Tag Archives: Cerebral Palsy

New England Disabled Sports: Winter Activities

About New England Disabled Sports
New England DisAbled Sports is a national recognized program which provides year round adaptive sport instruction to adults and children with physical and cognitive disAbilities.

Their programs allow individuals with disabilities to enjoy a boundary-free environment, enjoy outdoor recreation with friends and family, as well as provide access to equipment and instruction that might otherwise be unavailable.

Their Mission:
The Mission of New England Disabled Sports is, through sports, to change lives affected by disabilities. Download New England Disabled Sports brochure

Their Vision:
They envision a world where disabilities are not barriers.

Their Values:

  • They embrace volunteerism
  • They foster community
  • They strive for excellence
  • They listen to and learn from everyone
  • They nurture personal development through high-quality training and instruction
  • They strive for diversity

Winter Activities

Alpine Skiing

Mono skiing
The mono ski is a device used mainly by people with limited use (or absence) of the lower extremities. A mono ski, also known as a sit-ski, consists of a molded seat mounted on a metal frame. A shock absorber beneath the seat eases riding on uneven terrain and helps in turning by maximizing ski-snow contact. Modern mono skis interface with a single, ordinary alpine ski by means of a “ski foot,” a metal or plastic block in the shape of a boot sole that clicks into the ski’s binding. A mono skier use outriggers for stability; an outrigger resembles a forearm crutch with a short ski on the bottom. People new to mono-skiing are often surprised to see how much terrain is skiable in a mono ski; advanced mono skiers can be found not only carving turns on groomed runs but also skiing moguls, terrain parks, race courses, glades and even backcountry terrain—in short, wherever stand-up skiers can go.

Bi-skiing
A bi-ski is a sit ski with a can be skied independently like the mono-ski with hand-held outriggers, or can be skied with the assistance of an instructor using stabilizing outriggers and tethers. The skier moves his or her head, shoulders or hand-held outriggers to turn the bi-ski. The bi-ski has a lift mechanism for getting onto a chairlift. It can also be used to accustom a new sit-skier to the snow before moving to a mono-ski. Bi-skis are used by people with upper and lower limb impairments and with poor balance. People with these impairments might bi-ski:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Amputees
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Spinal bifida
  • Severe balance impairment

Outriggers are metal elbow crutches with the tip section of a ski pivoted on the bottom of the crutch. Some outriggers have adjustable brakes attached to the back edge of the ski to give some speed control. Outriggers are used to aid balance and/or to give support. Outriggers are used by mono-skiers, bi-skiers and standing skiers needing aid with balance.

3-Track & 4-Track skiing
3 track skiing is defined as skiing on one ski with outriggers to maintain balance. The student is able to stand on one ski and maintain dynamic balance with the assistance of outriggers (poles). 4 track skiing is very similar to 3 track but the skier has 2 feet on skies, rather than one.

Visually Impaired
Alpine (downhill) skiing is one of the rare opportunities available that allows the blind individual to move freely at speed through time and space. It provides the opportunity to embrace and commune with the primal force of gravity, thus experiencing the sheer exhilaration of controlled mass in motion, in a physically independent setting.

For those with Visual Impairment, a sighted Guide is needed. For lesser impairment the guide may simply need to ski a short distance in front of the skier to show the way. Skiers with greater vision loss or who are totally blind will generally ski using a headset arrangement to give audible instruction.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding has become very popular with New England DisAbled Sports students. People with cognitive or physical disAbilities are able to participate and experience the thrills of riding the mountain. The number of snowboarding lessons increases each year as the sport grows in popularity within our community. New England DisAbled Sports offers ski and snowboard lessons daily throughout the winter season.

Snowshoeing
Come explore the snow trails and fresh air of the mountains covered in snow while snowshoeing. Enjoy a winter hike in the woods from the more stable base of snowshoes. Take in peaceful scenery while working to improve your physical fitness level, balance and spatial awareness. You’ll love it!

Winter Biathlon
A seemingly unlikely combination of events – one is an aerobic activity (skiing or running) which requires strength, speed and endurance; the other is a passive activity (shooting) which requires concentration and a steady hand (difficult after you’ve been skiing, running or walking all out!).

Adaptive Golf

Whether you want to learn the game or hone your skills, there is a golf program for everyone! Many solutions exist for whatever stops you from enjoying the game of golf, from carts to clubs to accessories and specialty devices.

  • Adaptive golf carts now have swivel and extending seats and armrests to play while seated as well as elevating lifts that allow paraplegics and others with limited leg strength to play from a standing position.
  • Adaptive golf clubs can have special grips for those with missing fingers, deformed hands, osteoarthritis or loss of strength. Some are specialized for seated or standing golfers. Some club shafts are bent for seated individuals.
  • Gloves and grip aids include prosthetic golf grip devices, elastic gripping devices and more.
  • Accessories include tee setters and ball retrieval systems to reduce bending. One device even stabilizes your balance.

Search for a golf program for those with disabilities in your area to get tailored instruction from golf instructors certified to teach. For more information, check out national associations like the National Alliance for Accessible Golf, the Disabled Sports USA, and/or the United States Golf Assoc.

The Adaptive Golf Foundation of America has scrambles, classics, opens, championships and tournaments across the country throughout the year.

March Is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

President Ronald Reagan declared March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in 1987, urging “all Americans to join me in according to our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.”

What is a Developmental Disability?

Definition of Developmental Disability
Developmental Disability means a disability that is manifested before the person reaches twenty-two (22) years of age, which constitutes a substantial disability to the affected individual, and is attributable to mental retardation or related conditions which include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism or other neurological conditions when such conditions result in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation. Unless otherwise specifically stated, the federal definition of “Developmental Disability” found in 42 U.S.C. 6000, et seq., shall not apply.

