MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Like the Twin Cities Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon, the Mankato Marathon is going virtual this year.

Organizers announced Thursday that the event, which was set for Oct. 16-17, will be 100% virtual. They said the decision was difficult to make, but an in-person race was just not feasible with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

“Not having the ability to bring the Mankato Marathon running community together for the 11th year is sincerely heartbreaking,” said Anna Thill, the president of Visit Mankato, in a statement. “With that said, even more heartbreaking is the idea that our event could jeopardize even one life or potentially be the cause of spread in our beloved community and therefore cause the shutdown of businesses and the ability for our children to go to classes in their schools.”

The virtual event will have runners choosing where to run their own marathons between Oct. 12 and Oct. 26. Additionally, organizers say they’ll have interactive experiences set up for registered runners.

Organizers expected over 4,200 athletes to participate in this year’s race. The Mankato Marathon is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon.

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