Our Boston Marathon

Our Boston Marathon is a glorious celebration every Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts.

Four time Boston  winner and famed American runner  Bill Rodgers (K. Nollet, 2014)

Four time Boston winner and famed American runner Bill Rodgers (K. Nollet, 2014)

Although I’m not a runner, the Boston Marathon has always been a rite of spring. In childhood, my father and I watched runners on Rt. 135, across the street from Tasty Treat in Ashland. I played the national anthem at the start as a member of the Hopkinton High School marching band. My family has hosted runners. Last year my father, a 90-year-old World War II vet, was honored at the starting line.

The Boston Marathon offers a spectacular teaching and learning opportunity for every teacher. You can practically invent a unit on the spot, both high interest and Common Core compliant.

The Boston Marathon includes every runner. (K.Nollet, 2014)

The Boston Marathon includes every runner. (K.Nollet, 2014)

Length, time, world and course records are just the beginning of the mathematics embedded in it. Runners’ compelling stories make excellent writing topics; an entire section of The Boston Globe pulls a unit together with reading articles, graphs, maps, and charts.

Runners arrive from all over the world, an excellent geography lesson. The Marathon’s history is rich in tradition, both Olympic and Boston. However, when we teach history to students, the darker stories are part of an honest picture.

What makes people cheat? In 1980, Rosie Ruiz  jumped in near the finish and was initially claimed the winner.

Why were women excluded from Boston Marathon until 1972? Jock Semple tried to physically push Katherine Switzer out of the race.

Elite runners have a separate start. (K. Nollet, 2014)

Elite runners have a separate start. (K. Nollet, 2014)

Why did the Tsarnaev brothers plant two bombs that killed 3 and injured over 260? This event still feels acutely fresh to us Bostonians, who have been watching the current trial.

A moment of silence occurs at 2:49 p.m. today, “One Boston Day,” observing the second anniversary of that event.

2 responses to “Our Boston Marathon

  1. I’m stopping by for the A to Z Blog Challenge and am part of Lisa’s Livewires…I live near Boston and this day will forever be etched in my memory. We were actually on vacation when it happened but drove home before they caught anyone, so 95/128 was barren. It was the eeriest thing ever. And it didn’t get us down…that’s for sure. Boston Strong all the way!

    http://www.heathermccubbin.blogspot.com

    Like

    • I’m with you all the way, Heather. What helps me is thinking about the enormous humanitarian response that showed the best parts of humankind. As Fred Rogers said, “Look for the helpers. You’ll always find people who are helping.”

      Like

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