Organizers of the country’s biggest non-professional sporting event of the year have thrown in the towel. The Boston Marathon has been officially canceled for the first time in its 124-year history.
Although the April 20th race was originally postponed until September 14th, officials with the Boston Athletic Association say they can’t be sure the coronavirus won’t still be a factor when that date rolls around. So instead, they’ve decided to make this year’s event virtual. “While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for a historic 124th Boston Marathon,” says the association’s CEO, Tom Grilk.
Registered participants are being told to complete the 26.2-mile run on their own sometime between September 7th and September 14th and then turn in proof of the time it took them to complete the journey. Meanwhile, the Boston Athletic Association will be hosting an online “Marathon Week,” which will culminate with the winners being revealed, Grilk says.
How does someone prove how long it took to run 26.2 miles? Should the winner of this year’s race be recognized alongside past and future marathon winners?