In March, race officials postponed the Boston Marathon for the first time in the 124-year history of the event because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The race, scheduled to take part on Patriots Day – the third Monday in April – in Massachusetts every year, was postponed and rescheduled for Sept. 14. That didn’t stop one Massachusetts runner from running the second half of the Boston Marathon course Monday.
Boston Marathon postponed until September
Like it did with the rest of the sports world, the coronavirus caused chaos with the event. It forced the Boston Marathon to move from April to September. The event had gone off without any issues for 124 straight years since its inception in 1897 but for safety reasons, it was forced to move from its original date.
“On matters of public health and safety we take our guidance from the officials entrusted with protecting the public in this area,” said Tom Grilk, CEO of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) said in a statement in March. “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.”
With more than 30,000 runners expected to take part, along with the many spectators along the race route, officials made the decision based on public safety. The race is always part of a huge Patriots Day morning in Boston as the Boston Red Sox always host an 11 a.m. game the same day.
Notable Boston Marathon moments
Although the Boston Marathon has gone off for 124 straight years, there have been some incidents that have marred the race, most notably the 2013 event. Seven years ago, the race was shockingly disrupted by two bombs that were set off near the finish line.
Three people were killed when the bombs went off 12 seconds apart from each other, resulting in chaos throughout the streets. The race was halted, preventing many of the runners from finishing the race. More than 260 people were injured from the bombings. The bombs were contained in pressure cookers, hidden inside backpacks, according to the FBI.
Also, in 1980 Rosie Ruiz appeared to have claimed the women’s race but was found to have cheated. Ruiz apparently entered the race for the final stretch and was, in fact, initially declared the winner. Eventually, she was caught and Jacqueline Gareau was declared the winner.
Patrick MacAdie runs the course alone Monday
While more than 30,000 runners were initially expected to run the Boston Marathon on Monday, only one did. Against the wishes of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Patrick MacAdie ran the second half of the course by himself to “maintain some sense of normalcy.” He said he was planning to run the Boston Marathon anyway.
MacAdie said he was expecting there to be more runners, but also said running is what is helping his cope with his experience with the coronavirus. “I expected there to be more runners out there doing what I was doing,” MacAdie said. “But I think I was the only one – at least for the route I ran.
“I was thinking of my loved ones,” he said. “The people in my life who have supported me. It’s a scary time for a lot of people so the thing that keeps me normal and keeps my life sort of balanced is running. You want to maintain some sense of normalcy, but also be smart about social distancing and not put other people at risk.”