Boston Marathon History Lesson

While this year is KT Tape's first time to the Boston Marathon, we know that the Bean Town race is the longest-running and most prestigious marathon in the world. On the Boston Athletic Association website we found a number of historical tidbits about the famous 26.2 miles. - After experiencing the Olympic Marathon in 1896, Boston Athletic Association  member and inaugural US Olympic Team Manager John Graham was inspired to organize and conduct a marathon in the Boston area. The original race route ran from Metcalf's Mill in Ashland to Irvington Oval in Boston -- a 24.5 mile race. On April 19, 1897, John J. McDermott of New York, emerged from a 15-member starting field and captured the first B.A.A. Marathon in 2:55:10 and in the process, forever secured his name in sports history. - In 1924, the B.A.A. moved the starting line from Ashland to Hopkinton. In 1927, the Boston Marathon course was lengthened to the full distance of 26 miles, 385 yards to conform to Olympic standards. - Originally the marathon distance was 24.8 miles, based on the distance of the famous Greek legend of the Greek foot-soldier who ran from Marathon to Athens with the news of victory over the Persian Army.  The marathon distance was later changed as a result of the 1908 Olympic Games in London. That year, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria wanted the marathon race to begin at Windsor Castle outside the city so that the Royal family could view the start. The distance between the castle and the Olympic Stadium in London proved to be 26 miles. Organizers added extra yards to the finish around a track, 385 to be exact, so the runners would finish in front of the king and queen's royal box. Every Olympic marathon run since the 1908 Games has been a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards. - Until 1968, the Boston Marathon was held on Patriots' Day, April 19, a holiday commemorating the start of the Revolutionary War -- a holiday only recognized in Massachusettes and Maine. However, in 1969, the holiday was officially moved to the third Monday in April. - The first woman to run the full Boston Marathon was Roberta Gibb in 1966. Though she did not run with an official race number during any of the three years she was the first female finisher, Gibb hid in the bushes near the start until the race began. The  Amateur Athletics Union formally accepted the participation of running long distance running in the fall on 1971. Nina Kuscik's 1972 Boston Marathon victory the following spring made her the first official champion. Eight woman started that race and all eight finished. - The Boston Marathon was also the first major marathon to include a wheel chair division, with the entrance of Bob Hall in 1975. For a more complete Boston Marathon History Lesson, check out the Boston Marathon Milestones. And please come see us in Boston!! We've got a great booth set up, and we're looking forward to getting you taped up for your marathon PR.

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