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No Boston Marathon this coming April, either; maybe in the fall

The Boston Athletic Association announced today it's called off the 2021 Boston Marathon on Patriots Day, but held out some hope it might be able to reschedule the race to sometime in the fall.

In a statement, BAA CEO Tom Grilk said:

With fewer than six months until Patriots’ Day and with road races prohibited until Phase 4 of the Massachusetts reopening plan, we are unable to host the Boston Marathon this coming April. 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.

When BAA and Boston officials first announced the cancellation of this year's Patriots Day race, they initially set a new date in September, but eventually had to cancel that as well, due to the difficulties of ensuring the safety of hundreds of thousands of runners and spectators along the 26-mile route.

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Given current trajectory, likely vaccine rollout, time needed to plan etc I think they should target fall ‘22 for running a “normal” marathon

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Voting closed 23

While other cities were cancelling their events, Los Angeles went ahead with their marathon during the pandemic, on March 8. Its route is considerably more dense and urban than most of Boston's route. To my knowledge, nothing bad happened in LA after this race.

They will have another one on March 21, 2021.

Los Angeles Marathon

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Voting closed 15

March 8 was very early days in the outbreak in LA, especially compared to April in Boston this year .

https://www.latimes.com/projects/california-coronavirus-cases-tracking-o...

There were almost no cases last March in LA.

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Voting closed 38

The running portion of the race is quite safe, relatively speaking. However you crowd into the bus to get to the start line and wait around with 40,000 other runners on the grounds of Hopkinton High School. But then the entire course is lined with people, very dense in places especially as you approach Boston and particularly along Boylston St.

I guess that one can ask that no one come out to watch the race, but the spectators are just as integral to the heart of the race as the runners.

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Voting closed 31

If you look at their course map, nearly the entire route is at least as dense as the Brookline part of ours.

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Voting closed 6

It's the virus density, not the spectator density.

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Voting closed 26

LA marathon has less fans than a Massachusetts HS track meet. (Does look like there are safety precautions limiting fans at the end though)

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Voting closed 14

I would imagine the crowds are probably twice that found at the BAA Half Marathon, which is to say that social distancing wasn’t quite a problem.

Other than Boston, New York, or Chicago, not much interest in marathons other than from the runners, their friends and family, and some who live on the course.

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Voting closed 13

I'm from LA. Trust me, almost nobody cares about the marathon there. For one, it starts at like 6am on a Sunday. It's finishing up before most people even wake up. Compare that to Boston where it doesn't even start going through Boston until like noon - it's a much bigger deal and attracts people from all over the world.

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Voting closed 30

Runforit's comments about the bus and waiting around to start are the most damning. They could work around that, but it's not a slam dunk. People in Boston understand COVID and if you told spectators to stay home, most of them would. All those suburbanites that make a couple of yearly sojourns into the city would stay put. The Wellesley girls might still come out and random people along the way will walk down to watch, but it doesn't have to be a mob scene.

It could work. It wouldn't be the same, but it could happen safely.

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Voting closed 6

They could possibly safely have a road race that looks nothing like the normal Boston marathon. However since they can’t run races until phase 4 it makes planning for April impossible. Possible they can put something together later in the year, but normal Boston probably a couple of years out. Hopefully a real raucous and fun day to look forward to in Sept ‘22

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They could possibly have a road race that looks nothing like the normal Boston marathon

That's what the BAA's been doing since 1980, when they sold out to the corporate sponsors and made the race a professional event.

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Voting closed 21

There’s probably a hundred of those, compared with the thousands who run for the heck of it.

As I repeatedly say to you, leave the professionals only in and the race resembles what it was like a century ago. Take them out, and you’ll still be as annoyed at the race as people are with the 9,000 amateurs that run the half every year.

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Voting closed 2

Will need medical attention. They will sweaty, out of breath, have soiled masks and outfits, etc. hundreds of volunteers all over the route working together closely before, during and after the race. EMTs will be transporting 100 or so of them to hospitals or treating them in medical tents.

All in all just not a good idea.

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Voting closed 13

I live in Hopkinton and try to get to the start area for the Marathon because it really is a spectacle. Keep in mind that there are thousands and thousands of people concentrated in a small area, even well before the starts. People just hanging around waiting, killing time. Then, the actual starts themselves are a mass of humanity moving as one giant blob, breathing on each other and with lots of bodily contact. Much worse than any Trump rally.

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Voting closed 14

Magoo is going to begin a virtual run of the marathon tonight. Magoo figures that if Magoo runs in place one minute a night Magoo will have finished the marathon by the time the actual one starts again. Magoo.

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Voting closed 14

The cancelation probably has more to do with Marty Walsh not wanting TV viewers to see the boarded up, looted and otherwise empty businesses along the Boston portion of the route than any risk of disease. In an age of corporations shying away from huge sports sponsorships, how long before John Hancock and the others pull the plug on sponsoring the race? 25 years ago, every Boston TV and radio news station covered the entire marathon live and got high ratings. Now it's down to one. As a commenter noted above, there's little interest in attending running events nationwide. I had noticed Boston Marathon interest (and the crowds) were declining even before the bombing. The race should either be retired or returned to local amateurs with no prize money.

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Voting closed 12

Maybe you can find a new local blog to troll? It's pretty clear you don't have a clue what's going on in the city that this one is based around, since you appear to think that it's some kind of Mad Max hellscape.

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Voting closed 28

...it's time to stop sniffing glue and rewatching your scratchy bootlegged old VHS copy of "Escape from New York".

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Voting closed 9

Aside from being at odds with almost all available facts, you make some strong arguments.

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Voting closed 7

Like how much money the city brings in during what would be an otherwise dead weekend, filling every hotel room for miles at exorbitant prices, and every seat at restaurants, and $20 million for (mostly local) charities. It's like having a huge convention in town. GBCVB reports it brings $200 million into the local economy.

But, yeah, cancel it because you are a fat slob and once got stuck in a traffic jam, or whatever.

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Voting closed 6

GBCVB reports it brings $200 million into the local economy.

And what does the local economy actually net after all expenses are paid? Face the facts people, the Boston Marathon was enjoyable when it was a truly amateur event for all entrants and when everyone ran in the same race.

Now it's just another overhyped commercial boorfest that bears little relationship to the event that was created by the founders.

Pardon the pun, but the "tradition" of the Boston Marathon has long since run its course. Time to put it to rest. and for those of you crying "but, but, but ..economic impact", perhaps you should ask yourselves whether having an economy that is apparently so heavily dependent upon once a year events for most of their profits is a good economic model in the first place.

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Voting closed 2