Boston Marathon Canceled For First Time in History Due to Coronavirus

The 2020 Boston Marathon has officially been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Originally rescheduled for Monday, September 14, the 124th running of the Boston Marathon’s cancellation marks the first time in the 124-year history that the race has been scrapped.

Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced its cancellation citing safety concerns.

“Economically, it’s a big hit there’s no question about it,” Walsh said. “This entire three months has been a big hit for most sectors economically. Certainly we’re feeling it in our budget, our restaurants are feeling it [and] our small businesses are feeling it. Many of our offices are feeling it. We’ll survive. It might be a different reality for a lot of people.”

Due to its cancellation, the Boston Athletic Association is working on a plan to hold the event virtually in September.

“All participants who were originally registered for the April 20, 2020 event will be offered a refund for their full entry fee associated with the race and will have the opportunity to participate in the virtual Boston Marathon, which can be run any time between September 7–14,” the statement read. “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.”

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The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 100,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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