The 2020 Boston Marathon has been put on hold due to fears of coronavirus contagion. State and local officials announced Friday that the April 20 race will be postponed until Sept. 14.
It is the first time in the 124-year history of the marathon that the race has been delayed.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had already canceled the city's St. Patrick's Day parade, and had warned this week he was considering delaying the marathon.
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“The economic impact of the marathon on Boston, I looked at that number yesterday, is about $211 million,” Walsh said Tuesday. “But the bottom line, my job as mayor and our job as leaders is to make sure people are safe."
The marathon is the latest ina string of major sporting eventsbeing canceled or delayed by fears of spreading the virus. The NCAA men's and women's basketball championships have been canceled, the NBA has suspended its season and Major League Baseball halted spring training and announced the start of the season will be delayed at least two weeks.
Walsh said Friday delaying the race was a major decision, but "we want to make sure that we keep people safe." He added that the weekend of Sept. 12-13 will be the "centerpiece" of the city's effort to help local businesses recover from the economic damage of the wave of shutdowns.
Walsh also urged runners not to make any effort to run the race on April 20, noting that the roads will not be closed and there will be no protections for anyone who tries to run the roads.
Gov. Charlie Baker said Sept. 14 will be a state holiday just like every other marathon Monday.