Cancellation & Virtual Race FAQs
See below for some frequently asked questions related to the 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience. We encourage you to refer to this FAQ page frequently for updates.
Virtual Race FAQs
(Q) Do I need to run with my phone/any wearable technology? What if I don’t run with a phone or watch.
(A) No, you do not have to run with your phone or technology. However, if you want to utilize features such as Boston Marathon audio cues and runner tracking, then you must run with your phone utilizing the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience mobile app.
(Q) Can I connect my Garmin, FitBit, or Apple HealthKit?
(A) Yes! Wearable watches such as Garmin, FitBit, and Apple HealthKit are able to connect directly to the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience mobile app and web platform. By connecting your wearable, you will be able to upload your finishing time directly into the app or website.
(Q) Can I stop the clock for water breaks or bathroom breaks?
(A) Within the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience Mobile App you will not be able to pause and resume your time -- just like a running clock within a race. However you will be able to stop and re-start your race if you chose to end your run and start over at a different time.
(Q) My phone / GPS battery died during my run. What can I do?
(A) Not to worry! If your battery dies mid-run, you’ll still be able to manually submit your finish time using the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience Mobile App or website platform.
(Q) Do I need to submit a time to get a post-race package?
(A) In order to receive a finisher medal, participants must submit a finishing time within the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience mobile app or website platform. All entrants, regardless whether they finish 26.2-miles or not, will receive a Post-Race Package delivered by Amazon.
(Q) Will people be able to track me as I run, like in previous years?
(A) Yes! Friends and supporters will be able to track you during your run if you turn live tracking on within the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience mobile app powered by AT&T and share your unique tracking link. In order to live track, you must be using the mobile app and enable your location services. You will be able to share your tracking link with friends, family, and supporters prior to your run.
(Q) How do I enter the virtual Boston Marathon?
(A) The virtual race is open only to participants who were originally entered in the Boston Marathon scheduled for April 20, 2020. Beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, July 7, participants will be emailed their unique registration code.
(Q) I did not receive an email to register with my unique link.
(A) If you were originally entered in the Boston Marathon scheduled for April 20, 2020 and did not receive an email, please email FAQ2020@baa.org with your full name as it is associated with your registration and your email address and we will re-issue the email.
(Q) An error message appears when I try to register—what should I do?
(A) If you receive an error message when trying to submit your application, please close all browser windows and try the link again. If this does not work, please clear your cache or try an incognito window. If you continue to receive an error message, please mail FAQ2020@baa.org so we can better assist you.
(Q) Is there a fee to enter or participate in the virtual Boston Marathon?
(A) The cost to register for the 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience will be $50.
(Q) Is there a deadline to register?
(A) Yes, the deadline to register is Monday, August 17th.
(Q) Will my streak be impacted if I do or do not run the virtual option for the 124th Boston Marathon?
(A) Athletes who run the virtual option for the 124th Boston Marathon will be able to add the completed marathon to their active streaks. However, those who decide not to run the virtual option will not be negatively impacted nor will their streaks end if they chose not to participate.
(Q) What will I receive if I enter the virtual Boston Marathon?
(A) The first 15,000 registrants will receive a Pre-Race Package delivered by Amazon containing a commemorative 2020 Boston Marathon bib and training items from Clif Bar, Poland Spring, Abbott, and more. All registrants will receive access to a unique Boston Marathon Virtual Experience platform where runners can track and upload their 26.2-mile results, view leaderboards and standings, and download a virtual tool kit. The platform, which will be available in a to-be-launched application as well as in a web-based platform, will feature unique Boston Marathon audio cues to enhance the pre-race and race experience.
All participants of the 124th Boston Marathon will receive a Post-Race Package delivered by Amazon containing their Boston Marathon Official Participant shirt, Official 2020 Boston Marathon Program, Sam Adams 124th Boston Marathon bottle opener, and additional celebratory items. The limited edition Pre- and Post-Race Packages will be branded in the Boston Marathon blue and gold and feature the iconic B.A.A. unicorn. Finishers will also receive a unicorn finisher’s medal in their Post-Race Package.
