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Runners must be vaccinated for Philly Marathon, organizers say

The number of registered runners also will be scaled back compared to pre-pandemic times.

Participants run through Old City during the 2019 Philadelphia Marathon.
Participants run through Old City during the 2019 Philadelphia Marathon.Read moreJOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer

The Philadelphia Marathon, which is scheduled for Nov. 20, is requiring runners to be vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks prior to race day, organizers said Monday.

Also, the number of registered in-person participants will be limited compared to pre-pandemic times, when the whole event would draw around 30,000 runners.

There will be a preliminary cap of 10,000 in-person runners for the full 26.2-mile marathon, a 10,000 cap on the half-marathon, and around 3,500 for the 8K race, for a total of about 24,000 in-person participants.

Proof of negative COVID-19 tests will not be accepted, organizers said.

There is no cap on the number of people who can participate in the virtual event.

Because of the vaccination requirement, the Dunkin’ Munchkin Run for kids has been canceled because vaccines have not yet been approved for children under the age of 12.

The vaccine shots must be completed by Nov. 7 for the full Sunday marathon, organizers said. The half-marathon and 8K races are scheduled for that Saturday, so vaccinations must be completed by Nov. 6.

“The Philadelphia Marathon Weekend leadership team have been and will continue to work closely with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health throughout the planning process for the 2021 Philadelphia Marathon Weekend events,” said David G. Wilson, the city’s deputy managing director for general services, arts, and events. “We believe these new guidelines will provide safety and protection for our staff, athletes, volunteers, and partners.”

» READ MORE: Racers return for Broad Street Run after a pandemic pause

Organizers said runners will not be required to wear face masks while running, but they will be required to wear masks in other areas near the start and finish lines. Runners will be allowed to remove masks once inside runner corrals while warming up, and while on the race course.

Race-day staff, volunteers, and spectators will be required to wear masks inside of the start and finish areas. Masks will be made available onsite, organizers said.

Vaccine verification instructions will be emailed to registrants and published on the race’s website. Runners can bring proof of vaccination to the marathon weekend expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Nov. 19 and 20. Proof of vaccination is required to obtain race bibs and other materials.

Information about partial refunds and deferrals also can be found at