BOSTON – The Boston Marathon will be postponed to a later date after being originally slated to take place on April 20 in an effort to stem the spread of a global pandemic.
On Friday morning, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the marathon would be postponed until Monday, September 14.
“We wanted to make sure it was a day we could make work,” he said at a news conference outside city hall. “I want to discourage anyone from trying to run the route on April 20. The roads will not be closed and first responders will not be on hand.”
First identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the new virus officially called COVID-19 has been quickly spreading to all corners of the world as officials rush to contain the outbreak.
More than 30,000 people run the Boston Marathon each year and millions of others come into town to participate in the festivities. Travel is planned months if not a year in advance.
The Marathon hasn’t been canceled since it began its annual run in 1897. In 1918, it was made into a relay for military teams.
The hundreds of businesses along the parade route spend months preparing for the Marathon in April and also count on the more than $200 million the race brings to the greater Boston area.
Countless events — sporting and otherwise — have been canceled or postponed this month as response times to the disease’s spread have lagged across the country.
As the World Health Organization declares the novel coronavirus spread a global pandemic and Governor Charlie Baker announced a state of emergency in Massachusetts, the effects are starting to be felt around the state.
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