Friday, April 27, 2012

1947...Patriots Day and the Boston Marathon


A recent “Jeopardy” question about the Boston Marathon jolted this memory.

I grew up in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts and each year we looked forward to Patriot’s Day, held in April. It was basically in commemoration of the anniversary of Paul Revere’s famous ride but my favorite part of the day’s festivities was always the marathon.

We were lucky in that the race course ran directly through our town on rte. 9, almost halfway through the 26 miles from Hopkinton to Boston's historic Back Bay. We would line up on the main street of the town and cheer on the runners of our choice who were all men, of course. It would be 25 years before women were allowed to join in !

I was 14 in 1947 and I remember that year in particular because Clarence DeMar (1888-1958) was still alive and running. (That is he in the picture) He was the legendary figure who won 7 Boston Marathons, (1911, '22, '23, '24, '27, '28 & 1930) and he was still running strong at the age of 59. (It’s interesting to note that in 1947 the “late 50’s” was considered old.)

Today the Marathon is host to over 20,000 runners and, although considered one of the premier foot races of the world, it still retains the route that was plotted out in 1897.

9 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Cool memory and photo.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

Interesting that, this month, I wrote about the first woman to run in the marathon in 1967, here:

http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/2012/04/1967-was-only-45-years-ago.html

5:17 PM  
Anonymous schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

You comment about being "old" in your late 50s makes me wonder if I will ever catch up to the definition of old. At 70 next week I still feel young despite my aches and pains. The fact that 70 is now considered young-old doesn't help dispell the notion.

What fun, a marathon along the route of PR's famous ride. Dianne

7:56 AM  
Blogger Judy (kenju) said...

I have never wanted to run and I didn't learn to play tennis because you had to run to p;lay well. I can't for the life of me fathom why anyone wants to run a marathon....lol

6:07 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Amazing. My son is running his first marathon in May. He has run several half-marathons and is ready to take the full run.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I wanted to run a marathon but my feet gave me trouble. Too much stress on the toes , several of which I broke.

Really a nice memory, Ginnie. I wonder how his time compares to today's runners. Those Kenyans are really fast.

12:55 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Yes! Did you hear me yelling out the answer? LOL!
I used to be a runner. Loved to run. It was years until I read how running was a natural high... Yep, a legal high. Funny how that works. Running is an addiction for some folks.
Oh would that I could run today - I would love it. However, I am grateful that I am able to walk!

10:42 AM  
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