This year, Boston Marathon organizers postponed the event until the fall before deciding to cancel the race for the first time in its 124-year history and replace it with a virtual event. Organizers say they hope to hold the race again in 2021, but the traditional date of the third Monday in April is out of the question. The Boston Athletic Association said Wednesday that with Patriots' Day now less than six months away, it has decided to delay the race until at least the fall of 2021, the Hill reports. The race normally attracts around 30,000 runners, but the BAA says it's putting safety first and will "continue to assess all elements of the race, including a potential reduced field size or weekend date." The organization says it hopes to announce a marathon date before the end of the year.
In a statement, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh praised the BAA for protecting public health during the pandemic 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," CBS Boston reports. "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," added the mayor, who described the race as one of the city's most beloved traditions. The BAA says almost 16,000 people from 83 countries took part in the virtual marathon this year, in which participants were recognized as Boston Marathon finishers if they completed a 26.2-mile run in their neighborhoods. (Read more Boston Marathon stories.)