Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Boston Marathon in 1897

Top Ten

 

April 19th marks the anniversary of the first Boston Marathon, which was run in 1897. This is an event that we all would like to see. If you decide to jump on the time travel train, please take this list to ensure you don’t put a big ole tear in the time continuum. All aboard.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Boston marathon.

10 If you go, do not think you can sneak into the race and be lost in the thousands of participants. If you do, at best you’ll double think your decision. At worst, you will be noticed immediately by the judges since there are only fifteen participants. (You have a choice Lucian. Pay the entry fee or drop out. That policeman over there is going to make sure you choose one or the other.)

9 If you go, do not try to tell Tiny the WWF champ that the 24.5-mile course he has laid out should be 26.2 miles. If you do, at best, Tiny will ignore you. At worst, Tiny, who just finished his remedial math training, will think he’s made a math error and needs to cover it up. (There was no error, Lucius. The course distance was determined by a committee. It was changed to 26.2 miles in 1908.  This is not going to help you now that Tiny has decided you need to be silenced. I’m sure he will let you out of that barrel once the race is over.)

8 if you go, do not suggest that the race be held on a Sunday. If you do, at best, you’ll be ignored. At worse, you’ll make that suggestion in earshot of the Boston Bishop. (Sundays are sacrosanct here in Boston, Lukas. The race was designed to be held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War. If Patriot’s Day fells on a Sunday, then the race was held on Monday. It took until 1969 for Patriot’s Day to be established as the third Monday of April. All this is well and good but too late to prevent you from being declared a heretic.)

7 If you go, do not mention the under the two-hour finish of Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge in 2019. If you do, at best, folks will think you have been drinking. At worst, you’ll mention it to John Mc Dermott, the winner who finished at 2:55:10. (Now John is wondering where you came from Lionel. Telling him Kipchoge’s time was 1:59:40 won’t stop him from the nose punch that is heading your way. in fact that info might just speed it up.)

6 If you go, do not wear the freebee Gateraid T-shirt that you scored at the Micky Mouse marathon last year. If you do, at best, it is under your sweatshirt. At worst, John Graham, the first Olympic team manager, and Boston Athletic Association member, will want to know all about it. (Now you are in a fine kettle of fish, Luciano. How are you going to explain sponsorships since the first did not start until the 1980s? Better think fast, cause Graham doesn’t look like a guy who suffers fools lightly.)

5 If you go, do not ask about the Red Sox baseball game that usually accompanies a marathon event. If you do, at best, no one will understand what you are talking about. At worst, the organizers will think you are trying to take over the event. (Although it is a tradition for the Boston Red Sox to play a game before each marathon, they didn’t start doing it until 1903. It looks like you have created quite a stink, Leif. Tell em you lost your head there for a moment.)

4 If you go, do not ask about the lack of women participants. If you do, at best you’ll get a “What are you thinking?” look. At worst, the Boston Athletic Association will take you for a sufferage militant. (Those big Policemen over there, Lennon are just waiting for orders to clap you in irons. The first woman did not officially participate in the Boston marathon until 1972. Nina Kuscsik became the first official female participant to win the Boston Marathon in 1972.)

3 If you go, don’t mention running in a costume. If you do at best, you’ll get a laugh or two. At worst, you’ll be banned from the city. (The idea of running in costume did not become popular until Gary Fanelli did it as Elwood Blues, Dan Aykroyd’s character from The Blues Brothers, in 1981. Since he was successful, the idea caught on. Don’t try to tell the marathon organizers this fact, Ludwig. You may end up in a padded room.

2 If you go, do not ask the organizers if they allow bandits. If you do, at best, they will think you are talking about bandannas. At worst, someone will call the sheriff. (You know that bandits are unregistered runners that were tolerated, Lenny. Although not forbidden bandit runners have been discouraged since 2015. I think I would try an exit strategy since that sheriff’s deputy looks like he has no sense of humor at all.

1 If you go, do not wear your Hoka One One Carbon X running shoes and your Lululemon running suit. If you do, at best people will stare. At worst, someone will yell “Alien,” and your day is over. (A cardinal rule is to fit in, Langston. The running gear of the day should look like you are in your underwear and wearing combat boots. Yes, now that is more like it.)

75 comments

  1. Excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you , Rabirius

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  2. Great advice, John! I do like the idea of running in a costume. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, in the Bay to Breakers run in SF you can wear what you want. Even wearing anything at all is optional. Thanks, Jill.

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  3. Love number one!

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    1. My favorite too. Thanks, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This one seems like the most difficult trip yet. Far too easy to muck up the space time continuum here.

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    1. Yes. Especially given there are only 15 runners. Thaks, Charles.

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  5. I learned a good bit I didn’t know about this marathon from your post, and enjoyed it. Now I have a decision to make. Shall I watch the Boston Marathon, or watch the squirrels racing acround my feeders? Let me think…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well since it has been postponed until Novembe,r I think you only have the squirrel option. Thanks, Linda.😁

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  6. Um, yo, Tiny, I think you forgot to pull me out of this barrel.

    Great list, John. It’s fun to learn how traditions evolved. There’s no danger of me running a marathon, now or in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, me either, Dan. That is a long way to tip a Rari.

