Under normal circumstances, runners from around the world would have hit the streets of Boston today for America's most elite marathon. The cruel reality, however, is that the only marathon Americans will be taking part in during the spring of 2020 is the fight against the coronavirus.
Massachusetts is currently the third hardest-hit state in the U.S., with over 38,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,700. So the prestigious race has been postponed until September 14, by which time officials hope the threat of the virus and the country's social distancing guidelines will have eased.
In the meantime, they are urging people to refrain from running the route of the famous race today.
"If you try to run the marathon route Monday, you're not a champion," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said on Friday. "It's not a great accomplishment. You're not going to be celebrated for it. No one's going to be clapping for you, and I would ask you not to do it."
Unable to take to the starting line this morning, race organizers instead took to Twitter with a heartfelt message for the country's frontline workers.
"To the Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Dentists, Medical personnel, EMTs, Police officers, Firefighters, Grocery store workers, Custodians, Postal workers, Delivery drivers, Bus drivers, Train conductors: We'll wait to start until you reach the finish," the tweet read.
"Thank you for mentioning postal workers," one user responded. "I will see you at the finish line Boston!"
Others added comments praising essential workers left off the Boston Marathon's list:, funeral professionals, and teachers working grueling hours to teach their students remotely.
The post racked up thousands of likes and retweets in just a few hours hours, so it has clearly struck a chord with Americans eager to use the occasion of a running holiday to show their gratitude to the people quite literally.