p pol The Adventures of Carboman: The Allure of the Boston Marathon

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Allure of the Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is perhaps the oldest Marathon in the world, having surpassed its 100th running (109th this year actually). Not every runner can run this but nearly every marathoner has dreamt of running it. 500,000 spectators line up along it's course every year, making it the largest viewed event in New England.

When you talk about running Boston, 2 factors are considered. The course and its qualifying time. Yes, you'll need to qualify first. According to the qualifying requirements, I need to run a 3:15 to qualify! Men of 50-54 need to run a 3:35 marathon. For the qualification table,
go here.

Once you've qualified, you will have to battle the course and in recent years, the heat. The course is treacherous with the last 5.7 miles being downhills.
Even experienced legs will buckle under the downhill pounding after the infamous Heartbreak Hill. Download the course map here.

A recent RW online poll asked whether the Boston qualifying criteria is too stringent. The following is one of the respondents reply:

"This year will be my second Boston, my first being last year. If it were not for Boston and its demanding qualifying times I might never have been motivated to improve. It took me 4 years and 6 marathons but I qualified at the Marine Corps Marathon and then again at the Baltimore Marathon. At times I felt the qualifying time was too difficult but I will never forget approaching the finish line by the Iwo Jima Memorial screaming, "I am going to Boston!" All the hard work and sacrifice made lining up in the corral at last year's start the proudest moment in my athletic life. When the F14 flew over the starters I had goose bumps from head to toe."
Garen F. Danyi - Easton, PA"

I suppose it's the difficulty and the history of this race that makes it so attractive. Not everyone can run the Olympic Marathon, so this is sort of an Olympics for the "normal" runners out there. Me? I'll continue fantasizing about it. Once in awhile, I'll take out and read the numerous race coverage in the back issues of RW, including the beautiful 100th Anniversary Collectors Issue. Oh yes, there's also the to-do task of lowering my PR of 4:41 first.

Brief history of the Boston Marathon.


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