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Boston Marathon canceled for first time in 124-year history

The Boston Marathon had originally been postponed from April till September. But organizers have now canceled the race for the first time in its 124-year history.

The 124th annual Boston Marathon has officially been canceled, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The race had originally been postponed from April until Sept. 14, but organizers announced Thursday that this year's event has been scrapped completely. 

Everyone who originally registered for the 2020 race will be offered a refund and can instead participate in a "virtual" marathon, by running the 26.2 miles remotely. 

The race, which is the world's oldest annual marathon, had been held every year since 1897. 

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh added that organizers, along with the city, determined the traditional event was "not feasible this year, for public health reasons." 

"While our goal and our hope is to make progress in containing the virus and recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or any time this year," Walsh tweeted.  

On Wednesday, the U.S. reached more than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to tracking by John's Hopkins University. As of Thursday, there are more than 5.9 million confirmed cases. 

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The virtual event would require participants complete a 26.2 mile distance run within 6 hours & provide proof of timing. 

Credit: AP
The Boston Marathon start line is vacant in Hopkinton, Mass., Monday, April 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)