Before a smaller-than-normal field of runners toe the starting line at the 2021 AACR Philadelphia Marathon races, they will need to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
On Monday, the marathon and city of Philadelphia announced plans for a scaled back marathon weekend on Nov 19-21. The 26.2-mile main event (on Sunday, Nov. 21), the 13.1-mile Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon and Rothman Orthopaedics 8K (on Saturday, Nov. 20) will go on with the coronavirus vaccine requirement in place.
Runners for any of the 2021 races will be required to prove they are two weeks out from full vaccination status (meaning one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines) prior to the race. There is still time for those signed up who are not vaccinated to do so prior to the races.
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"Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test will not be considered acceptable documentation for participation," a news release announcing the changes said.
The marathon details how you can share you vaccine status on its website.
Runners who opt not to get a COVID vaccine, or who chose not to share their vaccine status, but have already signed up for either the marathon, half marathon or 8K, can defer to the 2022 or 2023 races, organizers said. Details on the process are yet to come.
Besides the vaccine requirement, masks will also be required in the starting and finishing areas, organizers said.
Sign up is still available for all three races to be run either in-person or virtually.
The Dunkin’ Munchkin Kid’s Run, however, won't be held since younger children currently can't get a dose of any of the three COVID vaccines.
The race expo will still go on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, however, "this year’s Expo will be open to runners only, and all attendees, staff and volunteers will be required to wear a face mask," organizers said.
The Philadelphia Marathon didn't run in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Since then lessons have been learned from other large events in the city.
The decision to require vaccines for Philly Marathon runners comes on the heels of the 10-mile Blue Cross Broad Street Run, which featured a fully vaccinated field of thousands of runners Sunday.
The marathon race field was already cut in half when the return of the race was announced in the spring. Normally around 30,000 runners take part.
“We believe these new guidelines will provide safety and protection for our staff, athletes, volunteers and partners,” Dave Wilson, deputy managing director for General Services, Arts and Events, said.