The 125th Boston Marathon will be held on Oct. 11 provided that the Massachusetts reopening plan follows as planned, permitting road races by that time, according to a Tuesday announcement from the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). The BAA will also hold a virtual version of the event.
Road races are slated to be permitted during Phase 4 of the reopening plan. Phase 4, the “new normal,” is contingent on the development and distribution of vaccines, according to the plan. The Commonwealth is currently in Phase 3 Step 1 of the plan.
“We announce the 2021 Boston Marathon date with a cautious optimism, understanding full well that we will continue to be guided by science and our continued collaborative work with local, city, state, and public health officials,” Tom Grilk, president and CEO of the BAA, said in a statement. “If we are able to hold an in-person race in October, the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members will be paramount.”
The BAA announced in October that the 2021 race would be moved from the traditional date of Patriot’s Day to the fall.
“We have selected October 11 in coordination with the eight cities and towns that comprise the marathon route and in consultation with the B.A.A.’s COVID-19 Medical Event & Event Operations Advisory Group,” the BAA statement reads.
In a tweet on Tuesday Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, BC ’09, said that setting a date for the 125th marathon instilled in him a sense of hope.
Details including field size of the in-person race, registration dates, safety measures and protocols, and participant requirements have not yet been announced by the BAA. The event plan will be pending future approval from the eight cities and towns that comprise the marathon route, according to the BAA statement.
Registration for the event has not yet opened, according to the BAA. Registration dates will be posted on the BAA website, in Athletes’ Village, and across the Boston Marathon social media channels when they become available.
“Massachusetts continues to fight COVID-19 and distribute vaccines across the Commonwealth, and with brighter days ahead, we are looking forward to getting back to a new normal in 2021,” Governor Charlie Baker said in the BAA statement. “We will continue to work with local partners and the B.A.A. to monitor the situation and remain hopeful that the 125th Boston Marathon can take place this October.”
Vice Provost for Faculties Billy Soo said in an email to The Heights in October 2020 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 in the email.
Last year, the 124th Boston Marathon, which was originally scheduled for April 20 and then postponed until September because of COVID-19, was held virtually from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14. The in-person race was canceled for the first time in its history.
Featured Image Courtesy of Charles Krupa / AP Photo