David Monti – Press release @d9monti
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The Boston Athletic Association announced today that they would not hold the 2021 Boston Marathon on the traditional date of the third Monday in April, but would instead work with city and state officials to find a fall date to stage what is the world’s oldest marathon.
The race was not held in 2020, first postponed from April 20, to September 14, before being cancelled due to the pandemic.
“With fewer than six months until Patriots’ Day and with road races prohibited until Phase Four of the Massachusetts reopening plan, we are unable to host the Boston Marathon this coming April,” explained B.A.A. CEO Tom Grilk through a statement. “By shifting our focus to a fall date, we can continue to work with stakeholders to adjust the in-person experience for runners and supporters alike. Prioritizing the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members, we continue to assess all elements of the race including a potential reduced field size or weekend date.”
With today’s announcement, the Boston Marathon becomes the sixth and final commercial event of the Abbott World Marathon Majors series to be held in the fall next year. The Tokyo Marathon (usually in early March) and the Virgin Money London Marathon (usually in late April) had already announced that their 2021 races would take place next fall joining the BMW Berlin Marathon (September), Bank of America Chicago Marathon (October) and the TCS New York City Marathon (November).
The Boston organizers do not have have a target date in mind, at least not one they have shared publicly. In addition, they do not have firm dates for their other events, including the B.A.A. Invitational Mile, B.A.A. 5-K, B.A.A. 10-K and B.A.A. Half-Marathon. The mile and the 5-K are usually held in conjunction with the marathon.
According to the state of Massachusetts official website, Phase Four is the final re-opening stage for the state labeled the “new normal” which assumes that a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available and/or that an approved medical treatment for the virus has been approved and implemented. In truth, nobody knows when that situation might occur. Nonetheless, organizers are hopeful that the race can be held as an in-person event.
“We are optimistic that the Boston Marathon will continue its tradition of celebrating the spirit of community and athletic excellence next fall,” Grilk continued. “We know there will be many questions and we will look to address them in the coming months ahead.”
The Boston Athletic Association hopes to announce the 2021 race date by the end of the year.