BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), in anticipation of the 116th running of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2012, today announced several notes and facts surrounding this year’s race.
Principal Sponsor: For the 27th consecutive year, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon is John Hancock Financial Services. John Hancock and the B.A.A. collaborate on a wide range of items for the Boston Marathon. Please visit: www.johnhancock.com and www.bostonmarathonmediaguide.com
Race Day and Start Times: Monday, April 16, 2012
- 9:00 a.m.: Mobility Impaired Program start
- 9:17 a.m.: Push Rim Wheelchair Division start
- 9:22 a.m.: Handcycle Participants start
- 9:32 a.m.: Elite Women's start
- 10:00 a.m.: Elite Men's start and First Wave start
- 10:20 a.m.: Second Wave start
- 10:40 a.m.: Third Wave start
Large Prize Purse at Stake: The total prize money distributed among the top finishers of the 116th Boston Marathon will be $806,000, plus an additional $220,000 in bonuses if records are broken in the open, masters, or push rim wheelchair divisions. John Hancock Financial Services provided the first-ever prize money and bonus awards in 1986 and has continued the support for the prize purse. Over the years, the top finishers have received nearly $14 million in prize money and course-record bonuses.
Live TV Coverage: Local CBS affiliate WBZ-TV is the exclusive local broadcaster of the Boston Marathon for the 30th year. Outside of Boston, Universal Sports Network and UniversalSports.com is the exclusive national television home for the Boston Marathon.
- Boston Marathon Pre-Race Special: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET on WBZ-TV
- Exclusive Live Local Coverage of the Boston Marathon: 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET on WBZ-TV
- National Live Coverage of the Boston Marathon: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET on Universal Sports
Defending Champions: Defending champions Geoffrey Mutai, of Kenya (men’s open race); Caroline Kilel, of Kenya (women’s open race); Masuzumi Soejima, of Japan (men’s wheelchair division race); and Wakako Tsuchida, of Japan (women’s wheelchair division race) will return to defend their titles.
The 35th Annual John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo: Featuring more than 200 exhibitors, this year’s expo is at the Seaport World Trade Center in South Boston. Complimentary admission is courtesy of John Hancock, Conventures, Inc., and the B.A.A.
- Friday, April 13: 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, April 14: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Sunday, April 15: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
CPR Demonstration Sessions: The B.A.A, in partnership with the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association, will offer new and innovative “hands only” cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstration sessions at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo. The free demonstrations will allow Boston Marathon runners, family members, and community spectators the opportunity to familiarize themselves with simple and potentially life-saving techniques.
National Anthem and Official Starters: Opening this year’s Boston Marathon with the singing of the U.S. National Anthem will be Sgt. Daniel M. Clark, “The Singing Trooper.” The Official Starters are:
- Wheelchair Division: Cheri Blauwet, the 2004 and 2005 women’s wheelchair division champion.
- Women’s Elite Field: Allison Roe, 1981 Boston Marathon champion
- Men’s Elite Field and First Wave: Walter F. Brown. It is customary for a member of the legendary Brown family to start one of the races on Patriots’ Day.
Olympic Gold Medalist Joan Samuelson Set to Run: Joan Samuelson, gold medalist at the inaugural women’s Olympic Games Marathon, has entered this year’s Boston Marathon and will run on Monday. Samuelson won the 1979 and 1983 Boston Marathons before winning the Olympic Games Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. Samuelson also ran the 2011 Boston Marathon, finishing in 2:51:29. Samuelson is one of the sport’s most recognized and popular personalities.
Meb Keflezighi to Serve as Grand Marshal: American Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi will serve as the grand marshal for the Boston Marathon. The B.A.A. has reserved the grand marshal role as a position of recognition and honor. Keflezighi will ride in a Nissan pace car ahead of the lead runners, heralding to spectators along the course that thousands of runners will soon be coming. Keflezighi will represent the United States in the Olympic Games Marathon in London this summer. He is a three-time Olympian and the silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic Marathon. He was the 2009 New York City Marathon champion and has competed in the Boston Marathon twice, placing third in 2006 and fifth in 2010.
Boston Marathon Official Charity Program: The Boston Marathon Official Charity Program enables selected charitable organizations to raise millions of dollars for worthwhile causes. In 2011, charities combined to raise approximately $16 million, bringing the total to $122 million in funds raised for Boston-area organizations since it began in 1989. Combined with principal sponsor John Hancock’s Non-Profit Bib Program, approximately 2300 entrants are expected to raise a total of more than $16.5 million in 2012.
B.A.A. Distance Medley: The B.A.A. 5K on Sunday, April 15 kicks off the B.A.A. Distance Medley, a new three-race series comprised of the B.A.A. 5K, the B.A.A. 10K on June 24, and the B.A.A. Half Marathon on October 7. The overall male and female champion of the series, determined by the lowest cumulative time, will each receive $100,000 in prize money.
Celebrities running the 116th Boston Marathon:
- Kristine Lilly, two-time Olympic gold medalist soccer star and Needham, MA resident
- Tedy Bruschi, three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots
- Bruce Fordyce, of South Africa, nine-time winner of the Comrades Marathon and 50-mile world record holder
- Ryan Sutter, winner of season one of ABC’s The Bachelorette
30 Years with Team Hoyt: Father and son duo, Dick and Rick Hoyt, better known as Team Hoyt, will be participating in their 30th Boston Marathon this year. Rick was born as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, but that has not stopped him from competing. With his father, Dick, pushing him in a wheelchair, Team Hoyt has competed in over 1000 races, inspiring countless runners and spectators.
New Qualifying Standards: For the 2013 Boston Marathon, the qualifying standards will become more stringent by five minutes, while registration will employ the same rolling, merit-based concept as in 2012. The new qualifying times went into effect on September 24, 2011.
Economic Impact: The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced that the Boston Marathon will generate an estimated $137.5 million to the Greater Boston economy during race week. The 2011 Boston Marathon was second only to the 100th anniversary race in economic impact and number of runners, bringing in $132.2 million. At the Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996, there were 38,708 runners and spending impact reached $172 million.
World Marathon Majors: The action in the World Marathon Majors 2011-2012 cycle will heat up in April, with the Virgin London Marathon coming just six days after the Boston Marathon. In 2006, the Boston Marathon joined the Virgin London Marathon, BMW Berlin-Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and ING New York City Marathon in launching the World Marathon Majors. Points will also be awarded this year for the Olympic Games Marathon. The male and female runners with the most overall points at the end of the two-year cycle will earn $500,000 in prize money. Heading into the 2012 Boston Marathon, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya and Liliya Shobukhova of Russia are atop the men’s and women’s leader boards.
Patriots’ Award: Since 2002, the B.A.A. and the City of Boston have presented the Patriots’ Award at a ceremony in the days before the Boston Marathon. Awarded to a New England-based individual, group, or organization that is patriotic, philanthropic, inspirational, and fosters goodwill and sportsmanship, the Patriots’ Award further unifies the Boston Marathon with Patriots’ Day, the holiday on which the race has been held since 1897. This year’s recipient is Tim Wakefield, a two-time World Series champion and seventeen-year member of the Boston Red Sox who retired in February. At a reception on Thursday evening, Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino accepted the award on Wakefield’s behalf, who was unable to be present.
B.A.A. [Youth] Relay Challenge will be held on Boylston Street at Copley Square on Saturday, April 14 at 11:00 a.m.
The B.A.A. 5K with 6000 entrants and a prize purse of $25,000 will be held on Sunday, April 15 at 8:00 a.m. at Copley Square.
The B.A.A. Mile (middle school, scholastic, professional sections) will be held following the B.A.A. 5K on Sunday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m., using the Boston Marathon finish line as this event’s start/finish.