Saturday, March 15, 2014

We ALL Are BostonStrong!

Last year I made inquiries without success as to why the Mobility Impaired Start was not listed on the website on Marathon Monday. I never received any response on either Facebook or Twitter. I couldn't understand why this was happening, why the disabled seemed on one hand be embraced by the race but on the other ignored.

As the 2014 race approached I again made some requests that the Mobility Impaired start be listed on Marathon Monday. Still silence. Todd Civin saw my requests and took it up with the BAA. Todd, who wrote "One Letter At A Time" along with Dick and Rick Hoyt, is a sincere and dedicated friend to the disabled. He is the Senior Acquisitions Editor / Sales Manager at Mascot Books and Owner / CEO at Civin Media Relations.

Turns out the BAA considered that start time only for mobility impaired (MI) runners with expected finish times of 6-8 hours and other, faster MIs would get confused thinking they would start at nine too. I didn't really get that since it is clear in our mailings and registration that MI athletes with slower times start early and other go into corrals with faster times.

To clarify, the MI athletes have a category but it is not an awards division race at Boston. Times are listed fastest to slowest but there are no trophies or any special recognition. I think this is a good idea, because disabilities vary so much, and coupled with age groups, there is no easy way to provide fair and competitive groupings. Still, I feel someone like Jason Pisano should get special recognition for his Boston accomplishments, which transcends what any age group winner could muster as well as most elites.

Given what happened last year I did not feel comfortable pressing this issue home when Todd do not receive a positive response. And then on March 10 when I checked the website there it was, The Mobility Impaired Start of the 118th Boston Marathon. I am sure my jaw dropped and I as I excitedly posted the news to Todd and the world.

So there it is, one small step for...the 118th running of the Boston Marathon for the Mobility Impaired runners. Just then I thought it would never more small (inclusive) miracle.

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