Boston Marathon Postponed Until at Least Fall 2021
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Boston Marathon Postponed Until at Least Fall 2021

The Boston Athletic Association announced on Wednesday that the 125th Boston Marathon will be postponed until at least the fall of 2021. Boston College will now hold a regular class schedule on Patriots’ Day, which falls on April 19 this year, while classes are normally canceled on the holiday due to the marathon.

Vice Provost for Faculties Billy Soo said in an email to The Heights that if the marathon is held in the fall, it is very likely that BC will have to suspend classes on that day.

“The fall semester academic calendar will probably not be finalized until next spring and will depend on the course of the virus and the availability of vaccines,” Soo said.

Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement said that by postponing until the fall, the Boston Athletic Association can adjust the in-person experience for both runners and supporters. 

“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,” Grilk said. 

Grilk said that road races are prohibited until phase four of the Massachusetts reopening plan. The City of Boston is currently in phase three, step one of the reopening process. Communities deemed to be lower risk moved to phase three, step two of the reopening plan earlier this month. 

The BAA has not yet selected an official date for the 2021 race. The BAA’s COVID-19 Medical & Event Operations Advisory group, which was formed on Sept. 3, will work with local, city, and state officials to determine if a fall 2021 race is feasible. 

“We are optimistic that the Boston Marathon will continue its tradition of celebrating the spirit of community and athletic excellence next fall,” Grilk said in the statement. “We know there will be many questions and we will look to address them in the coming months ahead.”

The BAA’s statement said that it will be forthcoming with information about when registration will open and the field size, pending local regulations and the event plan. 

The 2020 Boston Marathon, originally set to take place on April 20 and rescheduled for September, was postponed in March and officially canceled by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in May. This was the first time the event has been canceled in its 124-year history. The race was replaced by a 10-day virtual event from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14. 

Kyle Donahue, MCAS ’22, was registered to run the 2020 marathon and was planning to run in the 2021 marathon. 

“It’s one of those things where as upset as I am, it’s absolutely the right decision,” Donahue said. “I can sacrifice running if it’s going to mean people’s safety and people’s health. So I’m upset as a runner, but as a person who lives in Boston, postponing is the right move.”

Donahue began training for the 2020 marathon in January of last year by running around 80 miles per week. He estimated that he has spent over 1,000 hours training. 

“Whenever the marathon is coming, I’ll be ready for it and just excited to run down Comm. Ave. and hear everyone cheering,” Donahue said. 

Carmen Martin, BC ’20, ran the virtual marathon in September in support of the BC Campus School.

“Despite the circumstances, people still were able to come together and cheer one another on, and it still felt very special, even though it wasn’t the traditional marathon,” Martin said. 

Martin is still considering whether she will participate in the potential 2021 marathon. 

“I think it’s disappointing that two years in a row an event that has so much meaning to Boston is being postponed. So hopefully, this fall things will come together a little more nicely,” Martin said.

Featured Image by Stephan Savoia / AP Photo

October 29, 2020

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Established in 1919 as Boston College’s student newspaper, The Heights has been both editorially and financially independent from the University since 1971. The Heights serves the students, faculty, and staff of the Boston College community, as well as our neighbors in Chestnut Hill, Newton, and the Allston-Brighton area.  
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