BOSTON (AP) — The 125th edition of the Boston Marathon will be held Oct. 11 if road races are allowed to take place under Massachusetts’ COVID-19 restrictions, race officials said Tuesday.
The Boston Athletic Association said it has ”cautious optimism” the event will take place. Last year’s Boston Marathon was postponed from April to September and ultimately canceled two months later, the first time since 1897 that the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual 26.2-mile race was not run.
Plans for this year’s race are pending approval from the eight cities and towns that are part of the marathon route.
”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,” Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said in a statement. ”We will continue to work with local partners and the BAA to monitor the situation and remain hopeful that the 125th Boston Marathon can take place this October.”
Road races are not permitted until the state’s reopening plan enters Phase 4. Massachusetts reverted to Phase 3 in December.
A total of 15,972 people ran a virtual race last year, completing the 26.2-mile distance on their own over a 10-day period. In 1918, the marathon format was modified to a relay due to World War I; the 2013 race was stopped when two bombs exploded at the finish line, several hours after the winners had finished but while many recreational runners were still on the course.