The Boston Marathon   Leave a comment

Boston.  For most people that one word conjures up images of American history — Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, the 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series win.  For runners, Boston isn’t a location, it’s an event.  For many, the event.  The Boston Marathon was first run in 1897 with 15  runners participating.  In 2010, 23,177 lunatics runners started running the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.  22, 540 finished.  That means 637 people did not finish.  These are the people who dropped out due to injury, dehydration, or suddenly regaining their sanity part way through the race (or before it even started).  I imagine the latter group is the smallest.

In 2006, the Boston Athletic Association, or BAA (does this make anyone else think of sheep, or is it just me?) decided not just to have everyone start in stalls — where runners line up to start depending on their qualifying time — but in two waves with the fastest runners starting a half hour before everyone else.  Before these innovations, everyone just lined up — all the many thousands of them — and started.  Under this set-up, it could be many, many minutes before those at the back of the pack actually crossed the starting line, never mind the finish line.  Watching one of these starts with my husband — videotaped, of course — from the comfort of my couch, I commented on the uncanny resemblance of these waves of runners to lemmings.  You know, lemmings.  The cute, furry animals that run in packs off of cliffs.  He was not entirely amused.  I, on the other hand, was.   It did make a great opening line for an article he wrote for his running club’s newsletter, though.

More to come…


Posted February 3, 2011 by wordsaremylife in marathons, random thoughts

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