Officials Urge Runners Not To Attempt Boston Marathon This Weekend

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are urging runners not to attempt the Boston Marathon race route over the long weekend, and not to visit the starting or finish lines.

The historic marathon would have taken place this Monday, April 20, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Walsh said runners will not be greeted with cheers for attempting the race.

"If you try to run the marathon route on Monday, you're not a champion," Walsh said at a press conference on Friday. "You're actually not helping us, you're putting people at risk... It's not a great accomplishment, you're not going to be celebrated for it."

After Gov. Baker visited the Boston Hope Medical field hospital at the BCEC on Saturday, he echoed Mayor Walsh's warning against running the route.

"Massachusetts obviously looks a little different this weekend than it normal would," Baker said. "If it was a typical year.... we'd all be well under way with the final preparations to welcome thousands of runners to the state who would be participating in the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day."

Baker said it is important for people to refrain from visiting the starting line in Hopkinton, the end of the race on Boylston Street, or attempting to run the course.

"The many men and women that support the Boston Marathon include thousands of local state and federal law enforcement, members of the National Guard, and thousands and thousands of medical personnel," Baker said. "Those folks are exactly the folks who are currently helping us battle COVID-19, and they need to be able to work and focus on the task at hand. Do not divert these incredibly critical resources away from the cities and towns that are along this course."

Baker urged everyone to continue to stay at home, follow social distancing guidelines, wear face coverings when outside, and look forward to running the marathon on September 14.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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