marathon. But this is why they are offering a full refund.
If I defer, what happens to my qualifying time?
The good news is, runners who were accepted into the 2020 Boston Marathon by way of a qualifying time may use their 2020 Boston Marathon qualifying time to apply for entry into the 2021 event. So your hard will still pay off. You may get another shot in 2021. The Boston Marathon will accept qualifying performances posted for the 2020 event into the 2021 race, as well. Additional details about the qualifying window and registration for 2021 will be announced in the coming weeks.
Sabrina Wieser is a running expert based in New York City and the founder of Runningbrina - She is a certified running coach and experienced marathon runner. Her expertise in enhancing running performance through training and nutrition has been recognized by many within the running community and different media outlets such as Huffington Post, the Dr Oz Show and adidas running.
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