  • A. Impairment of general intellectual functioning means that the person has been determined to have an intellectual quotient equivalent which is two or more standard deviations below the mean (70 or less assuming a scale with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15), as measured by an instrument which is standardized, appropriate to the nature of the person’s disability, and administered by a qualified professional. The standard error of measurement of the instrument should be considered when determining the intellectual quotient equivalent. When an individual’s general intellectual functioning cannot be measured by a standardized instrument, then the assessment of a qualified professional shall be used.
  • B. “Adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation” means that the person has overall adaptive behavior which is two or more standard deviations below the mean in two or more skill areas (communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure, and work), as measured by an instrument which is standardized, appropriate to the person’s living environment, and administered and clinically determined by a qualified professional. These adaptive behavior limitations are a direct result of, or are significantly influenced by, the person’s substantial intellectual deficits and may not be attributable to only a physical or sensory impairment or mental illness.

“Substantial intellectual deficits” means an intellectual quotient that is between 71 and 75 assuming a scale with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, as measured by an instrument which is standardized, appropriate to the nature of the person’s disability, and administered by a qualified professional. The standard error of measurement of the instrument should be considered when determining the intellectual quotient equivalent.

 

Definition of Developmental Delay
A developmental delay is the slowed or impaired development of a child who is under 5 years old and who is at risk of having a developmental disability because of the presence of one or more of the following:

  • Congenital syndromes and conditions associated with delay in development,
  • Metabolic disorders,
  • Prenatal and perinatal infections and significant medical problems,
  • Low birth weight infants weighing less than 1200 grams,
  • Postnatal acquired problems known to result in significant developmental delays, OR:
  • A child less than 5 years old who is delayed in development by 1.5 standard deviations or more in one or more of the following areas; communication, self-help, social-emotional, motor skills, sensory development or cognition, OR
  • A child less than 3 years of age who lives with one or both parents who have a developmental disability.

New England DisAbled Sports: Winter Activities

New Englands Disabled Sports- Winter Activities

About New England DisAbled Sports
New England DisAbled Sports is a national recognized program which provides year round adaptive sport instruction to adults and children with physical and cognitive disAbilities.

Their programs allow individuals with disAbilities to enjoy a boundary-free environment, enjoy outdoor recreation with friends and family, as well as provide access to equipment and instruction that might otherwise be unavailable.

Their Mission:
The Mission of New England DisAbled Sports is, through sports, to change lives affected by disAbilities. Download New England DisAbled Sports brochure

Their Vision:
They envision a world where disAbilities are not barriers.

Their Values:

  • They embrace volunteerism
  • They foster community
  • They strive for excellence
  • They listen to and learn from everyone
  • They nurture personal development through high-quality training and instruction
  • They strive for diversity

Winter Activities

Alpine Skiing

Mono skiing
The mono ski is a device used mainly by people with limited use (or absence) of the lower extremities. A mono ski, also known as a sit-ski, consists of a molded seat mounted on a metal frame. A shock absorber beneath the seat eases riding on uneven terrain and helps in turning by maximizing ski-snow contact. Modern mono skis interface with a single, ordinary alpine ski by means of a “ski foot,” a metal or plastic block in the shape of a boot sole that clicks into the ski’s binding. A mono skier use outriggers for stability; an outrigger resembles a forearm crutch with a short ski on the bottom. People new to mono-skiing are often surprised to see how much terrain is skiable in a mono ski; advanced mono skiers can be found not only carving turns on groomed runs but also skiing moguls, terrain parks, race courses, glades and even backcountry terrain—in short, wherever stand-up skiers can go.

Bi-skiing
A bi-ski is a sit ski with a can be skied independently like the mono-ski with hand-held outriggers, or can be skied with the assistance of an instructor using stabilizing outriggers and tethers. The skier moves his or her head, shoulders or hand-held outriggers to turn the bi-ski. The bi-ski has a lift mechanism for getting onto a chairlift. It can also be used to accustom a new sit-skier to the snow before moving to a mono-ski. Bi-skis are used by people with upper and lower limb impairments and with poor balance. People with these impairments might bi-ski:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Amputees
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Spinal bifida
  • Severe balance impairment

Outriggers are metal elbow crutches with the tip section of a ski pivoted on the bottom of the crutch. Some outriggers have adjustable brakes attached to the back edge of the ski to give some speed control. Outriggers are used to aid balance and/or to give support. Outriggers are used by mono-skiers, bi-skiers and standing skiers needing aid with balance.

3-Track & 4-Track skiing
3 track skiing is defined as skiing on one ski with outriggers to maintain balance. The student is able to stand on one ski and maintain dynamic balance with the assistance of outriggers (poles). 4 track skiing is very similar to 3 track but the skier has 2 feet on skies, rather than one.

Visually Impaired
Alpine (downhill) skiing is one of the rare opportunities available that allows the blind individual to move freely at speed through time and space. It provides the opportunity to embrace and commune with the primal force of gravity, thus experiencing the sheer exhilaration of controlled mass in motion, in a physically independent setting.

For those with Visual Impairment, a sighted Guide is needed. For lesser impairment the guide may simply need to ski a short distance in front of the skier to show the way. Skiers with greater vision loss or who are totally blind will generally ski using a headset arrangement to give audible instruction.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding has become very popular with New England DisAbled Sports students. People with cognitive or physical disAbilities are able to participate and experience the thrills of riding the mountain. The number of snowboarding lessons increases each year as the sport grows in popularity within our community. New England DisAbled Sports offers ski and snowboard lessons daily throughout the winter season.

