The coronavirus (COVID-19) claimed yet another sporting event Friday as the Boston Marathon has been postponed and rescheduled for Sept. 14.
The rapidly spreading virus has already forced the suspension of the NBA and NHL seasons, while canceling the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tourneys as well. Major League Baseball has also decided to cancel spring training games and delay its regular season for at least two weeks, while The Masters golf tournament was also canceled Friday. MLS and NASCAR have also been affected.
Boston Marathon affected for the first time in history
The Boston Marathon, arguably the world’s most prestigious running event, has been going strong since its inception in 1897. For 124 years, the event has gone off as scheduled, but the coronavirus has forced the city and race organizers to postpone the date.
The race began in 1897 with 15 runners taking part and it has grown to what it is today as more than 30,000 runners from all over the world gather to take part in the event. The large gathering will be put off in hopes that the virus will have run its course by then.
“The (Boston Athletic Association) understands the city’s decision that the Boston Marathon cannot be held on April 20, 2020,” race organizers said in a statement. ”We offer our full support to take all reasonable efforts to postpone.”
The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings
Back in 2013, the Boston Marathon was able to get underway but was interrupted by a pair of homemade 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.
Two brothers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were found to have set off the bombs. Dzhokhar was found after a lengthy manhunt and was found guilty of 30 federal offenses. He was sentenced to death. Tamerlan was killed by police.
The Fourth of July had reportedly been the original date scheduled for the bombings, but the brothers found that it was much easier to build the bombs than originally anticipated, so they moved up the date and made the Boston Marathon their target.
Other notable Boston Marathons
In 1980, Rosie Ruiz was thought to have won the Boston Marathon, but was later found out to have cheated as she jumped in the race for the final stretch. She was initially declared the winner, but doubts came to light with her sweat-free shirt during the post-race interview.
Jacqueline Gareau was declared the winner.
During the 100th running of the event in 1966, Humphrey Siesage, a 61-year-old participant from Sweden died from a heart attack. In 2002, Cynthia Lucero, a 28-year-old doctor died from hyponatremia, a condition that can be caused from excessive hydration.