Boston Marathon

By Karin Carlson

Update: As of October 21, 2013 there is video related to this post on our website.

[caption id="attachment1732" align="alignleft" width="300"]<a href="">Boston Marathon 1973 Boston Marathon. Courtesy of Northeast Historic Film, The WCVB Collection.[/caption]

Even though winter is quick to remind us that it isn’t over just yet (see last week’s snow storm) spring is in the air up here in Maine.  The days are longer and I am starting to think about getting outside again. One of the biggest signs for me that spring has finally arrived is the Boston Marathon.  With the race coming up in a couple weeks I did a quick look through the WCVB collection to see what kind of footage we have of past marathons.  I am particularly interested in footage during the 1970’s as my Dad ran the Boston Marathon several times during that decade.  All of these races were before I was born, but I cheered him on through many other marathons throughout my childhood and heard stories of the Boston Marathon.  It was given special status in my household, as was Bill Rodgers, the winner of the race every time my Dad ran it.  As a result I have never visited Boston without a trip to Bill Rodgers Running Center in Faneuil Hall Market Place.

The Boston Marathon isn’t just special in my corner of the world.  It started in 1897 and is the world’s oldest marathon.  Runners come from all over the globe to compete in this race, and, according to Wikipedia, it is one of New England’s most widely viewed sporting events.

[caption id="attachment_1731" align="alignright" width="300"]Runner Interview with runner from 1973 Boston Marathon. Courtesy of Northeast Historic Film, The WCVB Collection.[/caption]

One thing that I find interesting when I look at old running footage is how the races and the runners change over time.  One WCVB reel from the Boston Marathon in 1973 has already been transferred.  In this story most of the runners interviewed both before and after the race lament the fact that it wasn’t raining.  I have done marathons in the rain and can’t imagine wishing for those conditions.  I asked my Dad about it.  He couldn’t think of any reason that you would want to run in the rain but did concede that a lot of different running theories were circulating through the 1970’s and maybe that was one of them.

I hope to see more of this footage.  Not just so I can search for my Dad in the pack of runners, but also to listen to the interviews and see the evolution of this amazing race.