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  7. Down here we have a guy in a Boston Red Sox hat walking from Palm Beach to Tallahassee (~ 400 miles) to bring awareness to his unemployment. How would Tiny answer that?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm. I think Tiny would put a step over toe hold on the guy and put him to work as a wrestling dummy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hahaha, since the farmers can’t get workhands to harvest the crops – he could exert his energy doing that!!

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      2. Tiny does lack finesse you know. Harvesting crops might be too subtle. Picture shaking a tomotoe plant over a bucket.

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  8. I had no idea women didn’t enter until 1972 – thanks for the history lesson, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The first woman runner was in 1966 but she snuck on the course. The first official was in 1971 but was registered using her initials. One official tried to remove her from the race. The Boston Athletic Association has since recognized both as official enteries.

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  9. don’t sneeze and keep a distance from your partners :)) 😜

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    1. Wear a mask. 😷

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  10. I think if everyone is watching the race, the pubs might have good seats available.

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    1. Good point. I like the spot right in front of the tap.

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      1. Just slide this pitcher under it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I find it astonishing that women didn’t participate in the Marathon until 1972. I guess the powers-that-be — up until that time — still thought of women as frail flowers, unable to run long distances. Look how much those poor women missed out on!

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    1. I know right? All history now.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I did the 100th running of the Boston Marathon….slowest I have ever run. Got the t-shirt though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you. Quite a keepsake.

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  13. Could you do a top 10 things not to say on Covid-19 ? I hear there is lots of good material on Twitter. Heck you will make it to the bourbon round before you know it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a lot of material but I think most has been done. It’s like recycled bathwater. Sooner of later it gets unpleasant. I usually make the bourbon round no matter what. Thanks, John

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  14. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    Another fun one, John. I always learn a lot on Monday. 🙂 Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe more than you need to know. Thanks, Gwen.

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  15. Ha! You finished in grand style, John with Lululemon. This is the first time I’ve been entertained at the prospect of a marathon. Well done. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is better than running one I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Not until 1972 did a female participate? That surprises me for some reason. Great list John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Does seem a little strainge doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  17. All you ever think about when you hear, Boston Marathon, is that terrible tragedy.

    I appreciate you telling the history and in such a funny fashion. A costume. Have to think about that. A ball gown maybe hiked up so I don’t trip. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A ball gown hiked up sounds perfect. Thanks for reading. You have plenty of time to decide on a costume. The Marathon has been delayed until November. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I try to tune in on Mondays because of your history posts. I eat history, as you know, for breakfast…on toast. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do know that. 😁

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  18. It’s mind numbing to think that an hour has been shaved off the time of the first winner, and that’s with two extra miles having been added!

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    1. I know right? Not sure humans got faster I think smarter.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I can understand 24.5 miles.. what is up with the 26.2. Why .2?
    It’s a crazy length of race either way, as far as I am concerned…

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    1. The olympic marathon was measured in meters. So converting to miles gets you an additional 2/10ths. It’s the yankee measurement.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heaven forbid you join the ranks of the world, eh? 😉 And it was a rhetorical question, by the way…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Gosh I hate it when I jump in and answer a rhetorical question. My apologies. The problem with not joining the rest of the world isn’t our arrogance it’s none of us can figure out the metric system. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahah! I am teasing you, of course.
        Hey! I distinctly remember when they shoved it on us. You want to know how we are Canadian? It’s like this: The weather is in Celsius, unless we are speaking the temperature of the pool, then we don’t know how cold it is unless its in Fahrenheit; We drive distances and speed in kilometers, our weight is in pounds and our height in feet and inches… We buy in grams but want to know how many pounds we have… I think that covers some of it 😉

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      4. Hmmmm. See, it is too confusing.😀

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      5. But it keeps you coming back 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  20. My goodness, it’s certainly changed over the years – only fifteen participants. One might say it really caught on. 🙂 Thanks, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. There are now over 30,000. Thanks, Jan

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  21. Ha ha! I am realising you’ve got a clever format going for passing on some history lessons 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ankur. You can take the student out of the history but can never take history out of the student. 😁

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  22. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out another great top ten list from John Howell’s blog. This one is the TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AT THE FIRST BOSTON MARATHON IN 1897

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Don

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  23. Another great list with lots of information I didn’t know. I won’t be breaking any of these rules cause I only run to the fridge or pantry! 😂 NO marathons for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. I don’t blame you. I don’t think I could walk 26.2 miles let alone run. 😊

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  24. I can’t believe the first woman completed less than 50 years ago, John. That is astonishing. A great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? Seems almost impossible. Thanks, Robbie.

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  25. Any Massachusetts resident will love this. Well, any right minded person will, too. Tiny always cracks me up. Remedial math- that was funny. And shouting ‘alien’ at the runner wearing Lululemon gear. Really good, John. Your history detail is the added bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Wasn’t there a woman named Rosie something who tried to enter the race after the midway point s she could win?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rosie Ruiz, snuck on in 1980. She was disqualified

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rosie never owned up to her cheating. She went to her death denying she cheated.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’n sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

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  27. You come up with the most amazing facts in these things.
    The whole costume tidbit was great.
    Do you have to do great research for these top tens?

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Emily Gmitter · ·

    Excellent post, fun and fact-filled! Thanks, John, and thanks to Andrew Joyce for passing this link on to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is such a nice guy to do that. It is great to have you visit and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 😁 I do a simular treatment of an historical even each Monday.

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