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Coronavirus fears could push 2020 Boston Marathon to fall; race has never been postponed in 124 years

Boston Marathon Finish Line (Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker/Flickr)

The Boston Marathon could reportedly be postponed for the first time in its 124-year history.

The Boston Globe reports that officials from towns and cities along the route are closing in on a plan that would move the Marathon back from its scheduled date on April 20 amid growing fears over the spread of the coronavirus. According to the Globe, officials are looking at postponing the race until the fall in an effort to salvage the economic benefits of the race.

The Boston Marathon has never been fully canceled or postponed in its history. The only time the race was never held as originally planned was in 1918 when the marathon was replaced by a military relay during Would War 1.

The spread of COVID-19 has already led to the postponement and cancellation of marathon races across the globe as well as the decision to play sporting events without fans. On Wednesday, the NBA made the decision to suspend its season until further notice after one of its players, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

According to the Globe, officials from area communities met Wednesday at Boston City Hall, where discussions began to zero in on the conclusion that holding the race as scheduled would be irresponsible or even impossible.

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The World Health Organization officially declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a global pandemic Tuesday, sparking closures of schools, universities and public events across the globe. A number of schools in Massachusetts have opted to either suspend classes or shift classes to an online environment.

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© 2020 MassLive.com