Snowshoeing
Come explore the snow trails and fresh air of the mountains covered in snow while snowshoeing. Enjoy a winter hike in the woods from the more stable base of snowshoes. Take in peaceful scenery while working to improve your physical fitness level, balance and spatial awareness. You’ll love it!

Winter Biathlon
A seemingly unlikely combination of events – one is an aerobic activity (skiing or running) which requires strength, speed and endurance; the other is a passive activity (shooting) which requires concentration and a steady hand (difficult after you’ve been skiing, running or walking all out!).

 

How One Toys ‘R’ Us Trip Brought Mobility to Hundreds of Disabled Kids

These $200 alternatives to power wheelchairs are helping physically impaired kids get moving.

Cole Galloway’s workspace at the University of Delaware resembles a ransacked toy store. There are piles of plastic tubing, swim noodles, stuffed animals, and battery-powered Jeep and Barbie cars everywhere. But Galloway, 48, is a physical therapy professor and infant behavior expert whose lab has a very clear mission: to provide mobility to children with cognitive or physical disabilities.

Galloway started his infant behavior lab to study how children learn to move their bodies. He was particularly interested in finding ways to close what he calls “an exploration gap” — the difference between typically developing children and those who suffer from mobility issues due to conditions like cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. In 2007 Sunil Agrawal, a professor of mechanical engineering at the university, approached Galloway in a conversation he says went something like this: I’ve got small robots. You’ve got small babies. I wonder if we can do something together.

The two professors started building power mobility robots that let disabled children explore their surroundings with greater confidence and independence. But due to the cost and heft of the parts, their early vehicles cost tens of thousands of dollars and weighed up to 150 pounds, making them inaccessible to the families who needed them the most. Galloway’s solution to those problems came to him during a visit to Toys ‘R’ Us, where he saw he could shift his vision of “babies driving robots” to the lower tech “babies driving race cars.” It was then that Go Baby Go was born.

Unlike electric wheelchairs, which are usually reserved by kids above age three, Galloway’s cars can be used in the critical early years of development. He estimates that so far Go Baby Go has retrofitted an estimated 100 toy cars, a small dent for the more than half a million American children under the age of five who have mobility problems. To spread his mission, Galloway has traveled across the country, posted YouTube videos and spoken with dozens of parents. He hopes that others can learn from his work and build cars of their own: “If you’re not going to drop what you’re doing and come work for us, at least contact us — we’ll send you everything we have.”

The Firefly Upsee

Stepping Out in the Upsee
The Firefly Upsee is a new device that helps children with disabilities walk with assistance from an adult. Though it didn’t hit the market until April 7, it was already creating a stir. Debby Elnatan was inspired to create the Upsee after watching her 5-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy, struggle with other walking devices. Now, for the first time, she can watch her little boy play soccer with his family.

A mother who invented a device to help her child walk is sharing her innovation on a grand scale — by putting her creation on the market.

Debby Elnatan said the strain of walking her son, Rotem, who has cerebral palsy, inspired her to design a harness that could enhance his mobility.

“Out of my pain and desperation came the idea for the Upsee and I’m delighted to see it come to fruition,” the Israeli mother said in a press release.

The nearly $500 device works somewhat on the principle of how parents often teach children to dance. But instead of young ones placing their feet on top of someone’s shoes, the Upsee places kids’ feet beside the grown-ups’ feet with specially designed sandals. The children stand facing forward and move as the grown-ups move.

ESPN, Ben Affleck To Honor father-son team Hoyt, Yes You Can

Team Hoyt

Actor Ben Affleck is set to present an award for perseverance to a father-son team who have competed together in more than 1,000 races despite the younger man’s severe disabilities.

Rick Hoyt, 51, has cerebral palsy and is unable to use his hands or legs. But with the help of a custom-made wheelchair steered by his father — Dick Hoyt, 73 — he’s blazed through finish lines at triathlons, marathons and other endurance events for over 30 years.

Now the duo, known as Team Hoyt, will be honored at the ESPYS, an awards show presented by ESPN highlighting the best in sports for the year. Affleck  a Boston, MA native  will present the Hoyts with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the event July 17, ESPN said.

The Hoyts had indicated that this year’s Boston Marathon would be their last. But after bombs exploded at the event when the men were just one mile shy of the finish line, they vowed to compete again next year. ESPN indicated that the Hoyts’ commitment to race again is testament to the pair’s “determination in the face of adversity.”

“Rick and I are grateful to be receiving this award,” said Dick Hoyt. “Our motto is ‘Yes You Can’ and we strive to always persevere even when others tell you that it cannot be done.”

Paralympic Sport Club Spotlight: Louisiana GUMBO

Gianni Toce, who competes in the T11 classification for visually impaired athletes with guide Matthew French and Lakeria Taylor (T11) warming-up at the 2012 National Junior Disability Championship.

Gianni Toce, who competes in the T11 classification for visually impaired athletes with guide Matthew French and Lakeria Taylor (T11) warming-up at the 2012 National Junior Disability Championship.

Biweekly, USParalympics.org will spotlight one of the Paralympic Sport Clubs making a difference in the Paralympic Movement. Created in 2007 by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, the community based Paralympic Sport Club program involves youth and adults with physical and visual disabilities in physical activity and sports in their community, regardless of skill level. The program currently has 183 active Paralympic Sport Clubs in 46 states and Washington, D.C. To find Paralympic Sport Clubs and other adaptive, disabled and Paralympic sport opportunities in your community, visit the Paralympic Resource Network.

When Mitchell Miles attended his first archery clinic, he watched as athletes shot with incredible precision. Awe-struck, the Dodson, La. native never thought he would be able to do the same.

“I can’t do that. I can’t do that,” Miles said.

