Among the most notable things for which our fair city is known are its history and the Boston Marathon. The storied race, which will take place on Monday, April 15 is, in itself, steeped in history. It dates back to 1897 and is the oldest, and arguably the most prestigious annual marathon in the world. It was inspired by the marathon held in 1896 at the inaugural of the modern Olympic Games held in Greece.
The Boston Marathon is always held on Patriots’ Day. Say what? No, that isn’t the day we worship at the altar of Tom Brady and the gridiron boys. (Boston’s football faithful do that every day.) It’s a holiday that commemorates the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord and is celebrated in Massachusetts and Maine. Since schools, municipal and state offices, and many businesses close for the day, the city is better able to accommodate the massive event.
And it is massive. Some 25,000 participants will tackle the 117th running of the legendary course and endure the infamous “Heartbreak Hill.” Out of context, the half-mile incline doesn’t seem all that intimidating. But coming at the 20.5-mile mark in the punishing race, it is an indignity that can cause, well, heartbreak for even the most seasoned athletes.
Not that I would know from experience. You know that Bruce Springsteen song, “Born to Run?” Well, baby I was born to watch. And along with gazillions of other spectators, I’ll be doing exactly that. You should too. Get a sense of the Boston Marathon in this video of last year’s event.
Photo and video: B.A.A.