Walsh, Baker warn people to not run the marathon route on Patriots’ Day

BOSTON — Mayor Marty Walsh is warning people to stay home on Patriots’ Day and not run the marathon route, as it was postponed for the first time ever because of the coronavirus.

Nearly 30,000 runners would have run 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston Street in Boston on marathon Monday. But today, the finish line is empty.

Last month, the Boston Athletic Association decided to postpone the race for the first time in its 124-year history. Walsh, along with other local and state leaders, are urging those were supposed to run today to not run the 26.2 mile-route.

At the start line in Hopkinton, downtown and the town common, parking restrictions will be in place to deter runners.

Every year, 4,000 local, state and federal law enforcement officers, 480 members of the National Guard and 1,900 medical personnel work along the route. If people run today, leaders warn that runners could divert their efforts from treating COVID-19 patients.

Walsh said those who try to run today are “putting safety responders at risk.”

“We’re worrying about keeping the spread of the virus,” Walsh said. "It’s not a great accomplishment. You’re not going to be celebrated for it. No one is going to be clapping for you.”

Gov. Charlie Baker echoed Walsh’s statements, saying, “Everybody needs to continue to do what we have done so well for the past month or so, which is to stay at home and follow all the distancing guidelines and criteria that we’ve set up.”

Unlike the past 33 years where race director Dave McGillivray has run the route after all the runners, he will run 26.2 miles today in his neighborhood, following social distancing rules running alone.

The rescheduled marathon date is Monday, Sept. 14, and that race will serve as a qualifier for the 2021 Boston Marathon. If runners can’t run on the rescheduled date, the BAA is offering refunds for the first time.