Tuesday 20 Apr, 2010

Boston’s Marathon Monday

Yesterday marked the 114th annual Boston Marathon, one of the top marathons in the United States.  Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot from Kenya won the men’s competition with a 2:05:52 time that broke the Boston Marathon course record by over a minute.  He also received the fourth fastest time in an American marathon.  The old Boston Marathon record (2:07:14) was set in 2006 by Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, a four-time Boston champion who is unrelated to Kiprono Cheruiyot.

A marathon is a 26.2 mile road race that began in commemoration of Greek soldier Pheidippides who was sent from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated.  Legend has it that he ran the entire distance without stopping and exclaimed “We have won” before fainting and dying.  The route Pheidippides followed was approximately 26 miles, thus setting today’s standard.

Another reason Bostonwas celebrating yesterday was because of Patriots’ Day, which is a state holiday celebrated in Massachusetts and Maine that commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolutionary War.  This marks the start of the war, and was proceeded by Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride.  The battles, which were fought on April 19, 1775, were the first steps to the American colonies’ rebellion to become a new nation.  Patriots’ Day, was always celebrated on April 19 until 1969 when the official holiday was moved to the third Monday of April.

David L. Ryan / Globe Staff