BOSTON — Boston Marathon race organizers, who had to postpone and then cancel the 2020 running of the historic race, now say that they are unsure if or how the Boston Marathon might take place in April 2021.
The Boston Athletic Association announced Thursday that it would not open registration for the 2021 marathon this month, as it would typically do for the April race. Instead, the BAA formed a COVID-19 Medical & Event Operations Advisory Group that includes city and state officials to make recommendations about how and when the Boston Marathon might safely be held.
"COVID-19 has affected mass participation road races in ways that we never could have imagined," Tom Grilk, CEO of the BAA and co-chair of the advisory group, said. He added, "September is usually a time for the BAA to begin opening registration for April's Boston Marathon and planning for an already established field size. We know, however, that we cannot open registration until we have a better understanding of where the virus may be in the spring."
Among those serving on the BAA's advisory group are Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Samantha Phillips; Dr. Larry Madoff, the medical director for the DPH Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences; Kate Davis, director of Boston's Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment; and William Evans, the former Boston police commissioner who is now chief of police at Boston College and is himself a marathoner.
This year, BAA officials had postponed the 123-year-old road race from April 20 to Sept. 14 with the hope that a large gathering of athletes and spectators from around the globe would be safe by then. Instead, the race was called off.