The Boston AA will put on its 118th marathon in three days. If you have watched TV in the past week or two. you cannot have missed coverage of the memorials, the testimonies of victims of last year's bombings, the triumph of many in their recoveries and the lingering grief of the families of those who did not survive. Because of the bombing, this year's race will have unprecedented coverage, that only a media craving ratings could possibly wish to present to a public that has little fundamental knowledge or interest about the race up front. In a normal year we would expect to see ten seconds of coverage showing the men's and women's winners. This year we will be inundated with human interest stories that will supplant what is going on with the race itself.
Since this is a blog mainly about the past, I will put out to our readers some comments that came from John Bork and Orville Atkins. John, an NCAA 880 champion, who never ran a marathon, and Orville, who was a top marathoner in Canada, and a fifth place finisher at Boston in 1962. Both men found their way to California in the 1960s and are still there. Both trained under Mihaly Igloi. They are sages about our sport, and I expose you to some of their memories and wisdom. Ernie Cunliffe was one of America's top 880 men in 1960, ran at the Rome Olympics, was on a 4x880 WR team, and set the 1000 yards world record indoors. Steve Price was a top 100 finisher at Boston in the early sixties and coached many very good female distance runners. Tom Coyne ran at Western Michigan and has contributed several articles to this tome. I'll throw in a few of my own memories of Boston and hope that some of you might send in some of your memories and thoughts to add to this post. Just write me at the address in our header. Thanks , and enjoy our blog.
I mentioned that I had seen a chart sometime in the past demonstrating that Boston actually had a gradual drop with "Heartbreak Hill" and a few others that came at just the wrong place in the course. It turns out that the Boston ccourse has the steepest down hill grade of any of the five
So Tom, dug deep into his google search skills and came up with the site below (see Link below)
At least 3 of you guys, herewith have conquered this course, of course,:: Nick Kitt, Orville Atkins,
Monday is Patriots Day. So, go for a run in the early AM, then turn on the TV at 10AM PDT
60 Minutes did a great profile on Shalane Flanagan's quest to train for and win this year's women's
But, for me any 26 mile course is tougher than I care to imagine.
|John Bork , Jr.|
|10:54 AM (9 hours ago)|
|John Bork , Jr.||10:54 AM (9 hours ago)|
|11:06 AM (9 hours ago)|
|Thomas Coyne||11:06 AM (9 hours ago)|
|3:34 PM (5 hours ago)|
|George Brose||3:34 PM (5 hours ago)|
This was on Walt Murphy's blog today. It also talks about that 1978 race from the women's perspective.
1978--Two milestones at the Boston Marathon--it was the largest field ever as 4,212 runners went to the starting line, and the men's race was the closest in Boston history. Hometown favorite Bill Rodgers won for the 2nd time, but his margin of victory was only 2 seconds over fast-closing Jeff Wells (2:10:13-2:10:15). Frank Shorter, who was near the front for the first half of the race, finished 23rd(2:28:15).
17-year old high school senior Lynn Jennings, competing against the advice of her coach, John Babington, and the will of race organizers, who had set an entry age-limit of 18, ran the race in about 2:46. Said Jennings recently, “I ran unofficially as an act of teenage rebellion. I didn't drink and drive as an act of rebellion, instead I ran a marathon. I was too young for a number, my coach told me not to do it and I did it anyway. Not the smartest thing I ever did but I was 17... “. Despite the concerns of some who thought that someone that young shouldn't be running a marathon, it didn't stop Jennings from going on to a Hall-of-Fame career that included three World X-Country titles and an Olympic bronze medal in the 10,000-meters(1992).
From Babington, who completed 13 Boston Marathons in a row from 1968-1980, “Here's a link to a home movie taken by Bill Robertson less than a mile from the finish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Babington retired in 2013 after serving as the head coach at Wellesley College for 26 years. The former coach of the Liberty Athletic Club includes Joan Benoit as one of the many elite runners he has worked with over the years.Jennings HOF Bio: http://www.usatf.org/
|3:50 PM (4 hours ago)|
The following links appeared on Walt Murphy's blog This Day in Track and Field. One is a recently discovered documentary on the Boston Marathon.
John Bork mentioned coaching me. After my time with Coach Mihaly Igloi in 1966 John began to coach me and in 1967 I ran my best Boston Marathon time.
Those are happenings as I remember them now.
Oh,and I Also I vividly remember that on Heart Break Hill in '62 I was very tempted to drop out. There was a head wind, it was raining and I was cold. I remember repeating to myself several times that I had blown. Tempted to drop out I told myself that I could not drop out while in the top ten.
Dick, along with the equally legendary Arne Richards, never had a car but he and Arne had almost all of the bus and train schedules for the entire Mid-West. As was his custom, Dick often wore a white dress shirt to race in. They are both gone to the big race in the sky and are missed. We need more eccentric, interesting people like Dick and Arne.
|A Ride Over the Course Lasting 8 Minutes|