The Boston Marathon is one of my favorite races.

I ran the race in 1986, running a 3:22 there after going out madly at 2:40. I learned to respect Boston and covered it ever since. I had attended 35 Boston Marathons up until 2018, when I had to watch them remotely after heart surgery. 

Here are five deep thoughts on the 128th Boston Marathon, a fantastic race on many levels. 

I thank Chris Lotsbom, Communications Director Kevin Morris, our photographer, Carolyn Mather, Justin Lagat, and Race Results Weekly for their support in covering the 128th version of the world’s most famous marathon. 

Also, well done, Jack Fleming, for bringing in Bank of America as the presenting sponsor. 

Five Deep Thoughts on the 2024 Boston Marathon

1. A new era has begun with the Bank of America replacing John Hancock Financial Services as presenting sponsor of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon. Under the thoughtful eye of David D’Allesandro, John Hancock took the presenting title in 1986, and the owner of John Hancock kept the sponsorship until last year, 2023. Bank of America, which sponsors the Bank of America Chicago and Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America, had a very successful first year. This link is all about Bank of America’s charity program for Boston: https://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/charity-program

Marcel Hug wins his 7th Boston Marathon, presented by Bank of America, photo by Kevin Morris.

2. The Boston Athletic Association, the steward of the Boston Marathon, has had Guy Morse (1986-2012), Tom Grilk (2013-2022), and now Jack Fleming as CEO of the Marathon. These men take their jobs seriously, and it can be seen. Guy took the race, kicking and screaming, into the world of professional running. Tom Grilk provided continuity during a time when the running world had challenges, from terrorism to pandemics. Jack Fleming has already shown his thoughtfulness in finding a new presenting sponsor with Bank of America. This brand gets what they do by taking over a 128-year-old global running institution.

Rob Gronkowski and Guy Morse, Boston Marathon, presented by Kevin Morris

3. This writer believes that one of the most successful sponsorships in all sports should be the adidas/Boston Marathon relationship. Guy Morse, BAA, and Adrian Leek, adidas, were responsible for the long-term relationship, which has one of the most popular official apparel lines in any sports activity. Again, Jack Fleming, BAA, and Jennifer Thomas at adidas, champion this important relationship and model for other sponsorships. The adidas/Boston relationship should be a Harvard Business Class (along with adidas/John Hancock).

Jack Fleming, CEO, Boston Marathon, presented by Bank of America,
Press Conference and Elite availability, photo by Kevin Morris

4. Wonderful and entertaining television this year, with ESPN, ESPN 2 with John Anderson, and Hannah Storm for ESPN. On WCVB-TV, race analysts Carrie Tollefson and wheelchair analyst Amanda McGory joined John and Hannah for the broadcast. They kept it fun and informative. Paul Swangard and

Jack Fleming and Larry Rawson, Boston Marathon, presented by Bank of America, photo by Kevin Morris

Larry Rawson emceed the global feed. This was Larry Rawson’s 50th year as the Voice of the Marathon. Please read our salute to Larry Rawson, by Ian Eckersley:https://www.runblogrun.com/2024/04/larry-rawson-1-man-26-2-miles-50-years-of-boston-marathon-broadcasts.html

 

5. 26,500 plus athletes were led by two amazing athletes. Sisay Lemma won Boston on his fourth try, with a run from the front from the very first steps, running 2:06.17, giving Ethiopia its first win since 2016 and Lemi Berhanu. Hellen Obiri battled Edna Kiplagat and Sharon Lokedi until the final mile when Obiri broke away from Lokedi, defending her 2023 title with a fine time of 2:22:37. Congrats also to 2014 Boston champion Meb Keflezighi, who ran 3:13:12. Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston champion, ran 5:08:48. Top American male was C.J. Albertson, taking 7th in 2:09.53. The top American female was Emma Bates, in 12th in 2:27.14.

Sisay Lemma wins #Boston128, in 2:06.17, his fourth attempt to win, photo by Kevin Morris Photography

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