(Q) Am I one of the first 15,000?
(A) Participants who are one of the first 15,000 to register received a separate confirmation email.
(Q) What are the rules for the virtual Boston Marathon? How can I submit my time?
(A) Rules and guidelines surrounding the virtual Boston Marathon will be communicated by email and via www.baa.org in the near future. Participants in the virtual Boston Marathon will be required to complete the 26.2 mile distance and provide proof of timing to the B.A.A.
(Q) Is there a time limit?
(A) There is no time limit for the virtual race, however, we recommend that participants be able to finish their 26.2 mile course in at least six hours.
(Q) Can I complete the 26.2 miles over multiple days?
(A) Participants are expected to complete the 26.2 marathon distance continuously, on the same day, and not broken up over several days.
(Q) I’m signed up to run another marathon during the September 5–14 window. Can I use this as my virtual race?
(Q) Can anyone run the virtual Boston Marathon?
(A) No, the virtual race is only open to participants who were originally registered in the April 20, 2020 race.
(Q) Can I run the virtual Boston Marathon outside of the September 5–14 window?
(A) No, the virtual Boston Marathon is taking place between September 5–14. Technology is set up to support those dates and the features will be otherwise inactive.
(Q) I ran my own virtual marathon on April 20, 2020. Can I apply my documented GPS time to my virtual run?
(A) Thank you for your tribute in April! The virtual Boston Marathon is taking place between September 5–14 and we ask that all participants run their virtual race during this time. However, if you have documented proof of time run on Patriots’ Day and will not be able to run in September due to illness, injury, pregnancy, or deployment, we ask you email email@example.com and provide the reason for your request and proof of your April run. Each inquiry will be reviewed on a case-by-case rolling basis. You still must register for the 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience.
(Q) Can I use my virtual Boston Marathon time as a qualifying time for the 2021 Boston Marathon?
(A) Virtual race times that are submitted to confirm participation in the 124th virtual Boston Marathon in 2020 will not count towards qualification for the 2021 Boston Marathon.
(Q) Can I use my 2020 Boston Marathon qualifying time for the 2021 Boston Marathon?
(A) Yes. The B.A.A. is reviewing all specifics involved in the registration procedure for the 2021 Boston Marathon, and additional details related to both the qualifying window and registration dates for the 2021 Boston Marathon will be announced and posted in the coming weeks.
(Q) I’m aiming to become an Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Finisher. Will the virtual Boston Marathon count as an Abbott WMM star?
(A) The Abbott World Marathon Majors have announced that an AbbottWMM race completed on a virtual platform will not count as a Star within the current Six Star Finisher program. The AbbottWMM are exploring ways of celebrating runners through a virtual race recognition program with details to be shared in the coming months. If you have any additional questions regarding the Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
(Q) I was entered in the 2020 Boston Marathon. How do I get my refund?
(A) All Boston Marathon entrants will be offered a full refund of their entry fee. Participants who had not already requested a refund prior to the May 28th cancellation announcement will be emailed information on how to obtain their refund on June 10. Due to the volume of refunds being processed, the length of time before receiving your refund may be several weeks. We appreciate your patience and assure you we will process all requests as quickly as possible.
(Q) Do I need to claim my refund?
(A) Yes, you will need to claim your refund. Please look for an email from the B.A.A. on June 10 with instructions on how to claim your refund. All participants will receive a full refund of entry fees.
(Q) Why do I need to claim my refund?
(A) In order to initiate the process between the B.A.A.’s bank and the participant’s bank, we have asked participants to confirm their refund request. This initiates the rolling process by which refunds are dispersed, helps us to better track each participant’s refund status, and ensures more accurate reporting, at a time when we are issuing thousands of individual refunds.
(Q) How soon will I get my money back?
(A) The B.A.A. will work through refunds as quickly as possible. Beginning June 10 refunds will be processed on a rolling basis. It may take several weeks for you to receive a refund due to the volume of refund requests being processed. Receiving banks may not make the funds available immediately. Please allow for 6–8 weeks of total processing time from the time when you confirm your refund. We appreciate your patience through this process and assure you we will refund you as quickly as possible.