Shooting can be difficult for anyone who has never tried it, and especially for someone like Miles who has barely any feeling throughout the right side of his body.

Yet, after watching a girl with one arm draw the bow with her teeth he thought, “Yes, I can do this.”

Three years later, the 19-year-old employs the same technique. His skills have even garnered the attention of national team coaches.

Before Miles discovered archery, he was competing in track and field events hosted by Louisiana GUMBO (Games Uniting Mind and Body), a program that provides athletic opportunities for children who have physical and visual disabilities.

For years, children with disabilities have been able to play sports through their schools, local recreation centers and community organizations. However, playing at a competitive level can be challenging when kids have to contend with able-bodied athletes. Oftentimes, the only other option is a sport program specifically for children who have intellectual disabilities or have a closely related developmental disability.

Therefore, athletes like Miles seem to be in a league of their own.

Seeing a need for adaptive sports competitions, former University of New Orleans professor Dr. Jo Ellen Cowden came up with the idea of Louisiana GUMBO in 1985. With support from Janice Fruge, an education consultant for the Louisiana Department of Education, and a grant from the LDOE, the program was soon developed and hosted its first GUMBO Classic track and field competition.

It was designed to level the playing field and provide a safe environment in which children, despite their physical disabilities, could be active and treated equally. After gaining interest throughout the state and the support of wheelchair sports consultants Sis Theuerkauf and Phil Carpenter, the program grew tremendously.

Since becoming the program’s coordinator 18 years ago, Pam Carey says that providing children with the same experiences as their able-bodied classmates, friends and siblings has always been the priority.

“Sometimes they are treated differently,” Carey said. “I am trying to change that.”

Many of the athletes have spina bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or visual impairment.

“They just walk differently or they get around differently, but they’re just regular kids.”

While they may utilize leg braces or wheelchairs or receive assistance from a sighted person, Carey says that “they’re athletes, not kids with disabilities.”

Carey serves as both the coordinator of Louisiana GUMBO and the executive director of Louisiana GUMBO Inc., the nonprofit organization that helps provide funding for disabled sport opportunities.

Over the years, Louisiana GUMBO has grown to encompass four regions throughout Louisiana and offers athletic competitions in addition to clinics and training for athletes, coaches and officials.

Children who are between the ages 5-18 and who have a physical or visual impairment are eligible to compete. Students who are between the ages of 19-22 may also participate as long as they are enrolled full-time in a public school special education program.

“It always has been important that we provide them with a program that is similar to what they do in school,” Carey said.

Every spring, Louisiana GUMBO holds four regional track and field meets. Kids must then qualify to go to the state competition in the fall.

While competitions are an integral part of the program, Carey says that their goal is to help the kids enhance their self-esteem and to become independent. Like all organized sports, they help teach kids essential life skills such as how to learn and abide by rules and how to set and accomplish goals.

“It’s important that kids learn how to win and how to lose. That is what life is about. It’s not just about winning.”

Miles knows all too well the benefits of playing sports. In addition to competing in archery and track & field, the Dodson, La. native plays basketball. He says that sports can be very empowering.

“You learn that you can do anything you want to do and be a great leader in life.”

At just three days old, the Dodson, La. native suffered a stroke. However, he doesn’t let the effects it had on his body hold him back.

This past track and field season, he set national records in the javelin, discus and shot put events. He will soon head to Chula Vista, Calif. to train with U.S. Paralympics coaches at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. In August, he will represent the U.S. at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports World Junior Games in Puerto Rico.

Miles says that he wants children to learn how important it is to have a positive attitude and to embrace the challenges in life. He says that an athlete’s physical state is irrelevant.

“I tell them to never give up. Never give up. Just work hard and dream big.”

He acknowledges that he would not have these opportunities had it not been for Carey’s guidance and Louisiana GUMBO Inc., which has been designated a Paralympic Sport Club by U.S. Paralympics.

Support from the Louisiana Elks Association, Families Helping Families at the Crossroads Louisiana, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, the LDOE and several dedicated community members, ensures that athletes can participate in events at no cost and have access to various resources.

The program is no longer funded by a grant, but is under a contract. Still, it remains a success and has been able to expand to include archery, boccia and powerlifting, in addition to track & field.

In the 28 years of Louisiana GUMBO’s existence, five athletes have gone on to compete in the Paralympic Games. Carey currently has a handful of athletes who are hoping to make the U.S. Paralympic Team and compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

In the meantime, she hopes to continue expanding the program, nurturing the skills of young athletes and introducing more kids to the powerful world of adaptive sports.

“I am a strong advocate of what they can do, not what they can’t do.”

Boston Marathon To Honor Man With Cerebral Palsy

Dick Hoyt has pushed a wheelchair carrying his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, across the finish line of nearly 1,100 races. Now they’re set to be honored at the famed Boston Marathon.

Since the 1980s, the father-son team has tackled hundreds of triathlons and 5K races in addition to 70 marathons and 94 half marathons. Never mind that Rick Hoyt, 51, is unable to use his arms or legs and relies on assistive technology to speak.

Dick Hoyt, 72, says he was not a runner when they started competing, but was inspired to race for his son who indicated that running made him feel like his disability disappeared.

This year alone the Hoyts plan to participate in about two-dozen races, including the Boston Marathon which they have competed in many times before. This time will be different, however, with a life-size bronze statue of the father and son set to be revealed at the starting line, reports TODAY

Boston Marathon

For the rowing event, see Boston Rowing Marathon.
Boston Marathon
Bostonmarathonlogo.jpg
The Boston Marathon logo
Date Third Monday of April
Location Eastern Massachusetts, ending in Boston
Event type Road
Distance Marathon
Established 1897
Course records Men: 2:03:02 (2011)
Geoffrey Mutai
Women: 2:20:43 (2002)
Margaret Okayo
Official site www.bostonmarathon.org

The Boston Marathon is an annual marathonhosted by several cities in Greater Boston in easternMassachusetts. It is always held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897, inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics,[1] the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events. It is one of six World Marathon Majors.

