BOSTON (WHDH) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh is pushing to make the 124th running of the Boston Marathon a legal holiday in Massachusetts. The race was postponed in March due to coronavirus concerns. Those concerns have since evolved into a pandemic.
The historic 26.2-mile race from Hopkinton to Copley Square — initially slated to take place on Monday, April 20 — was rescheduled to Sept. 14 in an effort to safeguard against the coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter addressed to the state’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Walsh backed an act filed by Gov. Charlie Baker that would officially postpone the race and make the 124th running of the Boston Marathon a legal holiday.
“The Boston Marathon brings approximately 30,000 runners from across the Globe to Massachusetts, where they begin their trek from Hopkinton, all the way to turning their last left on Boylston and heading for the finish line in Copley Square in Boston’s Back Bay,” Walsh wrote. “The Marathon draws approximately one million spectators lining the route and cheering on runners. By postponing the Marathon, we can ensure that athletes can run and spectators can celebrate safely, maintaining the enthusiasm, energy, and charitable giving that make our race so special.”
Walsh continued, “Each year the Marathon generates roughly $211 million towards the city’s economy, boosting revenue in the food and beverage industry, hospitality and tourism, and arts and culture across the region. By moving the date to September 14, we will continue the prestige of this event as well as preserving the economic importance to our local economy. Our small and local businesses will need this revenue now more than ever, as we recover from economic disruption. I respectfully request your support of this bill and thank you for your thoughtful consideration of the matter.”
During a news conference in March, Walsh urged the public not to run along the route on April 20, stressing that roads will be open but that emergency crews will not be readily available because they will be tied up with combatting the coronavirus.
Baker also thanked the public and registered marathon participants for their patience as the state learns to cope with the coronavirus and all of the challenges and uncertainty it has brought with it.
Read Walsh’s full letter below:
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