Sadly, most of us know that on April 15, 2013, improvised bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon created havoc, killed three people, injured hundreds, and shattered a day traditionally filled with joy and camaraderie. Although the bombing immediately shattered the celebration, it sparked an outpouring of extraordinary work and the city of Boston set an example for the rest of the world by proving that even a heart-breaking tragedy cannot tear it apart. One year later, Boston is once again ready to host this year’s marathon on April 21st, Patriots' Day, with the same zeal and enthusiasm. We should salute them for showing strength, resilience, and even defiance in the wake of the attack.
Lately I've been researching about this unique marathon race - here are some of the interesting tidbits I found out.
- 1. The Boston Marathon is one of the oldest and most prestigious marathons in the world with over 36,000 participants and 1,000,000 spectators watching the 118th race this year.
- The First Boston Marathon was called the American Marathon and was held in 1897. It was 24.5 miles, from Ashland to Boston.
- In 1918, at the height of World War I, the race held only as a 10-man relay for military teams.
- Women were not allowed to race officially until 1972, but in 1966 Roberta Gibb became the first woman to win the Boston marathon(unofficially.)
- In 1975, Boston became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division.
- For the 100th Marathon in 1996, there were a record 38,708 official Boston Marathon entrants.
- Boston's a pretty serious marathon to run, where you have to qualify by completing a Boston-qualifying marathon beforehand. The timings are tough to reaching each age group. Qualifying time While it’s hard to qualify for Boston, it’s not a cakewalk once you’re there by any means.
- In terms of media coverage, the Boston Marathon is the second biggest single-day sporting event in the U.S., just behind the Super Bowl!