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2020 Twin Cities Marathon will become a virtual event

MINNEAPOLIS — The 2020 Twin Cities Marathon will switch to a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic, marathon organizers announced Tuesday.

Entrants in the 39th edition of the Minneapolis to St. Paul race can run any 26.2-mile route any day in October.

Twin Cities in Motion, which stages the marathon, said it will shift the rest of its 2020 races to a virtual format because of pandemic-related restrictions on big gatherings. Runners will submit their times online, and race finishers still will receive their T-shirt and medal,.

The marathon was scheduled for Oct. 4. As many as 30,000 runners were expected to participate in marathon weekend events.

Twin Cities in Motion does not expect Minnesota’s limits on large group gatherings to loosen up much before October, said the group’s president, Mike Logan. Race organizers hoped they could conduct the event safely but came to believe that was not possible after consulting with public health authorities and the race’s medical directors, Logan said.

“We did the calculus on marathon weekend,’’ Logan said. “With 30,000 people over two days, and 22,000 the morning of the marathon on Sunday, it became clear. We don’t foresee the state changing things quickly enough for it to happen.”

Other marathons in recent months, including Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, also have switched to a virtual format.