EARNED RUNS IS CRAZY ABOUT THIS MARATHON RUNNING EVENT, held this year on Monday April 15, and thinks the more you know about the Boston Marathon the more likely you are to become a fan of this elite running competition. Therefore, the topic of most of this week’s blogs will highlight the race. The hype is NOT about the city. It’s about running heritage and the race itself.
Some people don’t follow horse-racing but throw a party and very much enjoy the Kentucky Derby race in May. The same goes for those who aren’t football fans but join in the fun surrounding the Super Bowl each January-February. Major League Baseball’s World Series and ice hockey’s Stanley Cup are other sport championship finals that attract non-fans. Land lubbers who have never been sailing get excited about the America’s Cup competition. Final episodes of a TV series' lure larger number of watchers at the end of the season. Big events, involving the best of the best, attract attention!
A sign of the love and excitement inspired by this Boston road race are the special edition shoes. Last year two hometown companies, DUNKIN' DONUTS and SAUCONY, joined forces to issue a 'sprinkles' donut shoe that was all the rage. To no one's surprise but to the delight of many there's a new 2019 donut shoe model! Other shoe companies release 'Boston' shoes too.
To catch the excitement and be able to enjoy another sport ‘championship’ read on to learn how it all started.
BOSTON MARATHON HISTORY
The official Boston Athletic Association (B.A. A.) website provides a history of the Boston Marathon, which it has sponsored since it’s very first running. The page explains that “after experiencing the spirit and majesty “ of the marathon run at the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, “B.A.A. member and inaugural US Olympic Team Manager John Graham was inspired to organize and conduct a marathon in the Boston area.“ According to a Wikipedia entry, the “Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon”, and has been “held every year since 1897 to celebrate Patriots Day, a holiday marking the beginning of the American Revolution, thereby purposely linking Athenian and American struggle for democracy”
Timeanddate.com explains that “Patriot's Day (or Patriots' Day) commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which were fought near Boston in 1775”, on the third Monday of April. It’s an official state holiday in the states of Massachusetts and Maine. The entry cautions readers not to confuse it “with Patriot Day, held on September 11 to mark the anniversary of terrorist attacks in the USA in 2001.”
Boston Marathon History that you may not know:
- The race’s distance was not always 26 miles 385 feet! The first modern Olympic marathon course covered 24 .5 miles and the Boston Marathon covered 24.8 miles. The official marathon distance was standardized by 1924.
- The first year in which women were officially allowed to run was 1972. However, one ran and finished the full race without a bib number for 3 years, 1966-68, and one ran and finished but did not identify herself as a female in 1967. Read the page to learn their names and more about women in this race.
- This was the FIRST marathon to include a WHEELCHAIR DIVISION, in 1975.
Other Race Milestones
(Updated; first presented in 2017)
Watch for other posts in the next two weeks!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
12 Fast Facts About the Boston Marathon by Kristan Dietz for Competitor.com
March 20, 2018
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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