News / USA

Boston Marathoners Vow to Take Back Sacred Race

Boston Marathon Bombing Charity Run
Boston Marathon Bombing Charity Run
“Left on Boylston” in this American city means only one thing on marathon day.
Boston Marathon - route of the race.Boston Marathon - route of the race.
Boston Marathon - route of the race.
Boston Marathon - route of the race.
It means you're in the home stretch of the Boston Marathon, and all of the early morning runs in the dark New England winters, and all the wild cheering from family and friends, and all your memories about Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Uta Pippig, are about to carry you across the finish line.
“I can't even imagine when I turn onto Boylston,” said Katie O'Donnell. “No doubt I will be crying. It's going to be incredibly emotional.”
Last year, O'Donnell, 38, a doctor at Boston Children's Hospital, didn't finish the race after completing more than 25 miles. There was no “left on Boylston” for O'Donnell and a throng of other marathoners.
Officials stopped the race after two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260.
“It was such a sucker punch,” O'Donnell said.
But on April 21, 36,000 runners, including O'Donnell, will be part of the second-largest field in the event's history, with the goal of taking back a race that New Englanders hold sacred.
David Chorney, 26, a law student at Suffolk University in downtown Boston, grew up in New Hampshire, just north of Massachusetts and remembers watching the race in study hall at  elementary school. He didn't plan to run a marathon this year, but after the bomb attacks he accelerated his training so he could qualify.
Chorney secured his spot with a time of 2 hours, 33 minutes at the Lehigh Valley Marathon last September, a half-hour faster than the race's strict standard for his age group. He expects to improve on his time at Boston, but a personal record isn't his guiding thought.
Boston Marathon - sites of bombings, 2013.Boston Marathon - sites of bombings, 2013.
Boston Marathon - sites of bombings, 2013.
Boston Marathon - sites of bombings, 2013.
“What happened last year was absolutely devastating,” Chorney said. “I'm looking forward to being part of the recovery and restoration of how we all traditionally think about the Boston Marathon.”
Along with tens of thousands of runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators, this year's event will feature an enhanced police presence. Some 3,500 law enforcement officers, double last year's numbers, will be posted along the 26.2 mile route and new restrictions will prohibit runners or spectators from carrying backpacks or other large parcels.
Fundraising is also expected to top last year's $21 million record. Participants who want the thrill of coasting down Boylston Street but aren't as fleet of foot as Chorney, earned a berth in the larger field by soliciting contributions for charities.
2014 Boston Marathon

  • 36,000 official entrants
  • 10,000 volunteers
  • 3,500 security personnel
  • 1,900 medical personnel
  • Generates an estimated $142 million for local economy

That will give fans a wide range of athletes to cheer for - from elite East African competitors who will cover the course in just over two hours to the weekend warriors taking more than twice as long, buoyed by screaming students at Wellesley College and winded from climbing Heart Break Hill about 20 miles into the race.
It's a special day because it is also Patriots Day, a state holiday, and the Boston Red Sox play near the course at Fenway Park. There's plenty of race lore and local heroes, too.
Bill Rodgers, or “Boston Billy,” won the race four times; once he even stopped to tie his shoe several times. Maine's Joan Benoit Samuelson, an Olympic marathon champion and two-time Boston winner, ran the 2013 event in 2:50:29, the fastest ever by a woman in the 55-59 age group. She was not aware of her feat until a reporter told her at a post-race press conference.
“The most exciting aspect of the race was getting to run the same event and route that Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers did before me,” said St. Louis resident Frank Reedy, who ran in 1998.
Jason Hartmann of Boulder, Colorado, showed up last year without a sponsor and was the top American finisher, placing fourth overall in the men's division. At the front of the pack, sporting knee-high white tube socks and with Kenya and Ethiopia's best on his heels, he gave the partisan crowd some early hope. No American man has won Boston since Greg Meyer in 1983.
“You have the amazing people who don't even look like they're sweating, and you have people like me - back of the pack,” O'Donnell said. “It's great how everyone cheers on the best of the best and those limping slowly to the finish line.”

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Rory Reid from: Nevada
April 14, 2014 6:31 PM
Well, of course it was the CIA who orchestrated the Boston bombing. The Tsarnaev brothers (2 patsies) were on the CIA payroll MONTHS before the so-called "bombing" happened. The CIA has a LONG HISTORY of staging false flag attacks against its own people. Even the very liberal New York Times admits that!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

by: Mrs Janet Levy from: Boston
April 14, 2014 11:19 AM
The CIA must come clean, and be EXPOSED for what they did last year in Boston. Just follow the money trail, and it goes right back to the CIA!!! But it would be naive and irresponsible not to make note of these bizarre links, through their Uncle Ruslan Tsarni, of the Tsarnaev brothers to the CIA, and of the apparent presence of the Craft International personnel at the marathon finish line, not to mention the uncanny similarity in attire between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the Craft mercenaries at the marathon bombing scene. (Besides, my late father, a retired electrical engineer and a Jungian analyst, used to say that many seeming coincidences are actually synchronicities, and can have much more meaning than simply being a highly improbable accident.) Also begging an answer is the question of where the two brothers, neither of whom had obvious access to wealth, got the money to spend on fancy clothes or, in the case of Tamerlan (who with his wife and small daughter, on the basis of his publicly available information, qualified until this year for welfare assistance), owned a late model Mercedes-Benz sedan.

These issues demand our attention because our increasingly national security obsessed government has been using each tragedy like this to further curtail our freedoms. We have to pay attention all the more because none of this is being investigated or even reported on at all by the corporate media, which seem content to just report on official statements and leaks and call it a day’s work well done.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs