Boston Marathon

Fewer Runners at Boston Marathon Would Mean Fewer Fundraising Opportunities

A close-up of the Boston Marathon finish line
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images, File

The Boston Marathon is one of the biggest fundraising days in the city.

After last year's race went virtual, organizers have been working to get racers back on the course. This year, the Boston Athletic Association is preparing for a familiar start, but with fewer runners, there are fewer opportunities for nonprofits.

"We are praying that we can somehow pull this out," said Linda Driscoll of Dream Big, a nonprofit.

For Dream Big and other organizations, the Boston Marathon and the runners who raise money for the chance to run it are a big deal.

"It is a third of our budget," Driscoll said. "It has really taken us from impacting like 1,500 girls, to last year, we impacted over 8,000 girls."

This year's race, set for October, will look different after last year's race was virtual due to the pandemic. The BAA says it is looking forward to nonprofits being able to participate if runners are able to hit the roads, and it recently announced a 70,000-person virtual race, as well, hoping to help out charities.

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