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Virtual Marathons and Half Marathons to Sign Up For in 2020

Was the Marathon You Wanted to Run in 2020 Cancelled? Here Are 9 Virtual Options

Due to concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), marathons and half marathons are being cancelled. As of August, this has affected both the New York City Marathon and NYC Half, the Boston Marathon, and races in Chicago, Berlin, and London. The Tokyo Marathon took place in March, but it was only held for elite runners — nonelite athletes were given entry for next year's marathon.

Though this impacts athletes from all walks of life, there's a silver lining: a shift to virtual marathons and half marathons in 2020. We've compiled a list of some of your options, because you can still make strides no matter where you are (even if it's just around your neighbourhood).

1. Virtual NYC Marathon

Status: open to the public

New York Road Runners (NYRR) is hosting the third annual Virtual TCS New York City Marathon this year. Originally, there were four signup tiers, but the top two tiers with limited capacity are sold out. The two remaining tiers — a free option with no medal and the medal-receiving tier that costs $50 for NYRR members and $60 for nonmembers — have unlimited capacity. The race will take place from Oct. 17 through Nov. 1, and runners must register through NYRR and link their NYRR account to the performance-tracking platform Strava. There's no time limit for runners in the remaining two tiers, but you have to complete 26.2 miles in a single calendar day. Find out more information at nyrr.org/tcsnycmarathon.

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2. Virtual Boston Marathon

Status: only 2020 Boston Marathon qualifiers can enter

If you were originally entered in the 2020 Boston Marathon, you can participate remotely anytime between Sept. 7 and 14. The cost to register is $50, and runners should have already received an email with a registration code, according to an official news release. You'll be required to complete 26.2 miles in one continuous run (though there's no time limit), and you will need to provide proof of timing to the BAA through a Boston Marathon Virtual Experience platform. All athletes who complete this virtual race will receive an official Boston Marathon program, medal, and shirt, among other things.

3. SeaWheeze Virtual Half

Status: open to the public

The SeaWheeze Virtual Half Marathon is taking place between Aug. 15 and 23 and costs $28 for registration. You have to complete and record a single 13.1 run via Strava during that time, and you can join the Lululemon SeaWheeze Run Club on Strava, too, to connect with fellow runners. Find more information on seawheeze.com.

4. Virtual Air Force Half Marathon

Status: open to the public

The option to sign up for the Virtual Air Force Marathon is sold out, according to the race website. The half marathon costs $85, and you'll have to complete it any day between Sept. 1 and 30. You're encouraged to track your race with Strava, Fitbit, or another GPS-tracking platform before uploading your time to the results page (organisers say they're using the honour system for completing the race, but they suggest tracking your time for accuracy). Check out more info on usafmarathon.com/virtual.

5. Virtual America's Finest City Half Marathon

Status: open to the public

The America's Finest City Half Marathon is a virtual event taking place on Sunday, Aug. 16, between 6:15 and 11:15 a.m. PT. Typically, it's San Diego's "fastest and most scenic half marathon." The entry fee for those not already registered is $99. Register here, and submit your results by Sept. 1 here.

6. Virtual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon and Half Marathon

Status: open to the public

The Virtual Flying Pig Marathon and Half Marathon options are both open for $120 and $110, respectively. You can run them anytime between Aug. 10 and Oct. 31, and there is no time limit. According to the FAQ page, you'll have the option to upload your results manually or through the ASICS Runkeeper app. Register here.

7. Virtual Queen Bee Half Marathon

Status: open to the public

The Virtual Queen Bee Half, organised by the same organisers as the Flying Pig events, costs $90 to register. Like those races, you have between Aug. 10 and Oct. 31 to complete and submit your results (you'll have the same options for how to submit your results, too). Sign up here.

8. Virtual San Francisco Half and Marathon

Status: open to the public

While the San Francisco Marathon is still scheduled to take place on Nov. 15 of this year, participants already signed up can switch to a virtual race for free, a spokesperson told POPSUGAR. Registration is also open to the general public until Nov. 13. There is no time limit, but organisers are asking that you complete the virtual half marathon ($96 for US residents) or marathon ($106 for US residents) in one run. The only requirement is that you submit your results by Nov. 15. For more info about the virtual options and how to register, go to thesfmarathon.com.

9. Virtual London Marathon

Status: only 2020 London Marathon qualifiers can enter

On Oct. 4, only elite runners registered for the London Marathon will compete in an enclosed course in person, NBC Sports reports. Participants who are not elite runners have a chance to complete 26.2 miles anywhere in the world within 24 hours on Oct. 4. "They can run, walk, take breaks, and log their race on a new London Marathon app being developed by event partner TCS," the official announcement says.

We also got word that the Chicago Marathon is going virtual as well, so stay tuned for information on that in the coming weeks. These options give you a way to run in an environment that is safe during this time while still satisfying your competitive edge. Are you ready to strap on your sneakers and clock your miles? We're ready if you are!

Image Source: Getty / Chris Tobin
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