Monday, April 19, 2010

Marathon Monday

On you mark. Get set. Go.
And 26.2 miles you get to stop.
Why on earth would anyone, ANYONE want to move their feet, lose toe nails, feel your lungs, calves, quads, hamstrings, and lower back burn for approximately 4 hours (2:07:14 if you are the male record holder and 2:20:43 for females)?

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. This year marks its 114 run staring in a quaint New England town, Hopkinton, and making its way over hills and into the heart of Bean Town. Runners pass though Copley Square, along the Charles River, and past Boston College. Its around the 16 mile mark runners battle not only exhaustion, but the three toughest hills of the course. One hill known as Heartbreak Hill is notorious for depleting athletes of the little energy they have left and separating the the champions from your fun runners. The nickname "Heartbreak Hill" originated with an event in the 1936 race. On this stretch, defending champion John A. Kelley caught race leader Ellison "Tarzan" Brown, giving Brown a consolatory pat on the shoulder as he passed. His competitive drive apparently stoked by this gesture, Tarzan Brown rallied, pulled away from Kelley, and went on to win—in the words of Boston Globe reporter Jerry Nason, "breaking Kelley's heart."
Another notorious Marathoner in Rosie Ruiz (hey speaking of Roses...)
Scandal came to the Boston Marathon in 1980 when amateur runner Rosie Ruiz came from out of nowhere to win the women's race. Marathon officials became suspicious when it was found Ruiz didn't appear in race videotapes until near the end of the race. A subsequent investigation concluded that Ruiz had skipped most of the race and blended into the crowd about one mile from the finish line, where she then ran to her apparent victory. Ruiz was officially disqualified, and the winner was proclaimed to be Canadian Jacqueline Gareau.
The best part of the race is probably the camaraderie and spirit of Boston. While the runners number int he thousands, the spectators and in the hundreds of thousands. It has been a long time goal of mine to qualify and run in this race. I can only imagine how wicked awesome it would be to pound the pavement all over New England, past Fenway, and cross the finish line and get some olive leaves! Probably not for a while, bt until then here are some inspiring marathon memories to keep us all running!

(Finish Line 1910)

Women were not allowed to enter the Boston Marathon officially until 1972. Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb is recognized as the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon (in 1966). In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as "K. V. Switzer", was the first woman to run with a race number. She finished, despite a celebrated incident in which race official Jock Semple tried to rip off her numbers and eject her from the race.[2] In 1996 the B.A.A. retroactively recognized as champions the unofficial women's leaders of 1966 through 1971.

(K.V. Switzer and her defender bf)

Dick and Rick Hoyt. Dick is the father of Rick, who has cerebral palsy. Dick and Rick started competing in charity runs, with Dick pushing Rick in a wheelchair. Dick and Rick have competed in 66 marathons and hundreds of triathlons and finish with competitive times. Their top marathon finish was an astonishing 2:40:47, a time unattainable for most average marathoners.

1 comment:

  1. Woah! Unbelievable. Women couldn't run until 1972...although I shouldn't be too surprised Southie public schools were the last in the country to integrate {1976} & pretty sure the Sox were one of the last all white teams too. Oh, Boston! One day not only will you race it you will win!


Related Posts with Thumbnails