BAA: Marathon runners may need to get 2 negative COVID tests before race day

BOSTON (WHDH) - Marathon runners could be put to the test before they are allowed to participate in the in-person race this October.

The Boston Athletic Association announced a number of precautions for the 20,000 people who signed up to take part in the event, including a proposal that officials are considering which states runners must get tested twice ahead of race day.

“We’ll have people come in tested, we hope. But in any event, there needs to be a test within 72-hours of the time the race would finish,” said BAA President Tom Grilk. “So, if someone has a test from within 72 hours before the end of the day Monday, they’ll probably be OK.”

In addition to testing requirements, race organizers are doing away with the starting area in Hopkinton in favor of a staggered start.

Runners will have to pay a $25 COVID fee, and for the first time they can get insurance, so they can get their entry fee back if they get sick and can’t participate.

“We view putting on the marathon this year as something of a responsibility of ours,” Grilk said. “But, in doing that, we want to make sure we do it in the safest way possible.”

Marathon veteran Pierre Faucher said he is no less excited but he knows other runners are worried about getting their spot this pandemic year.

“Every day something happens, so people are being cautious about putting their hopes up too high,” he said.

Race organizers said all of these changes are based on the latest science and if that changes then so too will they.

“Never quite know what’s coming,” said Grilk. “We know something is gonna change. We don’t know what, we don’t know how, but we’re gonna stick with it.”

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