SBD/April 23, 2014/Events and Attractions

Boston Marathon Participation Highest Since '96; BAA Officials Praise "Epic" Event

Marathon participants had numbered fewer than 27,000 the previous five years
Boston Marathon organizers on the morning after the event "reflected upon Monday’s 118th running with a mixture of gratitude, relief and joy," according to John Powers of the BOSTON GLOBE. The marathon "went off even better than they might have hoped with record crowds." This year's marathon "featured the most entrants (36,000) since the 38,708 who signed on for the 100th race" in '96. BAA Exec Dir Tom Grilk said, "There has never been a day like it before and there will never be one like it again.” Powers notes the "one drawback to the day was the number of competitors who required medical assistance" after the temperature, which was in the 40s in the morning, rose into the 70s during the afternoon. Race Dir Dave McGillivray said, “The one word I have to describe it is epic. This was a race for the ages, for sure.” Powers writes the question now is whether the 119th edition will "revert to its customary size" which had been fewer than 27,000 for the previous five years. McGillivray said that the BAA will "consult with eight cities and towns along the route during the upcoming months." McGillivray: “There was an understanding going in that this was an extraordinary year. Generally speaking, people think that it’s going to go back to 2013 in terms of field size but I think it’s open for discussion, especially after how it went this year." The interesting question is, what do we want it to be? I’ve always said quality versus quantity. That’s what this race is all about -- quality. You don’t have to have everyone show up but is there more room? And if there is more room what’s the composition of the additional people? We knew what it would be this year because of what happened last year, but what do you do for next year? Let’s say it’s 36,000 next year. What’s the extra 9,000? Are they all qualifiers? I don’t know” (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/23).
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