The 2020 Boston Marathon has been postponed due to coronavirus and will take place later this year.
Initially set to take place on Monday, 20 April, the race will now take place on Monday, 14 September.
The move comes after the Paris and Rome Marathons were cancelled, while there is no decision yet on the London Marathon, due to take place on 26 April.
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“In the face of this crisis in this country, we have to lead,” announced the Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
The Boston Athletic Association, which oversees the marathon, had held off deciding the fate of the race even as other high-profile sporting events were cancelled or postponed around the globe.
But pressure had mounted in recent weeks from officials in Boston and the seven cities and towns along the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) course.
Some had expressed worries not only for the health of the 31,000 registered runners but also the estimated 1 million spectators who traditionally line the route, giving athletes hand slaps, high fives and even kisses as they pass.
In recent days, the Rome Marathon was cancelled, the Paris Marathon was postponed from 5 April to 18 October and the Barcelona Marathon was postponed from 15 March to 25 October, all over concerns around Covid-19.
This month’s Tokyo Marathon was expected to have 38,000 participants but was limited to elite runners due to concerns over the outbreak of the virus in Japan. And spectators at the Los Angeles Marathon, held earlier this month, were advised to practice social distancing.
Additional reporting by AP
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