Dear Members of the Media,
On behalf of the Boston Athletic Association, principal sponsor John Hancock Financial, and all of our sponsors and supporters, we welcome you to the City of Boston and the 120th running of the Boston Marathon.
For 120 years, the Boston Marathon has annually played host to enthusiastic and determined athletes from around the globe, taking part in the oldest continually run marathon in the world. For some, the chance to run the Boston Marathon is once in a lifetime, a rite of passage long awaited. For others, the race is an annual spring celebration, a date circled on the calendar each and every April.
Unquestionably, the Boston Marathon has come to represent more than just a footrace. It is a tradition that celebrates the human spirit as evidenced in the determination of each and every athlete. This Patriots’ Day, we reflect on our deep history and roots while simultaneously setting the stage for future generations of athletes.
The 2016 Boston Marathon holds special significance for it represents the 50th anniversary of women’s participation in the Boston Marathon. In 1966, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb leapt out of bushes adjacent to the starting line in Hopkinton, joining hundreds of runners bound for Boston. Gibb helped propel the women’s running movement forward, becoming the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon. Five decades later, the Boston Marathon and running community reflect on the milestone moment with jubilation. Throughout race weekend, you will notice the celebration of women’s running here in Boston, as we salute fifty years of women’s participation in the event.
In 2015, Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa returned to Boston two years after claiming the 2013 title on a day that will live on in our hearts forever. Triumphing on Boylston Street once again, Desisa celebrated with gusto last year, soaking in the spotlight of his adopted city. Desisa exemplifies the resolute spirit and courage that all participants possess on their personal journeys to the Boston Marathon finish line, and will compete again this year.
Demonstrating the same determination and courage as Desisa were fellow 2015 champions Caroline Rotich, Tatyana McFadden, and Marcel Hug. These returning champions will lead 30,000 entrants through the eight cities and towns leading to Boston.
We at the Boston Athletic Association take pride in organizing the Boston Marathon. Yet the event would not be possible without the dedicated support from so many people, in particular our 9,000 volunteers who return year after year.
The 2016 Boston Marathon would not be possible without our enthusiastic sponsors, particularly John Hancock Financial, which has provided unwavering support for the last 31 years. We would also like to thank the countless state and local officials who coordinate race efforts in the eight cities and towns along the Boston Marathon route.
Finally, we thank you, members of the media, who have traveled to Boston to experience our event. Thank you for joining us on what will surely be another memorable day in the storied history of the Boston Marathon.
Dear Members of the Media,
For more than a century, hundreds of thousands of runners from around the globe have crossed the starting line in Hopkinton and raced 26.2 challenging miles toward the iconic Boston Marathon finish line. Each runner has prepared for months, or years, or even a lifetime for the honored opportunity to run the world’s most historic race. Each journey, marked with its unique triumphs and challenges, continues to inspire us.
We want to recognize and thank you for sharing with the world what makes the Boston Marathon a celebration of humanity. From showcasing elite athletes, qualifiers and those running for others, to highlighting race organizers, volunteers and support teams, your stories, photographs and videos have captured the endurance, commitment and perseverance it takes to go the distance.
Last year, through your coverage, we understood the dedication it took for Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, to return to Boston and triumph for a second time. When Lelisa first won the race in 2013, he gifted his winner’s medal back to the City of Boston as a show of solidarity with all those affected by the race day tragedy. Last year as he raced from Hopkinton to Boston, fans remembered that kind gesture and cheered loudly for the young talent, who with his 2015 win would become the only Ethiopian man in history to win Boston twice.
In the women’s elite race, Caroline Rotich, of Kenya, epitomized what it means to “Run Bold.” as she earned a dramatic Boston win. As the lead women’s pack entered the final miles, a small group pulled away, including Rotich, Mare Dibaba and Buzunesh Deba. As Buzunesh faded rounding the historic right on Hereford and left on Boylston, Caroline and Mare raced side-by-side down the finish stretch. Finding an inner reserve, Caroline gave a final surge and prevailed over Mare by four seconds for the win.
Another memorable moment was captured when the unrelenting push rim winner Tatyana McFadden, representing Team MR8 and the Martin Richard Foundation, crossed the finish line first. A true champion on and off the roads, we proudly watched Tatyana, who has won the women’s wheelchair race at the Boston, New York City, Chicago and London Marathons for the past three years, present her coveted olive wreath to Martin Richard’s father, Bill, at the finish line.
And after covering Dick and Rick Hoyt for 32 Boston finishes, you honored the spirit the Hoyts have evoked by showing us that even though Dick has retired from marathon running, Rick continues to compete and display a courage that defies boundaries and exemplifies the Hoyts’ “Yes, you can!” attitude.
As we enter our 31st year as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, we continue to celebrate the unforgettable moments you have captured and the moments yet to be defined. We also continue to value our long-standing partnership with the Boston Athletic Association and acknowledge their outstanding accomplishment of organizing and sustaining the world’s most historic marathon.
Welcome to the City of Boston and once again thank you for your exemplary and professional media coverage.