Metro Detroit runners to participate in 2020 virtual Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon canceled for the first time for 2020 due to COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, marathon runners who spent months training will still run in the Boston Marathon this year -- but only virtually.

METRO DETROIT, Mich. – The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all in so many ways, from work, to school and beyond.

Marathon runners spent months preparing for races only to have them be canceled.

Alex Beired trained for the Boston Marathon, only to have to run it in his own backyard when he qualified. That’s the reality of the 124th Boston Marathon, which went virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sept. 12, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 111,524; Death toll now at 6,591

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is a big deal. Beired said it took three years of hard work.

“If you’re a good basketball player, you can’t go and jump into an NBA game or something like that, but if you’re a decent runner and you work hard, you can run the Boston Marathon,” said Stephen Liegghio.

Legghio has qualified for the Boston Marathon three times. He ran his first marathon in 2014, qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2017 and was able to run it in 2017 and 2019. He was expecting to run it this year with Beired, but in March, the participants learned it would be postponed from it’s original April date until September 14.

In May, organizers announced the race would be cancelled. In its place, the race would be a virtual event and participants could run the 26.2 miles continuously on their own.

Beired is still optimistic he’ll be able to get to Boston in 2021.

“I’m still looking forward for that real, real marathon in Boston next year,” Beired said. “I’ll use the virtual race to to prove myself and see how fast I can do it.”

About the Authors:

You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.