MONROE — Thomas Hlad had ramped up his marathon training plan for the second time as he had qualified for the 2020 Boston Marathon. Hlad found out Thursday he would not be traveling to Boston this year.
The Boston Marathon has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history. It was postponed from its traditional April date — April 20 — to Sept. 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, the Boston Athletic Association, governing body of the race, announced the 124th Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event, following Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s cancellation of the marathon as a mass participation road running event due to COVID-19. The virtual Boston Marathon will be complemented by a series of virtual events throughout the second week of September.
“I’m planing on doing the virtual event in September. I’ll continue my marathon training to do so,” Hlad said. “Right now, I’m working out the details and logistics in finding a 26.2-mile course to run it on.”
All participants who were originally registered for the April 20 event will be offered a full refund of their entry fee associated with the race and will have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative. The virtual race can be run any time between Sept. 7-14.
Participants in the virtual 2020 Boston Marathon will be required to complete the 26.2 mile distance within a six hour time period and provide proof of timing to the B.A.A. All athletes who complete the virtual race will receive an official Boston Marathon program, participant t-shirt, medal, and runner’s bib.
“I kind of had a feeling that it was going to head this way when they postponed it from April to September. Looking at September, I was hoping this (the pandemic) would have past and we’d get to go to Boston and run. It just didn’t turn out that way,” Hlad said.
The 30-year-old Monroe resident had been training for his first Boston Marathon since being notified last fall his time of 2 hours, 52 minutes met qualifying standards. He has two marathons under his belt.
Hlad said he had been staying pretty consistent in his training. He had brought his miles down after the March announcement and now he’ll gear back up going forward to September’s virtual race. Times from the virtual race cannot be used to qualify for the Boston Marathon, according to the BAA.
“I will be able to re-submit my time from before to use for the 2021 marathon, if it is scheduled,” Hlad said. “I believe it is well enough under the cutoff time to get me in. I’ll find out in September if I get in.”
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
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