One of the biggest footraces in the world is being pushed back a few months. On Friday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the Boston Marathon is postponed until Sept. 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The race was originally scheduled to take place on April 20. The city made the decision to protect the health of the 31,000 registered runners and the estimated 1 million spectators who normally attend the race.
"We want to make sure that we keep people safe," the mayor said at a news conference, per the Associated Press. He also said that people shouldn't attempt to run the course in April. One of the other reasons for the postponement was President Donald Trump's order of restricting most Europeans' travel to the US as a fair amount of runners from Europe take part in the race.
For most who contract coronavirus, they will have mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for others, specifically elderly people or people with existing health issues, it can cause other severe illnesses such as pneumonia or even death. For those who have mild symptoms, it normally takes them two weeks to recover.
The postponement of the Boston Marathon is historic as it has not been interrupted in its 124-year history. The Associated Press mentioned there was a de facto cancellation in 1918 when the global influenza pandemic and World War I forced organizers to change the race to a relay format.
"On matters of public health and safety we take our guidance from the officials entrusted with protecting the public in this area," Tom Grilk, C.E.O. of the Boston Athletic Association, said in a statement. "We understand our role, along with our partners, in ensuring a safe environment for all participants, volunteers, spectators, and supporters that meets the standards set by those officials."
Canceling the event wasn't an option because of the money the race brings in. Walsh said the marathon bring in $211 million a year into Boston and that doesn't include the other money raised by runners for charities.
"The B.A.A.'s mission of promoting health through sports, especially running, has guided our organization for more than a century," Grilk added. "In collaboration with our many partners, we look forward to welcoming the world to Boston in September in celebration of the 124th Boston Marathon,"