Since 1897, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has managed this event.[2] Amateur and professional runners from all over the world compete in the Boston Marathon each year, braving the hilly New England terrain and varying weather to take part in the race.

The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England’s most widely viewed sporting event.[3] Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts an average of about 20,000 registered participants each year, with 26,839 people entering in 2013.[4] The Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 established a record as the world’s largest marathon with 38,708 entrants, 36,748 starters, and 35,868 finishers.[3]

Contents

History[edit]

Boston Marathon Finish Line, 1910.

The Boston Marathon was first run in April 1897, inspired by the revival of the marathon for the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. It is the oldest continuously running marathon, and the second longest continuously running footrace, in North America, having debuted five months after the Buffalo Turkey Trot.[5]

On April 19, 1897, ten years after the establishment of the B.A.A., the association held the 24.5 mile (39.4 km] marathon to conclude its athletic competition, the B.A.A. Games.[2] The event was scheduled for the recently established holiday ofPatriots Day, with the race linking the Athenian and American struggles for liberty.[6] The race, which became known as the Boston Marathon, has been held every year since then, making it the world’s oldest annual marathon. In 1924, the starting line was moved from Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland toHopkinton Green and the course was lengthened to 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) to conform to the standard set by the 1908 Summer Olympics and codified by the IAAF in 1921.[7]

The Boston Marathon was originally a local event, but its fame and status have attracted runners from all over the world. For most of its history, the Boston Marathon was a free event, and the only prize awarded for winning the race was a wreath woven from olive branches.[8] However, corporate-sponsored cash prizes began to be awarded in the 1980s, when professional athletes began to refuse to run the race without cash awards. The first cash prize for winning the marathon was awarded in 1986.[9]

Walter A. Brown was the President of the Boston Athletic Association from 1941 to 1964.[10] In 1951, during the height of the Korean War, Brown denied Koreans entry into the Boston Marathon. He stated: “While American soldiers are fighting and dying in Korea, every Korean should be fighting to protect his country instead of training for marathons. As long as the war continues there, we positively will not accept Korean entries for our race on April 19.”[11]

Women were not allowed to enter the Boston Marathon officially until 1972. Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb is recognized as the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon (in 1966). In 1967,Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run with a race number. She finished, despite a famous incident in which race official Jock Semple tried to rip off her numbers and eject her from the race.[12] In 1996 the B.A.A. retroactively recognized as champions the unofficial women’s leaders of 1966 through 1971. In 2011, about 43 percent of the entrants were female.

2011 Boston Marathon[edit]

On Monday, April 18, 2011 Geoffrey Mutai ofKenya won the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:03:02.[13] In recognizing Mutai’s mark as the “fastest Marathon ever run”, the International Association of Athletics Federations noted that the performance was not eligible for world record status given that the course does not satisfy rules regarding elevation drop and start/finish separation (the latter requirement being intended to prevent advantages gained from a strong tailwind, as was the case in 2011).[14] The Associated Press reported that Mutai has the support of other runners who describe the IAAF’s rules as “flawed”.[15] According to the Boston Herald, race director Dave McGillivray said he was sending paperwork to the IAAF to have Mutai’s mark ratified as a world record.[13] The AP also indicated that the attempt to have the mark certified as a world record “would force the governing bodies to reject an unprecedented performance on the world’s most prestigious marathon course”.[15]

Race[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Boston Marathon
Qualifying Standards

(effective for 2013 race)
Age Men Women
18–34 3hrs 5min 3 hrs 35min
35–39 3hrs 10min 3 hrs 40min
40–44 3hrs 15min 3 hrs 45min
45–49 3hrs 25min 3 hrs 55min
50–54 3hrs 30min 4 hrs 0min
55–59 3hrs 40min 4 hrs 10min
60–64 3hrs 55min 4 hrs 25min
65–69 4hrs 10min 4 hrs 40min
70–74 4hrs 25min 4 hrs 55min
75–79 4hrs 40min 5 hrs 10min
80+ 4hrs 55min 5 hrs 25min

The Boston Marathon is open to runners 18 or older from any nation, but they must meet certain qualifying standards.[16] To qualify, a runner must first complete a standard marathoncourse certified by a national governing body affiliated with the International Association of Athletics Federationswithin a certain period of time before the date of the desired Boston Marathon (usually within approximately 18 months prior).

In the 1980s and 1990s, membership inUSA Track & Fieldwas required of all runners, but this requirement has been eliminated.

Qualifying standards for the 2013 race were tightened on February 15, 2011, by five minutes in each age-gender group for marathons run after September 23, 2011.[17] Prospective runners in the age range of 18–34 must run a time of no more than 3:05:00 (3 hours and 5 minutes) if male, or 3:35:00 (3 hours and 35 minutes) if female; the qualifying time is adjusted upward as age increases. In addition, the 59-second grace period on qualifying times has been completely eliminated; for example, a 40- to 44-year-old male will no longer qualify with a time of 3:15:01. For many marathoners to qualify for Boston (to “BQ”) is a goal and achievement in itself.[18][19]

An exception to the qualification times is for runners who receive entries from partners. About one-fifth of the marathon’s spots are reserved each year for charities, sponsors, vendors, licensees, consultants, municipal officials, local running clubs, and marketers. In 2010, about 5,470 additional runners received entries through partners, including 2,515 charity runners.[20] The marathon currently allocates spots to two dozen charities who in turn are expected to raise more than $10 million a year.[21]

On October 18, 2010, the 20,000 spots reserved for qualifiers were filled in a record-setting eight hours and three minutes.[22] The speed of registration prompted the B.A.A. to change its qualifying standards for the 2013 marathon onward.[17] In addition to lowering qualifying times, the change includes a rolling application process, which gives faster runners priority. Organizers decided not to significantly adjust the number of non-qualifiers.

