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Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

COVID-19 has taken a toll road racing, with the number of finishers in timed races dropping nearly 95% year-over-year between mid-March and mid-October, per the Wall Street Journal.

The state of play: Of the six designated World Marathon Majors scheduled for 2020, four (Boston, NYC, Chicago, Berlin) were canceled and two (Tokyo and London) were radically scaled back.

Looking ahead: The 2021 Boston Marathon, which is typically held in April, is postponed until at least next fall, the Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday.

Between the lines: When they return, "races are not going to be the way they were," Todd Henderlong, the owner of an Indiana race series that has been offering in-person events since May, told the New York Times.

  • To avoid crowded starting lines, participants could take off in heats at pre-assigned times, and thus spend most of the race running solo.
  • Water stations are health risks, so races will likely require runners to bring their own water, sports drinks and snacks.
  • Participants at a half marathon in Arizona next month will receive a neck gaiter in their race packets and must wear it or another facial covering at the race start, and when passing runners.

Go deeper

Oct 28, 2020 - Sports

Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges

Photo: Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

The Boston Marathon, which is typically held in April, "will be postponed until at least the fall of 2021," because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday.

The state of play: The BAA said it delayed the 125th annual event, which was scheduled for April 19, 2021, because road races are banned until Boston hits Phase 4 of its reopening plan. The city is currently in Phase 3 of 4.

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.