Saturday, April 2, 2016

20 YEARS LATER

In 1996, the Boston Marathon celebrated its centennial race.

The world's oldest continuously held marathon was turning 100, and the running world, more than ever, descended upon the historic race.

A few days before the race, the volatile New England weather dropped over a foot of snow on Boston and its suburbs. Race organizers worries turned to the staging area. 38,708 runners were scheduled to run the marathon, and the tiny village of Hopkinton, "Where it all begins," was buried under a blanket of snow.

Warmer temperatures melted the white stuff, turning the athletes village into a muddy mess. So, race officials were assisted by the National Guard, which utilized a convoy of helicopters to swoop close to the ground, their huge blades soaking up the moisture, thus drying out the earth for the army of athletes.

35,868 official finishers crossed the line in Boston at the centennial race, which still stands as the largest Boston finishing field ever.

It was an exciting race to be a part of.

Every Boston Marathon, for all participants, is historic.