Race day[edit]

The race has traditionally been held on Patriots’ Day,[23] a state holiday in Massachusetts, and until 1969 that was every April 19, whichever day of the week that fell on. Starting in 1969, the holiday was observed on the third Monday in April[24] and so the marathon date was correspondingly fixed to that Monday, often referred to by local residents as “Marathon Monday.”[25]

Starting times[edit]

Through 2005, the race began at noon (wheelchairrace at 11:25 am, and elite women at 11:31 am), at the official starting point in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Beginning with the 2006 event, the race has used a staggered “wave start,” where (in 2006) top seeded runners (the elite men’s group) and a first batch of up to 10,000 runners started at noon, with a second group starting at 12:30. Beginning in 2007 the starting times for the race were moved up, allowing runners to take advantage of cooler temperatures and enabling the roads to be reopened earlier. The marathon later added a third wave to help further stagger the runners and reduce congestion.[26][27][28]

As of 2013, the starting times are:

  • 9:00 a.m.: Mobility Impaired Program
  • 9:17 a.m.: Push Rim Wheelchair Division
  • 9:22 a.m.: Handcycle Participants
  • 9:32 a.m.: Elite Women
  • 10:00 a.m.: Elite Men and Wave One
  • 10:20 a.m.: Wave Two
  • 10:40 a.m.: Wave Three[29]

Course[edit]

Course map

The course runs through 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) of winding roads, following Route 135Route 16Route 30and city streets into the center of Boston, where the official finish line is located at Copley Square, alongside the Boston Public Library. The race runs through eight Massachusetts cities and towns:HopkintonAshlandFraminghamNatick,WellesleyNewtonBrookline, and Boston.[30]

Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot in the 2006 Boston Marathon, where he set a new course record.

The Boston Marathon is considered to be one of the more difficult marathon courses because of the Newton hills, which culminate inHeartbreak Hillnear Boston College.[31] While the three hills on Commonwealth Avenue (Route 30) are better known, a preceding hill on Washington Street (Route 16), climbing from theCharles River crossing at 16 miles (26 km), is regarded by Dave McGillivray, the long-term race director, as the course’s most difficult challenge.[32][33] This hill, which follows a 150-foot (46 m) drop in a half-mile stretch, forces many lesser-trained runners to a walking pace.

Heartbreak Hill[edit]

Heartbreak Hill is an ascent over 0.4-mile (600 m) between the 20 and 21-mile (32 and 34 km) marks, near Boston College. It is the last of four “Newtonhills”, which begin at the 16-mile (26 km) mark and challenge contestants with late (if modest) climbs after the course’s general downhill trend to that point. Though Heartbreak Hill itself rises only 88 feet (27 m) vertically (from an elevation of 148 feet (45 m) to 236 feet (72 m)),[34] it comes in the portion of a marathon distance where muscle glycogen stores are most likely to be depleted—a phenomenon referred to by marathoners as “hitting the wall.”

It was on this hill that, in 1936, defending championJohn A. “Johnny” Kelley overtook Ellison “Tarzan” Brown, giving him a consolatory pat on the shoulder as he passed. This gesture renewed the competitive drive in Brown, who rallied, pulled ahead of Kelley, and went on to win—thereby, it was said, breaking Kelley’s heart.[35][36]

Records[edit]

Participants in the 2010 Boston Marathon in Wellesley, just after the halfway mark

Because the course drops 459 feet (140 m) from start to finish[37] and the start is quite far west of the finish, allowing a helpful tailwind, the Boston Marathon does not satisfy two of the criteria necessary for the ratification of world[38] or American records.[39]

On April 18, 2011, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya ran the fastest marathon ever in a time of 2 hours 3 minutes 2 seconds at the 2011 Boston Marathon.[40][41]Margaret Okayo, also from Kenya, set the women’s course record with a 2:20:43 performance in 2002.[42]

Other course records include:

  • Men’s Masters: John Campbell (New Zealand), 2:11:04 (set in 1990)
  • Women’s Masters: Mary Hannah (United States), 2:27:58 (set in 2012)
  • Men’s Push Rim Wheelchair: Joshua Cassidy (Canada), 1:18:25 (set in 2012)
  • Women’s Push Rim Wheelchair: Jean Driscoll (United States), 1:34:22 (set in 1994)[42]

On only four occasions have world record times for marathon running been set in Boston.[citation needed] In 1947, the men’s record time set was 2:25:39, by Suh Yun-Bok of South Korea. In 1975, a women’s world record of 2:42:24 was set by Liane Winter of West Germany, and in 1983, Joan Benoit Samuelson of the United States ran a women’s world record time of 2:22:43. In 2012 Joshua Cassidy of Canada set a men’s wheelchair marathon world-record time of 1:18:25.

The race’s organizers keep a standard time clock for all entries, though official timekeeping ceases after the six-hour mark.

Spectators[edit]

With approximately 500,000 spectators, the Boston Marathon is New England‘s most widely viewed sporting event.[3] About 1,000 media members from more than 100 outlets received media credentials in 2011.[43]

For the entire distance of the race, thousands line the sides of the course to cheer the runners on, encourage them, and provide free water and snacks to any of the runners. The crowds are even more encouraging for the amateur runners and first time runners.