(Q) The credit card I used to register is expired or no longer active. What should I do to receive my refund?
(A) The B.A.A.’s card processor has a standard procedure for handling new or changed credit card numbers. If we encounter any challenges, we will reach out to you directly. Please note that this could take several days as our card processor must individually trace each transaction. Please do not send new credit card information via email.
(Q) I paid for my entry through another organization. How can I get my money back?
(A) The B.A.A. has asked all third-party organizations that pay on behalf of a race participant to honor the B.A.A.’s offer of a full refund of the entry fee. The B.A.A. has communicated directly with organizations to which this applies. Any participants that this may apply to received an email on June 10. We ask that these participants reach out directly to the organization through which they secured entry to inquire about their refund status.
(Q) If I purchased tickets to race week events (such as the Unicorn Club, Pre-Race Dinner or Post-Race Party), will I receive a refund?
(A) Yes. Participants who purchased additional tickets for the Unicorn Club and Pre-Race Dinner or Post-Race Party will be automatically refunded for their purchases. These will be refunded separately to the card used at the point of purchase. Due to the volume of refunds being processed, the length of time before receiving your refund may be multiple weeks or months. We appreciate your patience and assure you we will process all requests as quickly as possible. Refunds do not include merchandise.
(Q) Why can't I defer my entry?
(A) We appreciate and understand the desire by many to experience the Boston Marathon, and know how hard many participants worked to earn their spot on the starting line. However, we are unable to offer the option to defer entry to the 31,500 athletes who were expected to participate in the 124th Boston Marathon. The field size for the April 2021 race has not yet been set, and it will need to take into account guidelines and regulations for large scale events that have yet to be established.
In recognition of this unique circumstance, all participants who were originally registered for the April 20, 2020 event will be offered a full refund of their entry fee associated with the race and will also have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative to the 124th Boston Marathon held in September. Entrants who were accepted into the 2020 Boston Marathon by way of a qualifying time may use their 2020 Boston Marathon qualifying time to apply for entry into the 2021 event. The beginning of the qualifying window for the 2021 Boston Marathon has been established as September 15, 2018, which means that we will accept qualifying performances posted for the 2020 event into the 2021 race, as well.
(Q) Were any runners provided with the option to defer their entry to a future year?
(A) No participants were given the option to defer to a future year—all runners have the option to receive a refund for entry fees. Entrants who were accepted into the 2020 Boston Marathon by way of a qualifying time may use their 2020 Boston Marathon qualifying time to apply for entry into the 2021 event. The beginning of the qualifying window for the 2021 Boston Marathon has been established as September 15, 2018, which means that we will accept qualifying performances posted for the 2020 event into the 2021 race, as well. Achieving and submitting a qualifying time during Boston Marathon registration does not guarantee acceptance into the Boston Marathon.
(Q) Are deadlines still in place for participants running for a charity team?
(A) Through the Boston Marathon Official Charity Program, the B.A.A. provides invitational entries for the Boston Marathon to select non-profit organizations. There are 171 charities total between the 2020 Boston Marathon Official Charity Program and the 2020 John Hancock Non-Profit Program; a total of 2,696 registered runners are associated with these teams.
After the B.A.A. provides each non-profit with its invitational entries, the charity organization directly manages its own application process, athlete selection, and fundraising minimums, deadlines, and requirements. Money raised by runners associated with each non-profit goes directly to the charity organization as it is raised. 100% of the funds raised by these athletes support the nonprofit organization with which they are affiliated.
Specific questions about fundraising deadlines and timelines should be directed to the manager of the charity team with which the runner is affiliated.
(Q) When will registration for the 2021 Boston Marathon open?
(A) The registration window for the 2021 Boston Marathon has not been set. The beginning of the qualifying window to be used for application and entry into the 2021 Boston Marathon has been established to be September 15, 2018, which means that we will accept qualifying performances posted for the 2020 event into the 2021 race, as well. Achieving and submitting a qualifying time during Boston Marathon registration does not guarantee acceptance into the Boston Marathon.
If you have additional questions, please email: FAQ2020@baa.org