The marathon was scheduled to take place on Halloween in D.C.

For the second year in a row, organizers of the Marine Corps Marathon have decided to cancel the event due to COVID and security precautions in the D.C. area. The 2021 Marine Corps Marathon weekend would have started on Friday, October 29, with the marathon taking place on Sunday, October 31. Instead, organizers will have a virtual event and runners will be able to get a refund for race fees. The virtual run weekend will take place in October and includes the marathon, 50K, and 10k races.

“After exhausting all possibilities, the opportunity to safely operate and execute a live event is just not feasible at this time,” said Rick Nealis, director of the Marine Corps Marathon Organization. “Though we had high hopes to welcome home our running community this October, we are excited to still be able to celebrate the 46th running of “The People’s Marathon” virtually. We are anxiously looking forward to next year when we can run with the Marines in person once again.”

Runners compete in 2019 Marine Corps Marathon
Runners compete in the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon, Courtesy of Facebook

The race started in 1976 as a way to reach out to the community and highlight the Marine Corps. It is one of the largest marathons in the United States and is open to all runners over the age of 14, not just service members. It takes place in D.C. and Virginia, the 26-mile route taking runners past monuments and landmarks like the National Mall, Key Bridge, Jefferson Memorial, and the U.S. Capitol.

Runners who have registered for the 2021 Marine Corps Marathon will get an email that will offer three choices: get a full refund for the race, join the virtual marathon, or defer credit to next year’s marathon. Everyone who decides to participate will get a T-shirt, number bib, patch, and medal sent to their home.

Were you planning on running or watching this marathon in person? Share your new plans in the comments.