The 2021 Boston Marathon has been postponed until at least next fall, a six-month delay from its traditional April date.
An annual staple of the city's Patriot's Day schedule—held on the third Monday in April—the Boston Athletic Association announced its decision to place the marathon on hold on the advice of its COVID-19 Medical and Event Operations Advisory Group as the state continues to battle the pandemic.
"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."
This is the second time the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the Boston Marathon. The 124th running last year was canceled—then held virtually—as cases soared last spring.
Organizers are hopeful they can avoid a similar fate in 2021 by delaying the race. A new date is expected to be confirmed by the end of the year.
"We are optimistic that the Boston Marathon will continue its tradition of celebrating the spirit of community and athletic excellence next fall," Grilk said. "We know there will be many questions and we will look to address them in the coming months ahead."