When I first started training for my first marathon, I told myself I could care less about Boston. It was a lot of hype, blow out of proportion. You can run a marathon almost anywhere...you don't have to pay just to run in Boston. Then, flaunt your Boston Marathon clothes for the next
In my running group, there are about 50 people who signed up to run the Boston Marathon. Unfortunately, not all of them are going to be able to run it due to injury, but most are making the trek to the east coast in April for the historic event. I want to be part of that. I want to run those streets. But, I want to deserve to be there.
I recently read an article about a person who is running the Boston Marathon as a charity runner. I think charity runners are great - they raise money for a cause they care about. It is a great fundraiser for the organization, and probably a great motivator to keep training for the participant. Although I fully support charity runners, I do not think they should get to run the Boston Marathon.
About 1/5 of the runners that run Boston are charity runners. That means that if you are at the start line, three people next to you qualified and one did not. Four people earned their spot at the prestigious event while one did not. It is like playing the game: which one does not belong? The charity runner.
Most of the time the charity runners could never run Boston on their own, if they had to qualify. I really feel like they don't belong at the race. They could run a different race and raise money for their organization for that. They don't belong with the (most often) serious Boston Marathoner who has worked hard to get there. So if someone tells me they are running Boston and I don't know much about them as a runner or never seen them run, I always follow up with: "where did you qualify?"
I have never known a charity runner for Boston, only real qualifiers. Perhaps my opinion would change if I knew a charity runner.
Your turn: What is your thought on charity runners at Boston?