BOSTON EFFECT ON RACE PARTICIPATION

Bolder Boulder 10K
Bolder Boulder 10K
   

It’s been six weeks since the bombings at the Boston Marathon, time enough for the first rush of emotions to have run their course, and for cooler more reasoned calculations to resume.  Just yesterday, Marc Fucarile, 34, a roofer from Stoneham, Massachusetts, was released from Mass General, the last victim to be released from hospital into whatever semblance of normal now awaits him after the loss of his right leg.

And so as we settle into this brave new post-Boston 2013 world, the question arises like the morning sun, what is the new normal?  In that light I was intrigued to read the Boulder Daily Camera article following Memorial Day’s Bolder Boulder 10K.  In its story the Daily Camera quoted race director Cliff Bosley saying he thought the tragedy at Boston contributed to fewer people participating in Boulder this year, as entrants were down 5.7% from 51,681 in 2012 to 48,741 on Monday.

“I think some people made the decision not to come,” Bosley told the Daily Camera. “Just, ‘Let’s take a year off and see how it plays out’.”

Immediately, I wondered A) was it true that Boston was the cause for the drop off?  B) if so, is Boulder an anomaly?  C) Did Bosley overlook other potential factors?  Or, D) is there evidence of similar declines in race registration or finishers which might be attributed to The Boston Effect?  I made some calls to the other major races that followed Boston on the calendar.   Here is some of what I learned. (more…)

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MARATHON GEM ALONG THE CALIFORNIA COAST

VenturaM2Blogo    Ventura, Ca. — The growth and popularity of big city marathons has led to record sell-outs around the world, opening the calendar to charming boutique events not looking to cram every last runner onto their narrow over-taxed roads – not that there is anything wrong with that.  We found just such a gem this weekend glistening in the coastal California sun out the Ventura Highway north of Los Angeles, south of Santa Barbara.

The 3rd Clif Bar Mountains 2 Beach Marathon & Half-Marathon gave its 3000 entrants — 1500 in each distance – a lovely journey from rural Ojai to seaside Ventura that had everyone raving about the course, the organization and thrilled with their new PRs. (more…)

THE LINE

11TrackThe lines in racing are evident and precise. At tomorrow’s Diamond League Adidas Grand Prix in New York City lines will define the arc of competition while designating starts and finishes.  If only life could be so simply striped.

Events around the globe have been effected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon this past April 15th.  And there is little doubt that these next ten months will be daunting for the Boston Athletic Association as they determine where to draw their own lines for Patriot’s Day 2014.

Yesterday, May 23rd, in his War on Terror policy re-set speech at the National Defense University in Virginia, President Obama brought up Boston as he enunciated the qualities which define America and which require, in his words, “efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate.” (Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists) (more…)

36th RITE AID CLEVELAND RACE REPORT

Cleveland Champs  Philemon Terer, Sarah Kiptoo
Cleveland Champs
Philemon Terer, Sarah Kiptoo

Cleveland, Ohio — Kenyans Philemon Terer and Sarah Kiptoo of the AmeriKenya Running Club in Santa Fe, New Mexico battled the fields and then the heat at today’s 36th Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon to notch the biggest wins of their respective careers.  Terer broke free from Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Dube at 40K on the way to a 2:17:37 win. By dipping under 2:20 Terer added a $3000 bonus to his first place prize. Dube arrived at the Browns Stadium finish 33-seconds later to claim runner up honors.

Under conditions which changed from overcast and 64 degrees Farenheit to sunny and 79, Sarah Kiptoo still managed to chop a remarkable eleven minutes off her marathon PR with her 2:33:41 win.  Two-time defending champion Mary Akor finished second in 2:36:03 while Charlotte, North Carolina teen Alana Hadley completed her much anticipated debut in sixth place with a 2:58:22 clocking. (more…)

RITE AID CLEVELAND MARATHON WEEKEND

Cleveland Marathon     Cleveland, Ohio – The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon & 10K has always been a front-runner.  Well before other marathons began staging multiple events on race weekend, Cleveland always staged both a world-class 10K and marathon on the same day.  Now to accommodate the growing number of people looking to get into the sport, organizers have added a 5K and a Kid’s Run on Saturday, while a half-marathon is also included on Sunday’s schedule along with the marathon and 10K.  In all over 22,000 people will wind through the streets of Cleveland in the 36th anniversary of the city’s signature racing weekend. (more…)

BAA OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT TOWARD 2014

BostonStrong     Below is a copy of a press release issued today by the Boston Athletic Association regarding the status of the 5000 runners who were unable to finish this year’s Boston Marathon after two bombs were set off near the Boylston Street finish line at 4:49:44 and 4:49:54 on the first-wave race clock. 

     It will be a difficult year ahead for the B.A.A. and the city of Boston as they walk the fine line between security, safety, and the open road of welcome that has always been the hallmark of the world’s oldest marathon.  This decision is an excellent first step. (more…)

RE-RUN SAN DIEGO BRINGS PRO TRACK BACK TO AMERICA’S FINEST CITY

Re-RunSD     San Diego, CA. — Track is back in San Diego! Hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter century since a professional track meet was last staged in America’s Finest City, and nearly a half century since its greatest days.  That clock gets turned back this Sunday at 10 a.m. when Re-Run San Diego looks to recreate some of the city’s past track glory following a 5K road race through downtown San Diego and scenic Balboa Park in a unique track-follows-road-race format with $60,000 waiting on the line.

For those too young to remember, track used to be a big deal in this corner of the left coast. Not just because of people like Steve Scott and Thom Hunt, or in latter days with Meb Keflezighi and Monique Henderson.  It was the meets that dotted the calendar, whether in Balboa Stadium downtown, or over at the Sports Arena for the Jack-in-the-Box Indoor meet.

San Diego Union Tribune scribe Nick Canepa has spent 40 years chronicling all things sports in this town, but as he wrote in a February 2012 column it was track that provided his most lasting memory.

“But, for me, nothing tops the night of (Eamonn) Coghlan’s mile on the Sports Arena boards during the Jack-in-the-Box Indoor Games. It was electrifying. He blew the roof off the joint. If you had never seen a track and field event in your life, even if you were the losers’ parents, you had to feel what it’s like to be a page in history.”

The thought of what track once was can raise goosebumps or loosen tears depending on your mood.  But rather than escape into the past two young men with the future of the sport in mind hatched the idea for Re-Run San Diego over the last year. (more…)