County Executive Laura Curran said Nassau will host the Jovia Long Island Marathon during the third weekend in September, instead of in May, to ensure the 5,000-runner race occurs safely as the health threat of COVID-19 continues to decline.
After having to cancel the 2020 race because of pandemic risks, the event will happen on Sept. 17, 18 and 19. A new course and designation will allow those who complete the 26.2 miles to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Other events for families such as the 10k, 5k and 1k races will occur as well.
Runners who had registered for the 2020 race will automatically be registered for 2021. New participants can register online beginning March 15.
"I’m really happy that it’s in-person this year because it has an economic benefit as well," said Curran, who in 2019 ran in the 5k event. "It attracts people to our downtowns, to our restaurants and our shopping. And we know we need all the financial help we can get as we recover economically from COVID."
While the county has hosted smaller, in-person road races with fewer than 300 participants throughout the fall and winter, the 47-year-old marathon is among one of the largest and most significant events in the county’s Eisenhower Park.
The race is expected to include staggered start times, temperature checks, contactless check-ins, health screening forms, and a limit on spectators.
"Our races have proven to be safe and fun. A little bit of normal for our athletic community," Curran said.