Being a son of the Bay State, I remember the Boston Marathon when it was a strictly amateur affair. While it was the premier marathon in the U.S., it gave no prize money for winning. The point of running in it, was running in it.
So this guy, who stopped along the way to kiss a woman from Wellesley, gets the official News Cut marathon winner designation.
Why would a runner who went to the trouble of training for the marathon stop in the middle of it to kiss a woman? Because he could.
The marathon itself was a battleground for civil rights in the '60s. Kathrine Switzer tried to run in the race in 1967, only to be hustled off the course by marathon boss Jock Semple.
This picture, taken by a friend of mine at the start of today's race, has me wondering what Jock would say today, were he still alive.
Is 103 a transwoman? Wow!
According to the Boston Marathon Web site, #103 is Reuben Chesang. A "he". However, Chesang, who finished 9th in the Twin Cities marathon last year, is also black as he is from Kenya.
So I'm not really sure what the story is in the photo.
There's also a Denise Robson listed as F103 on the Boston Marathon website, however this is what is said about her:
Denise Robson placed 21st in the women’s elite field at the Boston Marathon last year and took fifth among masters with a time of 2:48:15. Last December she clocked a 2:48:15 for fifth place and second masters position at the California International Marathon, the site of her personal best a year earlier. Robson’s 2:41:12 at CIM in 2008 won the masters title. She placed fourth in the overall women’s field. Earlier in 2008, she ran 2:45:54 at Boston for eleventh in the women’s elite race.
Robson lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The single mother of three took up running as a stress reliever in her mid-30s. She completed her first marathon in 2004. In November of 2009, she carried the torch in her hometown as part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.
Ah, that must be her. This was a picture of the "elite" runners.
A very important point of clarification. Switzer was not whisked off the course. Semple TRIED to whisk her off the course but he failed. She finished the race, but failed. From the Boston Marathon website:
"Roberta Gibb was the first woman to run the full Boston Marathon in 1966. Gibb, who did not run with an official race number during any of the three years (1966-68) that she was the first female finisher, hid in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Katherine Switzer did not clearly identify herself as a female on the race application and was issued a bib number. B.A.A. officials tried unsuccessfully to physically remove Switzer from the race once she was identified as a woman entrant. At the time of Switzer's run, the Amateur Athletics Union (A.A.U.) had yet to formally accept participation of women in long distance running. When the A.A.U. permitted its sanctioned marathons (including Boston) to allow women entry in the fall of 1971, Nina Kuscsik's 1972 B.A.A. victory the following spring made her the first official champion. Eight women started that race and all eight finished. "
More one Switzer: