Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boston Marathon

In case you didn't know, tomorrow is Patriot's Day(a public holiday) in Boston. For New Englanders, Patriots' Day remains special for it is the anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolutionary War with battles between British troops and the Minute Men of Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts.

For runners, Patriots' Day has become synonymous with the Boston Marathon or, as locals often refer to the day, Marathon Monday. One of the country's oldest athletic clubs, The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) was formed on March 15, 1887 with the support of politicians, sports enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to "encourage all manly sports and promote physical culture" (quote from its 1890 yearbook constitution).

In 1897, the BAA put on a 24.5 mile race that only 10 out of the 15 runners that attempted finished. That little event grew to become the Boston Marathon today, the crown jewel of the BAA and some say the running world as well. The first woman to run was Roberta Gibb in 1966, she had to hide in the bushes before the start of the event. Women were finally allowed to run in 1972 and of the 8 that started, Nina Kuscsik won (and all 8 finished).

This is the only marathon for non elite runners that requires you to qualify before you can participate. Trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon is the holy grail (the most sought after and most difficult goal) for many runners. Getting into Boston has become an honor, almost like qualifying for the Olympics at the "normal people" level.

All the best for all those taking part.

1 comment:

  1. my godmom dawn almost got into the boston marathon. she missed the qualifying time by one minute...doesn't that suck?