Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Boston Marathon to accept more runners

30 August 2013, 07:39

Boston - Next year's Boston Marathon will include an additional 9 000 runners, amid a groundswell of support and interest in the wake of the bombing attack this year which killed three people and cut the event short, the marathon's organisers said on Thursday.

Boosting the field size to 36 000 runners at the 21 April 2014 race would make for the second-largest turnout in its history, since 38 708 runners toed the starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts at the race's 100th anniversary in 1996.

"We understand many marathoners and qualifiers want to run Boston in 2014, and we appreciate the support and patience that the running community has demonstrated because of the bombings that occurred this past spring," said Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organises the race.

The increase, a one-time break from the race's normal cap of 27 000 runners, will help to accommodate the 5 624 athletes who were still on the course this year, when a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs exploded amid thousands of spectators, volunteers and athletes at the finish line and brought the race to a halt.

The attacks prompted an intense investigation, with law enforcement officials combing both the scene and thousands of still and video images received of Boston's best-attended sporting event.

Three days after the 15 April attack, FBI officials released photos of two men they believed were responsible for the bombing in a plea for the public's help in identifying the suspected bombers.

The pair, later identified as brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, tried to flee Boston that night, first killing a university police officer in a failed attempt to steal his gun and later engaging in a firefight with police in Watertown, Massachusetts that ended with older brother Tamerlan, 26, dead and younger brother Dzhokhar fleeing the scene.

Most of the Boston area was locked down for the following day while police searched for Dzhokhar, who was found hiding in a boat in a suburban back yard.

Now 20 years old, the surviving brother is awaiting trial on charges, including the murder of four people and using a weapon of mass destruction.

Tsarnaev, a naturalised US citizen, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and may face execution if convicted.

Entry into the Boston Marathon is a prized goal for many US runners, who must meet strict age-graded qualifying times in other marathons to earn a spot at the starting line.

To accommodate an expected surge of interest, race organisers are introducing a staggered registration system, in which runners who have posted times at least 20 minutes faster than the normal qualifying time for their age group will be able to register on 9 September.

Those who have beaten their minimum qualifying time by 10 minutes will enter on 11 September, and those who have run marathons 5 minutes faster than their qualifying time can register on 13 September.

After that, if spots remain, runners who have met their normal qualifying times will have an opportunity to register.

The stricter times could make for a faster-than-usual average field in the 2014 edition of one of America's most elite marathon events.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...