Monday, April 11, 2011

Boston Marathon. A Century of Blood, Sweat and Cheers

As Boston approaches, I desire to learn more about the marathon.  Not only the course but also the interesting tidbits about the famous marathon.  I've been listening to Steve Runners older episodes of the State of the Course and anxiously await the 2011 State of the Course episode.  Sitting on the bookshelf of my boyfriend is the  book 'The Boston Marathon A Century of Blood, Sweat and Cheers' published in 2003 by Tom Derderian, that  has captured my interest with snippets of Boston marathon history, the course and races.  I recommend reading the book yourself but in the meantime, here are a couple tidbits I found interesting.

  • In 1924 the starting line was moved to Hopkinton from Ashland.
  • Wheelchair collisions occur, much to the horror of the spectators. The collision in 1987 required changes controlling the start to prevent crashes.
  • 1987 must have been a horrible start because they used a rope to prevent runners from false starting.  The starter, fired the gun without realizing the rope was still up causing runners to trip and fall.  (see there's a reason I'm not an elite at the starting line)
  • The Hadleys, who live on Hopkinton Common,open their bathroom to runners; many who return year after year for their hospitality.
  • An extra 12,000 vehicles go through the Hopkinton tollbooth increasing tolls collected
  • It once was believed the marathon was harmful to the human body. At least until 1958 a physical was required the day of the marathon to prove the fitness of the athlete before running Boston.
  • In the first Boston, each athlete had their own handler. Someone to ride along on a bicycle in case their runner needed "water, food, massage, encouragement and stimulants."
  • In 1907 runners had to wait for a freight train giving Longboat the lead in front of Fowler.
  • In 1927, when paving roads was still basically an experiment,  the tar melted sticking to the runners shoes.
  • The largest margin of victory was 6:52 in 1897 for the men, 9:59 in 1972 for the females.  The smallest margin was 1 second for the men in 1988 and .40 seconds in 1980.
Happy Running!


Ewa said...

These are cool tidbits.
I used to live in Hopkinton but pretty far from the commons.
You must be on pins and needles. I know I would be.

Runeatrepeat said...

Love these facts!