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Monday, August 21, 2006

Boston Marathon breaks with tradition

It had been rumored that the BAA would move the traditional noontime start up a few hours. Now it's official -- 10 AM start (second wave 10:30, elite women 9:30).

Unlike such sports as college football, road racing is not a sport steeped in tradition. Boston is one of the few exceptions. I've heard all kinds of reasons put forth as to why this was a good idea, and if you go to your popular running message boards you'll see a lot of people complaining about the change. From race management and promotion standpoints, I see the plusses. From a personal standpoint, a big minus is I can no longer watch the whole thing from my neighborhood sports bar (and even for a guy like me, knockin' 'em back in my own living room at 9:30 AM seems a bit extreme). No one has mentioned how this will change the traditional Red Sox game.

What I have seen precious little of is sober, reasoned discussion of the time change from the viewpoint of either a fan or a runner. I did Boston once, and a 10:00 start might have helped me keep a more normal pre-race ritual, but overall I was there to be part of one of our sport's greatest spectacles more than anything else.

Anyone care to chime in with a cheer or a jeer?

1 comment:

Evan said...

About the only tradition worth saving in this change is the interaction between the Red Sox game and the marathon. The question "what time will the buses leave" is one I haven't seen answered, but then again I haven't looked too closely. I'm sure the BAA have clever minds working on that solution.