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2021 Boston Marathon's Field Size Set For 20,000 Runners

BOSTON (CBS) - The field size has been set for the 2021 Boston Marathon. The Boston Athletic Association announced on Monday that they are allowing 20,000 entrants for the upcoming Boston Marathon, which is scheduled for Monday, October 11.

That would be the smallest field of runners since the 2002 Boston Marathon. The 2019 race had more than 30,000 entrants.

The in-person Boston Marathon is still contingent upon road races being allowed under the Massachusetts reopening plan by October. It was canceled last year and postponed this year because of the pandemic.

Registration for the 125th Boston Marathon will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20, and will go until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 23. People can register through the B.A.A.'s website.

The qualifying window begins on September 15, 2018, so valid times run on or after that date may be submitted in a Boston Marathon application.

"The B.A.A. has been working in close coordination with our local, city, and state partners to establish an appropriate field size that will allow for social distancing throughout the course, especially at the start and finish," said President and C.E.O. of the B.A.A. Tom Grilk on Monday. "In addition to a smaller field than in previous years, we will have significant additional protocols in place to ensure participant and public health. We are committed to making the oldest annual marathon in the world as safe as possible in October."

Grilk said while the overall field is smaller, the number of official charity runners, approximately 2,400, will not change.

"Every charity that had an allocation of entries last year, will have the same allocation of entries this year," Grilk said. "Once again we want to do our part to try to help as the country gets through the pandemic."

Along with the in-person race, the B.A.A. is also holding a virtual Boston Marathon, which will take place from October 8-10. It will be open to the first 70,000 registrants, and registration will open on March 30 at 10 a.m.

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