The 2017 Boston Marathon was one of the finest marathons in the Beantown is many years. The races were epic, the fields were strong and the fans and marathoners were out in force. Here is what we saw.
1. The Boston Marathon continues to be the iconic event that breathed life into the marathon movement.
Started in 1897, the Boston Marathon began with fifteen men lining up on the same road and start in Hopkinton. Now, 121 years laster and with 31,000 starters, the race continues to pull. It is an event that celebrates the sport and the movement. The event also leads by example.
2. Two great races, where competition matters, times are secondary.
With improved drug testing, and no pace makers, the Boston Marathon is all about the competition. Each race develops organically, and the stories that come out of the races are fascinating. The races were also much easier to cover as the media room was well run, updated, and a combination of mile charts plus TV coverage was used to keep us up to date (great updating from the course and in the media room).
3. The support of Americans needs to continue.
This is America’s marathon. That US fields did well is a reason to thank John Hancock, who looks after the elite fields. Now, the majority of the monies go to encourage top Americans to run, and for them to have the time and financial stability to train. Drug testing is also another reason why Americans are running better in Beantown.
4. The excitement that builds across the city over marathon weekend. This is the meeting place of the running industry. If you are not in Boston in the spring, one wonders if you are serious about the business. The BAA 5k and BAA Mile are permanent fixtures of the marathon weekend, thanks to the BAA and adidas, the long standing sponsor.
5. The health of the Boston Marathon continues, although there are some suggestions for improvement.
The expo showcases much of the sport, but it has gotten (as all have, prohibitively expensive). The Boston marathon expo was down this year, in quality and attendance. We hear that major footwear companies are questioning the very idea of being at expos. When booth space cost over $100k at most expos for running companies, and with the downward trend in specialty sales, companies have to look at all costs. If you want more exhibitors at races, then stop buying your running shoes from Amazon, which is taking sales from local running stores each and every day (but that will not happen).