Hi everyone, wassup?
I think I might have found out what seems to be the most important sports event in the Bostonian calendar (besides Super Bowl): The Boston Marathon. It’s a holiday actually as the race is held on Patriot’s Day. Ergo: People are happy to have a day off and use it to join the celebrations in the city. It’s a huge party in other words!
Reasons enough to share little bits and bobs about its history with you today as it will be happening next Monday.
How it all started and why the race is always on a Monday
John Graham, who was inspired by the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, wanted to have a marathon in Boston, too. With the help of a friend, he planned out a route throughout the city and its surroundings and got started. The first marathon took place on April 19, 1897.
Fifteen runners started the race but only 10 made it to the finish line. Oops.
Originally, the Boston Marathon was held on Patriot’s Day, April 19, a regional holiday that commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War. In 1969, Patriots Day was officially moved to the third Monday in April and the race has been held on that Monday ever since.
The first woman running the marathon (as a man)…
Women were not allowed to enter the Boston race officially until 1972 (what, booh), but Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb couldn’t wait: In 1966, she 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.
Only in 1971 were women allowed to enter in the marathon. One year after that, Nina Kuscsik became the first official female participant to win the Boston Marathon.
The bombings in 2013
On April 15, 2013, two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 other people. Four days later, the police captured 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose older brother and fellow suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died following a shootout with law enforcement earlier that same day. Tsarnaev was found guilty in 2015 of helping carry out the attack, as well as fatally shooting a policeman and was sentenced to death.