BOSTON, Mass. The Boston Athletic Association, in cooperation with the eight cities and towns along the Boston Marathon course, today announces that the 111th Boston Marathon, on Monday, April 16, 2007, will begin at 10 a.m.
�"An earlier starting time will benefit the 22,500 runners who compete in the marathon due to the cooler temperatures, while allowing all of the communities, and the City of Boston in particular, to re-open roads to traffic earlier in the day," said Guy Morse, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, organizer of the Boston Marathon. �"Also, due to the efficiency of the 'Wave Start' program which we implemented for the first time in 2006, the majority of runners will not be transported from Boston to Hopkinton much earlier than in past years."
The B.A.A. has been discussing this concept with officials of each of the cities and towns since last year and has now received support from representatives of each, as well as those from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Mobility Impaired Program, Wheelchair and Elite Women's divisions will continue to start earlier. The race will also continue to utilize a two-wave start, with the first wave beginning at 10 a.m.
The legendary Boston Marathon course follows a point-to-point route from rural Hopkinton into Ashland, then Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and, finally, Boston. The inaugural Boston Marathon, held in 1897, began at 12:19 p.m., and the race traditionally began at noon in the 109 races that followed.
Tentative, working timeline for the start of the 2007 Boston Marathon:
Wheelchair Division (approximately 50 athletes) Start Time: TBD
Elite Women (approximately 80 athletes) Start Time: TBD
Wave One (approximately 10,000 athletes) Start Time: 10:00 a.m.
Wave Two (approximately 12,500 athletes) Start Time: 10:30 a.m.
Earlier start for the Boston Marathon®
�"A start which is two hours earlier than past years doesn't necessarily mean we are requesting from each city and town along the course that the roads shut down two hours earlier in all cases," said Race Director Dave McGillivray. �"The B.A.A. is working closely with each individual city and town to determine the exact road closure and re-opening times based on the new starting schedule."
�"In a positive change for the communities through which the course runs, an earlier start means that the roads will re-open much earlier than in recent years," said McGillivray. �"We are simply shifting the times that the course is closed then re-opened. And, for some towns, the total time of the road closures likely will be a bit less than in the past."
Below is a proposed road closure and re-opening schedule for the towns along the Boston Marathon course:
2006 PROGRAM CLOSE–OPEN: 8:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m.
2007 PROPOSED (NEW) CLOSE–OPEN: 7:30 a.m. Noon
2006 PROGRAM CLOSE–OPEN: 8:30 a.m. 1:50 p.m.
2007 PROPOSED (NEW) CLOSE–OPEN: 7:30 a.m. 12:15 p.m.
2006 PROGRAM CLOSE–OPEN: 10:45 a.m. 2:35 p.m.
2007 PROPOSED (NEW) CLOSE–OPEN: 9:00 a.m. 12:35 p.m.
2006 PROGRAM CLOSE–OPEN: 10:45 a.m. 3:35 p.m.
2007 PROPOSED (NEW) CLOSE–OPEN: 9:00 a.m. 1:35 p.m.
2006 PROGRAM CLOSE–OPEN: 10:45 a.m. 4:05 p.m.
2007 PROPOSED (NEW) CLOSE–OPEN: 9:00 a.m. 2:15 p.m.
2006 PROGRAM CLOSE–OPEN: 11:45 a.m. 4:05 p.m.
2007 PROPOSED (NEW) CLOSE–OPEN: 9:45 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
2006 PROGRAM CLOSE–OPEN: 11:45 a.m. 5:05 p.m.
2007 PROPOSED (NEW) CLOSE–OPEN: 9:45 a.m. 3:30 p.m.
2006 PROGRAM CLOSE–OPEN: Variable 8:00 p.m.
2007 PROPOSED (NEW) CLOSE–OPEN: 9:45 a.m. 4:45 p.m.
In addition to runners enjoying cooler temperatures and an earlier re-opening of roads to vehicular traffic, several other reasons factored into the B.A.A.'s decision to break from its traditional Noon starting time:
-The overwhelming majority of runners prefer to start earlier than Noon. Recreational and elite runners alike are accustomed and tuned to racing marathons in the morning.
-The event's medical constituency unanimously concurs with an earlier start time.
Police, fire and medical representatives of all eight cities and towns along the route have responded positively to the concept of the earlier start.
-International media deadlines will be more easily met, which will allow for expanded coverage.
-Registration for the 2007 Boston Marathon will open at www.baa.org on September 6, 2006. A field size of 22,500 official entrants is expected.