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.