Saturday, May 1, 2010

Boston Marathon 2010

Todd ran in his third Boston Marathon in 2010. The History and incredible crowds make Boston such a fun run. “I decided to run a little slower, take my time and really enjoy the crowds.” Todd finished the 2010 Boston Marathon in a time of 3 hours and 32 minutes. “A little slower than my qualifying time of 3:13, but I think I gave a thousand high-fives to kids along the way.”

The Boston Marathon is steeped in history and tradition.

The first Boston Marathon was run on April 19, 1897, with 15 runners. In 1924, the Boston Athletic Association moved the starting line from Ashland to Hopkinton. In 1927, the Boston Marathon course was lengthened to the full distance of 26 miles, 385 yards to conform to Olympic standards.

The 1896 Olympic marathon distance of 24.8 miles was based on the distance run, according to famous Greek legend, in which the Greek foot-soldier Pheidippides was sent from the plains of Marathon to Athens with the news of the astounding victory over a superior Persian army. Exhausted as he approached the leaders of the City of Athens, he staggered and gasped, “Rejoice! We Conquer!” and then collapsed and died.

The marathon distance was later changed as a result of the 1908 Olympic Games in London. That year, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria wanted the marathon race to begin at Windsor Castle outside the city so that the Royal family could view the start. The distance between the castle and the Olympic Stadium in London proved to be 26 miles. Organizers added extra yards to the finish around a track, 385 yards to be exact, so the runners would finish in front of the king and queen’s royal box. Every Olympic marathon run since the 1908 Games has been a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards.

From 1897-1968, the Boston Marathon was held on Patriots’ Day, April 19, a holiday commemorating the start of the Revolutionary War and recognized only in Massachusetts and Maine. The lone exception was when the 19th fell on Sunday. In those years, the race was held the following day (Monday the 20th). However, in 1969, the holiday was officially moved to the third Monday in April. Since 1969, the race has been held on a Monday.

Todd plans to head back to Boston again in 2011.