Boston Marathon Awarded Prize Money to Non-Elite Women

By Erin Strout Re-posted from Runner’s World

In my hometown, every Fourth of July begins with a one-mile race on the streets of Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s set up like the Fifth Avenue Mile or the Carlsbad 5000—waves of competitors, grouped by age and gender, compete against each other.

If I enter the Downtown Mile, I can choose the category in which I want to compete. Being “an old,” I can opt for the masters wave or if I’m feeling ambitious, I can go for the open division and risk being whooped by a pack of teenagers. Typically I opt to skip it altogether and volunteer instead.

However, if I decide to compete in the open category, place 10th, but run a faster time than the winner of the masters division, I don’t earn the first-place masters award—it was a different race, with different competitors, which created different racing strategies and dynamics. It was an entirely different competition—one in which I chose not to participate. I go home empty-handed.

Seems fair, doesn’t it?

In the aftermath of the 2018 Boston Marathon—a year in which the treacherous weather conditions played heavily into the racing tactics of top female athletes—three women in the open category and two masters athletes ended up in the final results with faster finishing times than women who received the prize money. The faster women were ineligible for the awards because they didn’t qualify to compete with the elite women’s-only field of 46 athletes, which started at 9:32 a.m. in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Instead, these women began at 10 a.m. in the next wave of 7,500 mixed-gender competitors.

What happened next included predictable outrage and backlash. Just as predictably, much of the controversy was unwarranted and based on misinformation. Some news outlets framed it as an issue of gender inequity. Others didn’t fully understand the rules involved.

 

Original Runner’s World article here

2018 Boston Marathon Security Will Include Drones, Undercover Police

From GovTech.com

Boston Marathon bombing responder Carlos Arredondo holds a “Boston Strong” flag as he and his wife, Melida, left, cheer runners near the finish line at the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17, 2017, in Boston.

Authorities at all levels have planned six months in advance of April 16, when the 122nd Boston Marathon race will take place. This year commemorates the fifth anniversary of the marathon bombings that left three dead and hundreds injured, and officials say their safety methods have adapted since that devastating day.

“I’m sure everyone can remember where they were, who they were with and what they were doing when the bombs exploded,” said MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green at a security briefing in Boston on Tuesday. “It was that devastating to us.”

“However with the passing of time human nature has its way of minimizing events that occur,” Green added. “We cannot become complacent.”

Officials across local, regional and federal law enforcement spoke on Tuesday to remind the public that while there are no credible threats to the marathon, spectators must remain vigilant in large crowds. Several officials repeated the mantra, “If you see something, say something.”

Marathon Monday attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators, on top of the 50,000 runners participating in the race. Police officials say between 7,500 and 8,000 public safety personnel will be situated along the race route, which spans across eight cities and towns. According to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz, 5,000 of those personnel will be uniformed and plain-clothed officers.

Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin said there will also be a “significant number of undercover troopers” mixed into crowds on race day. “Certain parts of our security operation will not be seen by the public,” Gilpin said.

This year security measures will also include three tethered drones — two in Hopkinton and one in Natick — which will stream live video feeds to authorities. For the public, the entire marathon route remains a no-drone zone, officials said.

Read the full article

Telegraph story details Tim Don’s arduous journey back from broken neck; training for Boston Marathon

In this story from the Telegraph, Tim Don’s story of recovery from being hit on the bike just days before last year’s IRONMAN World Championship is detailed, including the five holes drilled into his head for his halo device.

Read about Tim Don’s life-threatening crash in Kona HERE

From the Telegraph

Tim Don: how the fastest ever Ironman shook off a broken neck to keep on running

In October 2017, Tim Don was cycling in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii, one of the southernmost islands in the secluded American state. The British athlete was putting the finishing touches on months of training ahead of the biggest race of his career: the Ironman World Championship.

But Don, a three-time Olympic triathlete, didn’t get to take part in that race in Hawaii. Three days before the big day, while cycling along a designated lane, he was t-boned by a car turning into a petrol station. Thirty minutes later Don woke up on his way to hospital with a broken neck. It was a day before his daughter’s birthday; he feared he might never compete again.

But there’s definitely something setting athletes apart – particularly those of extreme sports or extreme distances. While most would take as long as possible to recover, Don had itchy feet within days. Despite the pain, and against doctors’ advice, he was back on the exercise bike within three weeks. “The screws kept coming loose”, he explains. “They had to keep screwing them back into my skull. One came loose so many times it was making a big indentation. They were worried they’d puncture the skull.” And then, the understatement of the century: “It’s pretty intense”.

Just four months on, Don is training for the Boston Marathon in April, with the ultimate goal of realising his dream in Hawai’i this year…

READ THE FULL STORY