It is a tradition that at Mile 21 Boston College students drink to the accomplishments of the runners and enthusiastically cheer them on.[44]

Every year, the Boston Red Sox play a home game at Fenway Park, starting at 11:05 am. When the game ends, the crowd empties into Kenmore Squareto cheer as the runners enter the final mile. This tradition started in 1903.[45] In the 1940s, theAmerican League and National League teams in the city would alternate yearly as to which would play the morning game. (Boston had teams in both leagues from 1903 to 1952.) In 2007, the game between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was delayed until 12:18 pm due to heavy rain. The marathon, which had previously been run in a wide variety of weather conditions, was not delayed.[46]

Scream Tunnel[edit]

At Wellesley College, it is traditional for the students to cheer on the runners in what is referred to as the Scream Tunnel.[47][48] For about a quarter of a mile (400 m), students line the course, scream, and offer kisses. The Scream Tunnel is so loud it can be heard from a mile away. The tunnel is roughly half a mile (0.8 km) prior to the halfway mark of the course.[49][50]

The B.A.A.[edit]

The Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit, organized sports association that organizes the Boston Marathon and other events.[51][52][53]

Divisions[edit]

The Boston Marathon has a proud tradition of extending the challenge of the marathon to people with disabilities. In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition.[54] Bob Hall wrote race director Will Cloney to ask if he could compete in the race in his wheelchair. Cloney wrote back that he could not give Hall a race number, but would recognize Hall as an official finisher if he completed the race in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. Hall finished in 2 hours and 58 minutes, paving the way for the wheelchair division.[55]

In addition to the push rim wheelchair division, the Boston Marathon also hosts a blind/visually impaired division and a mobility impaired program. Similar to the running divisions, a set of realistic qualifying times has been developed for these divisions to motivate aspiring athletes and ensure competitive excellence. In 1986, the introduction of prize money at the Boston Marathon gave the push rim wheelchair division the richest prize purse in the sport. More than 1,000 people with disabilities and impairments have participated in the wheelchair division, while the other divisions have gained popularity each year.[56] In 2013, 40 blind runners participated.[57]

Memorial[edit]

The Boston Marathon Memorial in Copley Square, not far from the finish line, was installed to mark the one-hundredth running of the race. A circle of granite blocks set in the ground surrounds a central medallion that traces the race course and other segments that show an elevation map of the course and the names of the winners.[58]

Notable events[edit]

Dick and Rick Hoyt[edit]

One of the most recognized duos each year at the Boston Marathon, expressly awaited by hordes of spectators, is Dick and Rick Hoyt.[59] Dick is the father of Rick, who has cerebral palsy. While doctors said he would never have a normal life and thought that institutionalizing Rick was the best option, Dick and his wife disagreed and raised him as an ordinary child. Eventually a computer device was developed that helped Rick communicate with his family, and they learned that one of his biggest passions was sports. “Team Hoyt” (Dick and Rick) started competing in charity runs, with Dick pushing Rick in a wheelchair. Dick and Rick have competed in 66 marathons and 229 triathlons (as of August 2008). Their top marathon finish was 2:40:47. The team completed their 30th Boston Marathon in 2012, when Dick was 72 and Rick was 50.[60]

Rosie Ruiz scandal[edit]

Scandal came to the Boston Marathon in 1980 when amateur runner Rosie Ruiz came from out of nowhere to win the women’s race. Marathon officials became suspicious when it was found Ruiz did not appear in race videotapes until near the end of the race. A subsequent investigation concluded that Ruiz had skipped most of the race and blended into the crowd about one mile (1.6 km) from the finish line, where she then ran to her apparent victory. Ruiz was officially disqualified, and the winner was proclaimed to be Canadian Jacqueline Gareau.[61][62]

2013 bombing[edit]

During the 2013 Boston Marathon, at 2:50 p.m. EDT, nearly three hours after the winners crossed the finish line, two explosions occurred about 200 yards (180 m) apart on Boylston Street, in approximately the last 225 yards (205 m) of the course. The race was halted, preventing many from finishing.[63][64] Three spectators were killed and more than 200 people were injured.[65][66]

Deaths[edit]

In 1996, a 62-year-old Swedish man died of a heart attack during the 100th anniversary event.[67] In 2002, Cynthia Lucero, 28, died of hyponatremia.[68]

Popular culture[edit]

