Boston Marathon officials have announced their decision to add 9,000 more slots to next year's Boston Marathon race in light of the tremendous swell in public interest and support for the event.
If the terrorists responsible for the bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon thought they could scare Americans into avoiding one of running's major U.S. events, they obviously underestimated the population of America that they targeted. These are people who run 26.2 miles for fun for heaven's sakes! And you want to know what many folks do after that finish those grueling miles? They stand at the finish line in the sweat soaked clothes holding a cold water bottle against their sore knees (or ankles, or calves) while they cheer on the runners who have yet to cross the line. Seriously! This is not a crowd of folks that backs down in the face of adversity.
I am not an elite Boston marathoner, but I have completed a few marathons so I've witnessed the awesomesauce of the running community first hand. So it was no surprise to me that runners would not only want to support the city of Boston and the runners that participated in the 2013 Boston Marathon, but that they would come out of the woodwork to race, volunteer, raise money for charities, and in any other way show solidarity with other runners at the 2014 race.
To accommodate the surge in interest, race organizers will open the field to 36,000 runners at the April 21, 2014 event. If it fills to capacity - and it will fill to capacity - it will make the 2014 Boston Marathon the second-largest turnout in its history, since 38,708 runners came out to run for the race's 100th anniversary in 1996.
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