The 2021 Boston Marathon will not be held on its originally scheduled date in April as organizers announced it will be postponed to at least the fall of 2021. The announcement was made by the Boston Athletic Association on Wednesday afternoon after months of consulting with city and state officials and as well as a COVID-19 medical and event operations advisory board.
A specific date will be determined later. Boston is one of the six World Marathon Majors along with Berlin, Chicago, New York, London and Tokyo. All six are now set to take place next autumn.
2021 will mark the 125th running of the Boston Marathon. It is traditionally held on Patriot's Day, which is a state holiday celebrated on the third Monday in April in Massachusetts.
“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,” BAA CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement. “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.”
The 2020 Boston Marathon was originally scheduled for April 20 before being rescheduled to September. Ultimately, it was canceled and held virtually with participants able to run from wherever they desired. The Boston Marathon usually features more than 30,000 finishers and there's no word yet as to how big the 2021 field size is expected to be.
The writing was on the wall for the 2021 Boston Marathon to be postponed after the Tokyo Marathon moved from March until Oct. 17 due to ongoing concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
London was the lone major marathon to be held this fall with an elite-only race held on a closed course on Oct. 4.
Massachusetts reported 1,025 new confirmed coronavirus cases and seven deaths on Tuesday, which marked four consecutive days of more than 1,000 cases. Road races are part of the state's phase 4 reopening guidelines, which is dependent on a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment being available.
Below is the revised 2021 World Marathon Majors calendar after Wednesday's announcement:
Aug. 7th and 8th – Tokyo Olympics
Sept. 26 – Berlin Marathon
Oct. 3 - London Marathon
Oct. 10 – Chicago Marathon
Oct. 17 – Tokyo Marathon
Nov. 7 - New York City Marathon
TBD - Boston Marathon