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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The World's Most Celebrated Road Race

Today's History Lesson 2

The city of Boston, Massachusetts is synonymous with American history! Almost 400 years have passed since the first group of English Puritans set foot on the small peninsula they named "Boston" and built into one of America's biggest and best cities. With the Boston Marathon just having taken place yesterday, April 18, 2016, it is interesting to note that today, April 19, 1897 dates the very first of the world's most celebrated road race. 

On April 19, 1897, the first Boston Marathon is run in Boston, Massachusetts. John J. McDermott of New York ran the 24.5-mile course of the all-male event in a winning time of 2:55:10. The first modern marathon was held at the 1896 Olympics in Athens.
From then...

  • In the first Boston Marathon, fifteen runners started the race but only 10 made it to the finish line. 
  • Women were not allowed to enter the Boston race officially until 1972.
  • In 1966, “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon, but had to hide in the bushes near the start until the race began.
  • In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run with a race number. Switzer finished even though officials tried to physically remove her from the race after she was identified as a woman.
  • In the fall of 1971, the Amateur Athletics Union permitted its sanctioned marathons (including Boston) to allow female entry.
  • In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition. Bob Hall won it in two hours 58 minutes.

To 21st century...
  • On Monday, April 16, 2012, the 500,000th finisher in the 116-year history of the Boston Marathon crossed the finish line.
  • In 2013, two bombs exploded near the finish line during the marathon. The bombs went off at 2:50 in the afternoon as runners finished the race. Three people were killed. One was an eight-year-old boy. More than 260 people were injured. The first explosion happened on Boylston Street close to the finish line. The second blast came just over ten seconds later, 50 to 100 yards away.

'Til now...


  • The 120th Boston Marathon ran from Hopkinton, MA, to Boston (26.2 miles).
  • Organizers set the field numbers at 30,000 and the race will be run at capacity.
  • The two top finishers (male/female) each get $150,000.

Lelisa Desisa won not only the 2013 Boston Marathon, but also many hearts when he chose to give his medal back to the city of Boston to honor the victims of that year's bombing. In a quieter gesture, he also gifted his racing bib to a couple who were injured in the blast.

On Tuesday morning, Baysa presented "Bobbi" Gibb with the 2016 Boston Marathon trophy — a silver cup she had earned on Boylston Street less than 24 hours earlier. Because Gibb, who also ran in 1966, '67 and '68, came before women were officially allowed to enter, she never received a trophy of her own after any of her three first-place finishes.