A 2004 Canadian-produced feature film, Saint Ralph, is the fictional story of a fourteen year-old Ontario, Canada parochial schoolboy who runs and almost wins the 1954 Boston Marathon in order to commit a miracle to wake his mother from a coma.[69]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “The First Boston Marathon”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  2. a b “Boston Athletic Association: Established March 15, 1887”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  3. a b c “Boston Marathon History: Boston Marathon Facts”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  4. ^ “2013 Boston Marathon Statistics”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  5. ^ Graham, Tim (November 24, 2011).“Pollow takes third consecutive Turkey Trot amid the goofballs”. The Buffalo News. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  6. ^ “The History of the Boston Marathon: A Perfect Way to Celebrate Patriot’s Day”. The Atlantic. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  7. ^ “Timeline of Events”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  8. ^ “Q&A: The Boston Marathon”. Wasabi Media Group. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  9. ^ “De Castella and Kristiansen Win First Cash Prize”. NY Times Co. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  10. ^ Pave, Marvin (April 17, 2008). “Legacy on the line”. The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  11. ^ “Sport: Banned in Boston”. Time. February 12, 1951. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  12. ^ “NPR: Marathon Women”. NPR. April 15, 2002. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  13. a b Connolly, John (April 20, 2011). “BAA on record: Geoffrey Mutai’s No. 1”Boston Herald. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  14. ^ Monti, David (April 18, 2011). “Strong winds and ideal conditions propel Mutai to fastest Marathon ever – Boston Marathon report”iaaf.org. International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  15. a b Golen, Jimmy (April 19, 2011). “Boston wants Mutai’s 2:03:02 to be world record”.The Boston Globe. AP. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  16. ^ “Participant Information: Qualifying”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  17. a b “New Qualifying Times in Effect for 2013 Boston Marathon.”. Boston Athletic Association. February 16, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  18. ^ Burfoot, Amby (April 6, 2009). “All in the Timing”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  19. ^ Mannes, George (March 29, 2011). “B.Q. or Die”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  20. ^ Hohler, Bob; Springer, Shira (February 17, 2011). “Marathon qualifying is revised”.The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
  21. ^ “Boston Marathon Official Charity Program”. BAA. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  22. ^ Shira Springer (October 19, 2010).“Online, sprinters win race: Marathon fills its field in a record 8 hours”. NY Times Co. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  23. ^ “The Boston Marathon Is Held on Patriots’ Day, Which Has Become an Unofficial Anti-Government Day of Action”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  24. ^ “Patriot’s Day in United States”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  25. ^ Hansen, Amy (April 15, 2013). “Potter Twp. native recalls Marathon Monday”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  26. ^ “Boston Marathon Set to Begin Two Hours Earlier”. VisitingNewEngland.com. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  27. ^ “Time lapse video of 2008 marathon start”The New York Times. March 1, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  28. ^ “New Start Structure for the 2011 Boston Marathon.”. March 7, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  29. ^ “Race Day Schedule”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  30. ^ “Event Information: Spectator Information”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  31. ^ Bakken, Marius. “Boston Marathon: Pros and Cons”. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  32. ^ Connelly, Michael (1998). 26 Miles to Boston. Parnassus Imprints. pp. 105–06.
  33. ^ “Boston Course Tips”. Rodale Inc. March 14, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  34. ^ Boston Marathon Official Program, April 2005, p.68
  35. ^ Michael Vega (October 7, 2004). “At Heartbreak Hill, a salute to a marathoner for the ages”. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  36. ^ “Recalling The Most Memorable Boston Moments”. Competitor Group, Inc. April 13, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  37. ^ Golen, Jimmy (April 19, 2011). “Boston wants Mutai’s 2:03:02 to be world record”.The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  38. ^ Malone, Scott; Krasny, Ros (April 18, 2011). “Mutai runs fastest marathon ever at Boston”. Reuters. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  39. ^ “USATF Rule 265(5)”. USATF. p. 9. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  40. ^ Connolly, John (April 19, 2011). “Geoffrey Mutai in a hurry to set new marathon marks”Boston Herald. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  41. ^ May, Peter (April 18, 2011). “Kenya’s Mutai Wins Boston in 2:03:02”The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  42. a b “Boston Marathon course records”.Boston Globe marathon site. April 18, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
  43. ^ “Driven to Repeat”. Boston Herald. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
  44. ^ “BC’s ‘Mile 21’ at Its Starting Line for Monday”. April 14, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  45. ^ “Move Over Marathon: Red Sox Share the Tradition of Patriots’ Day”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  46. ^ “Patriots’ Day Weather”. April 20, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  47. ^ Pave, Marvin (April 22, 2003).“Resounding Wellesley message: voices carry”Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  48. ^ “Runner’s World Slideshow: 2008 Boston Marathon”. Runnersworld.com. 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
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  50. ^ “Support, kisses at marathon’s Scream Tunnel”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  51. ^ “About Boston Athletic Association”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  52. ^ “B.A.A. History”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  53. ^ Hanc, John (2012). The B.A.A. at 125: The Official History of the Boston Athletic Association, 1887-2012. Sports Publishing. ISBN 978-1613211984.
  54. ^ “Facts at a Glance”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  55. ^ Savicki, Mike. “Wheelchair Racing in the Boston Marathon”. Disaboom. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  56. ^ “Paving the way for disabled athletes since 1975”. Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  57. ^ “Running blind: 40 sightless runners competing in Boston marathon”. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  58. ^ “100 Public Artworks”Boston Marathon Memorial. Boston Art Commission. p. 3. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  59. ^ Bousquet, Josh (April 15, 2012). “Dick and Rick Hoyt are Boston Marathon fixtures”.Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  60. ^ “Dick And Rick Hoyt Complete 30th Boston Marathon”. April 16, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  61. ^ Boston Athletic Association (2011).“Boston Marathon History: 1976–1980”.baa.org. Boston: Boston Athletic Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  62. ^ “Boston disqualifies Rosie Ruiz”Boca Raton News. April 30, 1980. p. 3C. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  63. ^ “Explosions rock Boston Marathon, several injured”. CNN. April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  64. ^ Golen, Jimmy (15 April 2013). “Two explosions at Boston marathon finish line”.AP Newswire. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  65. ^ McConville, Christine (April 23, 2013).“Marathon injury toll jumps to 260”.Boston Herald. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  66. ^ “Injury toll from Marathon bombings rises”. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  67. ^ “Boston Marathon Appears to Have a Lower Heart-Attack Death Rate Than Other Marathons”. Runners World. April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  68. ^ “Fluid Cited in Marathoner’s Death”. Associated Press. August 13, 2002. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  69. ^ “If God Wears a Santa Suit, Will This Be a Tear-Jerker?”. August 5, 2005. Retrieved April 16, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • History of the Boston Marathon, Boston Marathon: The First Century of the World’s Premier Running Event, by Tom Derderian, Human Kinetics Publishers, 1996, 634 pages,ISBN 0-88011-479-7

External links[edit]

General reference[edit]

Photo and video stories[edit]

IAAF World Championships Marathon •World Marathon Cup • Olympic Games Marathon
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