SBD/May 16, 2013/Events and Attractions

Boston Marathon Organizers Weighing Difficult Decisions Regarding '14 Race

The Boston Athletic Association continues to "figure out what the future holds," as the '14 Boston Marathon will be "unlike any other road race -- part celebration, part commemoration, part logistical puzzle, part massive security undertaking," according to Shira Springer of the BOSTON GLOBE. Issues such as "field size, start and finish area changes, and increased protection for runners and spectators along the route remain under discussion." BAA Exec Dir Tom Grilk and Race Dir Dave McGillivray "must make a lot of tough decisions before registration opens for qualified runners in mid-September." First, the BAA "must determine how it will handle the 5,700-plus runners who couldn’t finish" this year's race. The non-finishers who use their guaranteed entries, "likely around 5,000 runners," could take "a portion of the 20,000 spots designated for qualifiers." Organizers could "aim for a record field" near 40,000, if the eight cities and towns along the route "permit such a large field." Although the "emotional call to make the 2014 Marathon the biggest ever has come from President Obama on down, it is far easier said than done." To increase the field size to "around 40,000, organizers would need to commandeer more land in Hopkinton for the staging area at the start." The start and finish areas "likely will see the greatest security-related changes next year" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/16).
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