Boston Marathon

2020 Boston Marathon postponed to Monday, Sept. 14

“We’ve shown people that no matter what the challenge is to our marathon and to our city, we are Boston strong and that’s what we will be again this year in the face of this crisis.”

Runners make their way toward the finish line of the 121st Boston Marathon. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe, File

The 2020 Boston Marathon will be postponed until Monday, Sept. 14, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Friday morning.

“Our expectation — and it’s an expectation and a hope right now — is that this date will get us to a safer place in relation to the spread of coronavirus,” said Walsh, who was joined by Gov. Charlie Baker, CEO of the Boston Athletic Association Thomas Grilk, and President and CEO of John Hancock Marianne Harrison.

The announcement came soon after nearly all sports leagues suspended play in response to the growing concern surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

The 2020 Boston Marathon is the first to be delayed in the race’s 124-year history.

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Walsh said the rescheduled date “jumped around like a pinball,” as organizers worked to find a time that would not interfere with college move-ins and scheduled construction, among other factors. Baker intends to file a bill that will declare Sept. 14 a state holiday, known as “Marathon Day.”

“I know this is a change, and, in some respects, it won’t look right on the calendar, but it certainly is the right thing to do,” Baker said.

Walsh said a race with just elite runners or a limited field wouldn’t represent the Boston Marathon and holding the event without spectators was never discussed.

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“The Boston Marathon is for everyone. … That’s not the Boston Marathon,” he said. “We’re an inclusive marathon.”

According to Walsh, canceling the event completely would cost regional economies $211 million and charities $40 million. He did not have the cost of postponement. Walsh expressed interest in making the weekend of Sept. 14 “a campaign” to help local businesses recover from the economic effects of coronavirus.

Said Walsh: “We’ve shown people that no matter what the challenge is to our marathon and to our city, we are Boston strong and that’s what we will be again this year in the face of this crisis.”

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