Boston Marathon canceled for 1st time in 124-year history

Sports

Runners in the first wave cross the line at the start of the 2017 Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., Monday, April 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Marathon has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history.

Organizers have decided to have a “virtual event” instead, where participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles on their own will receive their finisher’s medal.

The race had originally been scheduled for April 20 before being postponed for five months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the title of Boston Marathon champion is contested by a few dozen elite athletes, the field includes more than 30,000 recreational and charity runners, with as many as 1 million people lined up along the course.

That presented organizers with a social distancing problem they don’t expect to solve by the fall.

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