Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Boston Marathon: Tradition vs Money

The article from Buffalo News titled "Do the Elite Still Meet in Boston?" describes how perceptions of the Boston Marathon have changed over the poast 25 years. For many it's no longer on the "must-run" list of the world's best. Some reasons it gives: the lack of American runners that have been in contention to win for many years, financial competition from other marathons, and the fact that professional runners want fast courses where an official world record can be set. The hills from mile 16 to 21 make it a hard run, and since there's an elevation drop of over 400 feet, any world record that might occur wouldn't be official.

The article did mention that Boston has been rather competitive on the money side. The Boston Marathon began offering prize money in 1986. But for a "world-record crazy" public, it's hard for it to compete with races like London.

Regardless of money or world records, the Boston Marathon is still THE marathon for all runners in US. For many it's the peak of one's running career. The article mentioned that less than 5 percent of all marathon runners hit the qualifying times needed to enter. Both the thrill of qualifying, the 100 plus years of history and the experience of running it make it the Mecca of Marathons for US runners.

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