Runners React to Boston Cancellation

Runners responded to this survey question:  What is your reaction to the Boston Marathon being called off for the first time since its inception?

Alejandro Gauna

I was certainly disappointed in not being able to run Boston this year. However, I understand and respect the need to cancel. These are difficult times and we all have to be willing to adapt accordingly. I am glad that they are offering a virtual option and I plan to participate.

Ginny Pezzula

I think it’s a good decision to postpone it this year because of the dangerous and very contagious Covid-19 virus not only for runners but also for the thousands of anticipated spectators. I lost two close friends to this disease and it’s affected me deeply. Therefore, I am in favor of the postponement and the addition of offering a full refund for those who want it. Be safe.


Mollie Turner

I think the BAA made the right call. There are many life altering issues going on right now, and this gives us all a chance to focus on what is truly important. I see 2020 as an opportunity to sift through our priorities and remember that running isn’t just about race times. It’s about community and connection to something greater than ourselves. That’s the true Boston spirit. Let’s help keep that alive in 2020 and inspire others to stay active in our communities in any way that we can.

Bill Bean

I wasn’t surprised by the decision to hold off the race.  It must have been a difficult decision for the organizers to make, and everyone must be disappointed, but it as the right decision to make. Everyone is impacted in some way by a postponement of a cancellation, from participant to organizer.  It’s surely going to be difficult for everyone.  I’m skeptical that any large gathering is a good idea until we have reliable testing and an effective vaccine. If we have to wait to race another day, then I’m OK with this.  I’d rather we all do what we can to stay healthy and safe today, do the right thing for our safety today and when the time is right, come together strong and fit and ready to give it our all.


Meg Louden

I am sad that it is canceled again but I had a feeling it was going to be. With knowing someone close to me that passed from covid-19, I think safety is the best until this can be figured out. Here’s to Boston 2021.

Andy Reed

Unfortunately, I think it's the right decision and I am sure the other major marathons will follow suit. There are too many unknowns with the coronavirus outbreak to put that many people at risk.

Greg Ethier

I feel for those runners who trained so hard, hit their qualifying time, made the cutoff, and were awarded entry only to have the race canceled. Especially if this was to be their first Boston. That said it’s good to see that the B.A.A. is offering a full refund and giving entrants a chance to get in for 2021 with their original qualifying time. I ran Boston last year and qualified for 2021 with over a ten-minute buffer. Hopefully the B.A.A. finds a way to increase the field size to get as many qualifiers in as possible while keeping the cut off time down. Will be tricky.

Mark Mindel

Well it was the smart thing to do. You can’t have 50,000 people from all over the world coming into one place, plus all the spectators along the course ... logistically impossible to keep everyone’s safety and health as top concern.

Scott Mindel

I am not surprised at all given the state and city guidelines in place for returning back to normalcy. I really don't think any big races are going to happen this year that are usually run.


Anthony Giuliano

My first reaction is that I really hope that it’s not a sign of things to come for the rest of the fall racing season.

Jeremy McNamara

It's the only realistic solution even though my BQ time for 2021 probably won't get me in anymore.


Sarah Wood Piper

I think it’s great they’re offering a full refund. The virtual option is nice and I’m sure some will take advantage of that, but it’s not the same experience. I think that the decision was realistic and smart. There cannot be 35,000 people gathering right now. I feel for those that worked really hard and were in training for April and were starting to ramp up for September now. This too shall pass but for now it’s safest and hopefully we can safely participate in smaller races in the Fall.

Steve Sweeney

No reaction. Times have changed. All races are canceled or postponed. Any race with large numbers won't be able to run this year and through next.

Theresa DeLorenzo

I’m not sure I’m the one to respond as someone who has never qualified. I think a race that big is smart to cancel.

Karoline Chrzanowski-Sears

I think it's the right call. I'm sure it's a really disappointing outcome for so many people, but we only have one life to live. There will be more marathons. I hope they will give those folks who qualified this time around an opportunity to run in a future marathon.

Beth Gottung Stalker

It’s sad but how could they pull it off with the restrictions.

Dick Vincent

With the 2020 Boston Marathon finally going from postponed to cancelled, I understand the disappointment for runners. They have been training and planning all year to be a part of this Grand Daddy of World Marathoning. Typical reactions to some of the athletes I know include disappointment, depression, frustration and in some cases, anger. Believe me, this is nobody's fault. COVID-19 has presented not only the USA but the world with unprecedented challenges. Keep in mind that we are lucky to be able to do this stuff. As disappointing as it is to have Boston taken from us this year, let it be a reminder that we are blessed to have events like Boston (and all the others) wrap ourselves around. It is more than just a race; it is a celebration of everything we have become as runners.  Let this loss of not only Boston but of a year of races, training groups, and the social circles that surround it, remind us how lucky we are in the first place. 

Some years ago, Hurricane Sandy cancelled the New York City Marathon. New York City persevered and came back to us bigger and better. Between 1939 and 1946 the Tour de France was not held because of World War II. The Tour and the riders got back to it in 1947, only to appreciate it more than they ever had before. Let us use this as reminder that these events, the Boston Marathon, The NYC Marathon, the Helderberg to Hudson, and so many, many more, are venues we are lucky to have as part of our lives. Be disappointed, be sad, but most of all, be grateful. Because like everything else in life, it can be gone in a heartbeat. Let it be a reminder that we must enjoy things while they are here. I look forward to seeing you on the roads, the trails, and the track. In the meantime, run joyfully.


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