Boston Marathon

124th Boston Marathon won't be run in 2020, virtual race to take place instead

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USA TODAY Sports

124th Boston Marathon won't be run in 2020, virtual race to take place instead

The 124th running of the Boston Marathon will not take place in its normal format in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Instead, the historic race will instead be held virtually, the Boston Athletic Association announced Thursday.

The Marathon was originally scheduled for April 20, and it was later postponed to Sept. 14 before Thursday's update.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh tweeted the following comments Thursday afternoon:

The Boston Athletic Association, with our input and support, has determined that the traditional, one-day running of the 124th Boston Marathon is not feasible this year, for public health reasons. While our goal and our hope is to make progress in containing the virus and recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or any time this year. So instead, we’ll be joining and supporting the Boston Athletic Association in an alternative approach to the Marathon that allows runners to participate remotely, and allows all of us to celebrate the meaning this race has for our spirit, for our charities, and for our local economy. This is a challenge, but meeting tough challenges is what the Boston Marathon is all about. It’s a symbol of our city and Commonwealth’s resilience.

Runners will still have a chance to earn a medal for completing a 26.2 mile run. The Boston Athletic Association tweeted those details Thursday:

The B.A.A. will offer a series of virtual events & activities throughout September’s Marathon Week to bring the Boston Marathon experience to the world. This will include exclusive panel discussions, champions interviews, and a downloadable toolkit with signature race elements. Participants in the virtual 2020 Boston Marathon will be required to complete the 26.2 mile distance within 6 hours & provide proof of timing. All finishers of the virtual race will receive an official Boston Marathon program, participant t-shirt, medal, & runner’s bib.

While Thursday's news is certainly disappointing for everyone associated with the Boston Marathon, especially the runners who train year-round for the event, this is the correct decision to ensure the health and safety for everyone involved.

Bruins' Charlie Coyle's message to Boston is what we all need to hear right now

Bruins' Charlie Coyle's message to Boston is what we all need to hear right now

Charlie Coyle wasn’t a member of the Boston Bruins in 2013 when the B’s were the first team to play a pro sports game in Boston following the marathon bombings or when they went on to push all the way to the Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks.

In fact, Coyle was finishing up his rookie year with the Minnesota Wild once the compacted regular season got going following the half-season lockout. Still, the native of East Weymouth, Mass., now 28, remembers watching the pivotal, symbolic role that the Bruins played from afar.

Coyle knows first-hand about Boston banding together in times of daunting difficulty and challenge because, when it’s all said and done, he is one of us.

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That’s what Coyle is witnessing right now as the coronavirus outbreak has pushed the community around Boston into new challenges with social distancing and self-quarantine requirements. There are helpers everywhere looking to do things for those in need, whether it’s picking up groceries for older, at-risk folks or police and firefighters paying tribute to courageous hospital workers who are putting their lives on the line.

Maybe it’s because we’ve all been through something traumatic in the recent past with the marathon bombings in the rear-view mirror, but people around Boston are again looking, first and foremost, to help and then shine a light on those first responders, medical personnel, grocery store workers, truck drivers, pharmacists, nursing home caretakers and others risking everything for our safety.

“I remember that day [of the bombings, April 15, 2013] and everybody affected by it. It was such a crazy time. Really hard times. To see everybody come together made you very proud to be from this area, to be from Boston,” said Coyle. “All the people and Boston Strong, and that whole aspect make you want to keep living by that [motto]. What we’re going through now is another obstacle that we all have to come together to do our part and get past this to overcome it.

“In these hard times, it helps bring everybody together working toward a common goal. We all know what that is right now. I’d love to get back to our normal lives, and for me, that’s playing hockey and doing something I love to do. I know everybody else it’s the same thing. People are getting laid off from their jobs and they are scratching and clawing to provide for themselves and their families. You don’t want to see that happen. But that’s where we’re at right now, so [it’s about] everybody helping each other. You see a lot of it right now. There’s a lot of great people that are doing their part to help out. You see everybody coming together in these tough times. It says a lot about where we’re all from and about Boston as a whole.”

It sure does, Charlie.

It’s amazing that the marathon bombings took place seven years ago today. Certainly, there are wounds that are never going to heal for the permanently maimed victims situated near the finish line and for the five poor souls who ultimately lost their lives and their families. 

Still, the seven years have also been a testament to how Boston pushed through the tragedy, helped each other heal and ultimately made us even stronger and more resilient.

Let's hope Coyle’s inspiring words will become prophetic and the people of Boston will reach new heights with our courage, selflessness and our ability to help each other out while the coronavirus does damage to our community’s health, and just as importantly, hits our economy that supports everybody in the region. 

We know it’s in us and we know that we rise to the challenge when tough times arise. These might be the toughest that we’ve ever faced whether we’re Bruins players, sportswriters, retail workers or small business owners that have been stunned the past month.

But whether your name is Coyle, Haggerty or anything in between in this wonderful Commonwealth, one thing is important to remember as things seemingly get tougher each day: We’re all in this together and we’re all going to get through this together.


 

2020 Boston Marathon postponed to Sept. 14 due to coronavirus outbreak

boston_marathon.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

2020 Boston Marathon postponed to Sept. 14 due to coronavirus outbreak

The 2020 Boston Marathon has officially been postponed.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to the postponement or cancelation of several sporting events/tournaments in recent days. The NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS, among other sports leagues, also have suspended or delayed their respective seasons.

The Boston Marathon -- the oldest annual marathon in the world -- was originally scheduled for Monday, April 20. It now will be held on Monday, Sept.14.

Here's more information from the Boston Athletic Association's news release:

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has been meeting regularly with city and state officials to discuss all updates related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10, 2020. In consideration of this and guided by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh along with state and municipal government leaders at all levels to undertake all possible measures to safeguard the health of the public, the B.A.A. understands the city’s decision that the Boston Marathon cannot be held on April 20, 2020. We offer our full support to take all reasonable efforts to postpone the 124th Boston Marathon to Monday, September 14, 2020.

Here's Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh discussing the Marathon postponement:

This news is disappointing for all of the runners, staff and fans looking forward to the event, but postponing it was the correct decision to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.