Boston Marathon adds 9,000 runners

MGN Online
Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 10:32am

The Boston Athletic Association is providing an additional 9,000 spots in the 2014 Boston Marathon to accommodate runners who were unable to finish last year's race because of the terror attack bombings.

Registration --- which opens at 10 a.m. Monday -- will operate under the same process used to qualify runners in the past, giving priority to the fastest qualifiers, according to Jack Fleming, a spokesman for the B.A.A.

The 5,000 runners who were unable to finish the 2013 marathon are already pre-registered for the race, according to Fleming.

Isabelle Goosen, who participated in the 2013 Boston Marathon and was half a mile away from completing the race before the attack, told CNN that she is excited to finally finish the race she started last year.

"I'll definitely get a sense of closure," Goosen said. "It sounds almost selfish to look at everything that happened in this way but just the fact that I couldn't finish tore me a part for a while. Spending four months training for it and spending all of my college career wanting to do it. I was really upset."

Another addition to next year's race will be the planting of 100,000 daffodils along the marathon's entire route, according to Diane Valle, who began the group Marathon Daffodils.

Marathon Daffodils, which has collaborated with several organizations and volunteer groups, plans to begin planting the flowers in October, according to Valle.

"We hope the bright yellow daffodil, which is the same color as the Boston Marathon logo, will lift people's spirits," Valle told CNN. "We hope the communal act of planting together will strengthen Boston Strong and will add a bit of hope and rebirth."

The April 15, 2013, double bombings near the finish line killed three people and injured at least 264.

The B.A.A. and Fleming acknowledge that the upcoming marathon is going to be considerably larger than previous years: "We know that since April 15 the demand in the running community and those around Boston has increased. Interest is high."

The planning process for the 2014 marathon is currently ongoing, and updates to public safety are under way, according to Fleming.

The 118th Boston Marathon will take place on April 21, 2014.

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