The 2020 Boston Marathon was Cancelled, Some Runners Ran it Anyway

Yesterday was the day that the 2020 Boston Marathon was set to take place. In what has now become a very common story, the race was of course postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. This resulted in a lot of disappointment amongst runners who had qualified for the event, but were unable to compete. It should probably come as no surprise then, that at one runner showed up at what would have been the starting line yesterday and proceeded to run the route anyway.

The lone runner who is known to have completed the entire Boston Marathon route, set out yesterday morning from Hopkington, Massachusetts, which is were the race traditionally starts from. He was later seen crossing the finish line in Boston, presumably having run the full 26.2 miles to get there.

That runner chose to remain anonymous, but did tell local news outlets that the route was empty and devoid of traffic, conditions were good, and he had trained for a long time for the event. While weighing all of those factors, he decided that he wanted to run the historic Boston Marathon route even though the event had been postponed until September 14.

Fearing that there might be some runners who would take to the course despite the race’s cancellation, Boston Marathon organizers and the governor of Massachusetts urged runners to stay off the streets and stay home. Gathering in larger groups is obviously discouraged right now, but beyond that Boston’s hospitals and first responders have their hands full with right now dealing with more critical patients.

Taking resources away to assist a runner who may have run into trouble, gotten hit by a car, suffered an injury, or had some other ailment could have been disastrous. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to have happened, but it is easy to understand why officials asked everyone to stay home and off the course.

On the other hand, it is also easy to understand why some runners feel compelled to run the Boston Marathon. For 124 years it has been amongst the most legendary and iconic races in the world and for it not to happen in the spring is just another indication of how strange our days are at the moment.

The event being held in September will have a very different feel to it, but at least the 2020 edition will take place. Runners who had originally qualified will still have their spots saved for them, while those who can’t make the revised date are eligible for a refund. One thing is for certain though, that come Monday, September 14, there will be a lot of people happy to see the Boston Marathon get underway at long last.

Kraig Becker