2021 Boston Virtual Marathon to Accept 70,000 Entrants

by BAA Press Release
March, 2, 2021

Held in addition to in-person Boston Marathon in celebration of the 125th edition of the historic race

BOSTON—The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced it will offer a virtual Boston Marathon, which will be open to everyone aged 18 or over, in celebration of the 125th Boston Marathon this fall. Held in addition to the in-person Boston Marathon scheduled for Monday, October 11, 2021, the virtual race will be open to the first 70,000 registrants.

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“We anticipate having a reduced field size for the in-person road race on Monday, October 11 but want to celebrate and honor the 125th running of the Boston Marathon through this virtual race,” said Tom Grilk, President and C.E.O. of the B.A.A. “For the first time in our history, most everyone will have the opportunity to earn a Unicorn finisher’s medal for every B.A.A. race in 2021—no matter whether they choose to walk or run.”

Registration for the virtual Boston Marathon will open through the B.A.A.’s Athletes’ Village and will take place separately from the in-person registration. All participants will need to complete the marathon distance of 26.2 miles in one, continuous attempt in order to earn their Unicorn finisher’s medal, but will not be limited to any time restrictions. Participants in the virtual 125th Boston Marathon also will receive a virtual toolkit with an official bib number, champion’s breaktape, start and finish line, and more.

Field size for the in-person Boston Marathon, scheduled to take place on Monday, October 11, has not yet been finalized but will be smaller than previous years in order to enhance participant and public safety. The B.A.A. will strive to achieve a field size composition as close to previous years as possible, with approximately 80% of the field being comprised of qualified entrants and 20% being comprised of invitational entries, including charity program runners. Details about the in-person race, including registration dates, COVID-19 safety measures, and participant requirements will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Building upon the success of the 2020 Boston Marathon Virtual Experience, we again will strive to bring the spirit of Boston to neighborhoods around the world through this virtual race,” said Grilk. “No matter where you cross the finish line, the 125th Boston Marathon will be a celebration for all runners.” In 2020, 16,183 runners from nearly 90 countries and all 50 U.S. states finished the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience.

In January, the B.A.A. launched Athletes’ Village, a virtual hub for free monthly challenges, paid training programs, and an online community for runners to interact. As part of the #RunTo125 campaign, the B.A.A. seeks to engage 125,000 athletes worldwide through virtual events and Athletes’ Village challenges. The #RunTo125 celebrates athletes of all abilities, whether participating in the virtual B.A.A. 5K (April 16-18), Boston Marathon (in-person and virtual), or other upcoming B.A.A. races. Registration is currently open for the virtual B.A.A. 5K, which can be run anywhere over Patriots’ Day weekend.

ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (B.A.A.) 

Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A. manages the Boston Marathon, and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round programming. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock. The 125th Boston Marathon is scheduled to take place on Monday, October 11, 2021. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.

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