Has The Boston Marathon Ever Been Cancelled

As a running enthusiast and avid follower of the Boston Marathon, I have often wondered if this iconic race has ever been cancelled in its long and storied history. The Boston Marathon is one of the oldest and most prestigious marathons in the world, known for its challenging course and passionate crowd support. So, has the Boston Marathon ever been cancelled? Let’s dive into the history to find out.

The Boston Marathon’s Resilience

The Boston Marathon has a remarkable track record of resilience, having only been cancelled in its 125-year history on a few rare occasions. One of the most notable cancellations occurred in 2020, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The safety and well-being of runners, spectators, and volunteers were the top priority, and cancelling the event was the responsible decision to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Another cancellation took place during World War I in 1918 and World War II in 1945. During both periods, the marathon was suspended to redirect resources to the war efforts. It is a testament to the significance of this race that even during times of global conflict, the Boston Marathon made way for greater priorities.

Unforgettable Moments of the Boston Marathon

While cancellations are rare, the Boston Marathon has faced numerous challenges throughout its history, including extreme weather conditions. One such memorable moment occurred in 2018 when the race was hit by a severe nor’easter. The wind and rain created treacherous conditions, testing the resilience and determination of the participants. Despite the challenging weather, runners persevered, showcasing the true spirit of the Boston Marathon.

Adaptations and Virtual Races

In recent years, the Boston Marathon has demonstrated its ability to adapt and overcome obstacles by introducing virtual races. These virtual races allow participants to complete the marathon distance on their own, anywhere in the world. While it may not have the same atmosphere as the iconic race day in Boston, these virtual races have provided an opportunity for runners to stay connected and continue the tradition, even during challenging times.


The Boston Marathon has proven time and time again that it is a race of resilience. While cancellations have occurred on rare occasions during times of global crises, the spirit of the marathon lives on. Whether it’s facing extreme weather, redirecting resources for greater causes, or adapting to virtual races, the Boston Marathon has shown its ability to adapt and endure. As a runner and fan, I am confident that the Boston Marathon will continue to inspire and captivate audiences for many years to come.