Organizers announced on July 20 that the Marine Corps Marathon will not be taking place this year for the first time in its 45-year history, as a result of uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic. While the typically weekend-long event was scheduled to take place in-person from Friday, Oct. 23 to Sunday, Oct. 25, the event will now be held virtually.
“We explored various approaches to safely execute a live event and held numerous meetings with Marine Corps leadership, local government and public health officials,” Rick Nealis, director of the Marine Corps Marathon Organization, said in a recent statement. “We understand this is disappointing news for many, but we could no longer envision a way to gather together in compliance with safety guidelines. While we are unable to celebrate in-person this October, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the 45th anniversary event to the homes of runners around the world through a rewarding and engaging virtual experience.”
Since debuting in 1976, the Marine Corps Marathon consistently attracted over 30,000 runners from across the globe annually to the DMV, and also grew in size with an accompanying 10K, 5K and kids run. This year’s cancellation comes after some of the nation’s other most popular marathons, such as the Boston Marathon, New York Marathon and Chicago Marathon, omitted the possibility of racing due to the pandemic earlier this summer.
All runners who have already registered for the event will receive a full refund, which amounts to about $172, or they can defer with no fee to participate in the 2021, 2022 or 2023 Marine Corps Marathon events. For those who still want to participate virtually, the fee will amount to $45, and all runners will receive 2020 swag of a medal, shirt and commemorative face mask. For more information on the virtual-only affair, click here.
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