Today over thirty thousand runners run the 120th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon. It’s also the 50th official year that women have been running. If you live in Massachusetts, you might have watched along the route some years for hours as you screamed support, urged runners on, shouted encouragement, and yelled “Keep going! You can do it! You’re almost there!”
The first American winner today was Tatyana McFadden, a racer in the women’s wheelchair division.
I’m listening to our national anthem played now in her honor.
My father began taking me to watch the Boston Marathon when I was very young, so young that he had to squat down to be at my level. We’d stand across from Tasty Treat in Ashland on Route 135, and he’d tell me which runners to watch for.
Attending large sporting events is fun and teaches us lessons. At the very least, we reflect on our own achievements and reinforce the goals we hope to reach.
Our Boston Marathon is a glorious celebration every Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts.
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.
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.
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.