Pandemic-delayed Boston Marathon field set for 20,000

BOSTON (AP) — The pandemic-delayed 2021 Boston Marathon will have space for 20,000 entrants, race organizers announced Monday.

The Boston Athletic Association said the smaller field was necessary to allow for social distancing during the Oct. 11 event — especially at the start and finish. More than 30,000 runners had signed up for the 2020 race, which was first postponed and then canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“In addition to a smaller field than in previous years, we will have significant additional protocols in place to ensure participant and public health,” BAA President Tom Grilk said. “We are committed to making the oldest annual marathon in the world as safe as possible in October.”

First run in 1897, the Boston Marathon was canceled last year for the first time in its history. Instead, almost 16,000 people ran in a virtual race, completing the 26.2-mile distance on their own over a 10-day period.

In addition to the in-person race, the BAA will hold a virtual Boston Marathon from Oct. 8-10 that will allow up to 70,000 more entrants to earn a finisher’s medal remotely.

Registration for the in-person race will be from April 20-23.

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