Today marks the 118th running of the world’s oldest marathon, and as of 11:43 am EST all runners had departed the starting line in Hopkinton. While the events of 2013’s Boston Marathon should not and will not be forgotten, we at the Lime believe today is more about tradition than tragedy, a celebration of personal victory and pride in our hometown, not simply in response to what was taken last year but rather because this has always been Our Fucking City and our traditions carry far greater weight than fear and violence can muster.
The Boston Marathon was first run in 1897, after the modern marathon had been revived in the 1896 Olympics. The 1996 centennial marathon set a world record for the largest marathon with more than 38,000 entrants and with 500,000 spectators annually it is New England’s most widely attended sporting event. It is always run on Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolution. “The shot heard ’round the world,” as Emerson so elegantly put it, is fittingly marked by one city’s local race that began with 18 runners, now boasting 36,000 entrants and celebration the world over.
Local traditions abound for Marathon Monday…
One of the most enduring traditions is that of the Scream Tunnel, composed of thousands of female students from Wellesley College, located near the race’s halfway point. The women line the course’s Mile 13, cheering on runners loudly enough to be heard a mile away and often offering a kiss to hard-working runners as they pass. These ardent supporters have even added a twitter handle in recent years (@TheScreamTunnel), primarily to organize the creation of the individualized signs that line their quarter-mile of the race.
Somewhat similarly, as the runners come up and over Heartbreak Hill they are greeted by Boston College students gathered at the Mile 21 marker in a cheering, block-party style throng.
The Sox play a home game every Marathon Monday that begins at 11:05 am, following which many of the attendees spill out towards Kenmore Square, adding thousands more to the celebration.
Throughout the day we’ll be tracking the runners’ progress on our Twitter and Facebook pages so join us in celebrating one of the city’s oldest and greatest traditions. You can also track the race’s progress on your own, even down to the individual runner, at the B.A.A.’s website: www.baa.org . The sun is shining, the weather is perfect; Boston, enjoy your Marathon Monday. The tradition continues.
At a time of 2:08:37, the second-best time ever run at the Boston Marathon, the US’s own Meb Keflezighi is the 2014 Men’s Winner. You can follow Meb on Twitter @runmeb.
Posting a course record of 2:18:57, Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo is the 2014 Women’s Winner, her third Boston Marathon victory.
In the wheelchair divisions, South African Ernst van Dyk won his 10th Boston Marathon with a time of 1:20:36, while American Tatyana McFadden gave herself a 29th birthday present with a 1st place time of 1:35:06.