Want to Run the Virtual Boston Marathon? Here is What You Need to Know!

2017 Boston Marathon Registration
Written by Charlie

If you want to run the virtual Boston Marathon, here is the information you need to check out! This is a celebration of the 125th Boston Marathon so it will be special!

For the first time ever, the Boston Marathon will have a virtual option open to anyone. For sure, there are a lot of strong feelings about this – on both sides! But, if you are one who really wants to take this on and register, here is what you need to know!

The Virtual Boston Marathon – What You Need to Know

Link: Virtual Boston Marathon

The When and How

First off, the virtual Boston Marathon can be done anywhere in the world – of course. So, this means you will not be getting the genuine Boston Marathon experience along the revered course but you get to “run Boston” in your own town, if you want.

The dates that it must be done in are October 8 – 10, 2021. This does not mean you can do several small runs to total the 26.2 miles but you have those three days to do the 26.2 mile run as a single event. For actually running it, you have as long as you want to finish – no cutoff time.

Also, if you plan on registering for the main Boston Marathon (and hoping your time will clear you for the event), hold off on registering for the virtual marathon right now. This is because you will have an opportunity to sign-up for it if you do not get in. But, if you want to do both, you can sign-up now.

How Much Will It Cost and How to Register?

The cost for the virtual Boston Marathon will be in two tiers:

$75 ($95 internationally)

  • virtual race entry
  • unicorn finisher’s medal
  • virtual toolkit
  • forthcoming virtual mobile app
  • access to an exclusive group within the Athletes’ Village community

$125 ($145 internationally)

  • virtual race entry
  • unicorn finisher’s medal
  • long sleeve Adidas participant shirt
  • virtual toolkit, forthcoming virtual mobile app
  • access to an exclusive group within the Athletes’ Village community
  • a portion of this entry fee will be distributed to the nonprofits that comprise the B.A.A.’s 2021 Boston Marathon Official Charity Program and to support nonprofits in the Greater Boston area whose missions focus on health and wellness

The major difference between the two tiers is the inclusion of an official Adidas long sleeve shirt for the extra $50 tier. But, some of that extra will also go to a group of nonprofits that the B.A.A. will select.

It should be worth noting that the 125th celebration package (the more expensive one) is limited to a “while supplies last”, presumably the t-shirt.

Registration for the virtual Boston Marathon will open at 10am ET on March 30! It is limited to the first 70,000 runners. My guess is that this will sell out rather quickly, maybe not in hours but I think there are a lot of people that want this opportunity so they may rush to do it.

To register, you need to access the registration link through the B.A.A. Athlete’s Village website. It is recommended that you setup a free account for that now. At 10AM, you will see the link within the village to register for the virtual Boston Marathon.

The Virtual Boston Marathon Medal

For all those wondering if the virtual Boston Marathon medal will be the same as the one given to those running the actual event, the answer is they are not the same. The B.A.A. has said that they will reveal the design of both medals as the races get closer in October so we do not know what they are like right now.

This should make those who were unhappy about the virtual offering a little happier that virtual participants will not be having the same medal that the actual event runners will get!

Bottom Line

The virtual Boston Marathon registration is about to open for this first-ever-experience. This will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Boston Marathon and it is part of the B.A.A.’s drive to get 125,000 total participants registered (there will be 70,000 slots available for the virtual Boston Marathon with more being made available to those who are not accepted into the actual Boston Marathon).

I know that the Boston Marathon is something many runners aspire to do some day. It may not be something that you can do, whether it is that you cannot meet the qualification times or that it is too far for you or the expense. This could be a fun way to participate in the 125th anniversary if you want to sign-up, however!

Featured image courtesy of Marcio Jose Bastos Silva via Shutterstock

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.