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Boston Marathon History: 1986-1990

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With the backing of the Boston-based John Hancock Financial Services, the Boston Marathon awarded prize money for the first time in its 90-year history. Consequently, the race attracted many of the world's top marathoners. Australia's Rob de Castella ran unchallenged over the last half of the course to set a record of 2:07:51. His time was almost three-and-a-half-minutes ahead of Canadian Art Boileau. Deke's time was the third fastest marathon ever run and his efforts earned him $30,000 for the win, $25,000 for a course record and $5,000 in performance bonuses. He also won a new car. Norway's Ingrid Kristiansen, the women's world-record holder (2:21:06), won her first Boston Marathon in 2:24:55, more than two minutes ahead of Carla Beurskens. Kristiansen also won a new car, and $35,000 in prize and bonus money. Andre Viger of Canada won his second of three Boston wheelchair titles in a world best 1:43:25.


Toshihiko Seko employed a tactical approach that resulted in a winning time of 2:11:50 on a humid and windy day. Seko ran conservatively in a large pack that numbered as many as 19. Just before reaching 20 miles Seko bolted downhill on Commonwealth Avenue en route to his second Boston win. Seko won $40,000 for his first-place finish plus a new car worth $31,000. Finishing second and third were Steve Jones (2:13:37) of Wales, and Geoff Smith (2:13:42) of England. The women's winner was Portugal's Rosa Mota, whose time of 2:25:21 was the third fastest at the Boston Marathon. Mota won $40,000 and a new car.


Twenty-eight years after the Olympic Marathon victory of the late Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, the African running revolution finally left its imprint on the historic Boston Marathon. With Boston designated as the Olympic Marathon trial by nine African countries, nearly 40 runners from the continent helped assemble one of the best fields in race history. The resulting race was the closest finish ever in the B.A.A. Marathon's ninety-two year history. Kenya's Ibrahim Hussein broke away from Juma Ikangaa (Tanzania) with less than 100 meters remaining for a one-second margin of victory (2:08:43). Third place went to Ireland's John Treacy in 2:09:15, who matched the two Africans stride for stride until the final five kilometers. Rosa Mota of Portugal easily defended her women's title (2:24:30), by posting a near five minute margin of victory over Finland's Tuija Jousimaa (2:29:26). Mota is the first female ever to officially defend. With the sponsorship of John Hancock Financial Services, Hussein and Mota each received a $45,000 check and a car valued in excess of $35,000 for their first place finishes. Mustapha Badid of France, captured his first of two Boston wheelchair division titles in a world-best 1:43:19, while Candace Cable-Brookes added her sixth in 2:10:44.


Led by first-time winner Abebe Mekonnen of Ethiopia (2:09:06) and followed by Juma Ikangaa of Tanzania, African runners garnered four of the top five places at the 93rd BAA Boston Marathon. Ireland's John Treacy, who placed third in 2:10:24, halted an African sweep of the top five. Norway's Ingrid Kristiansen won the women's division (2:24:33). John Campbell of New Zealand set a Boston masters' record with his fifth place overall finish (2:14:19), while Priscilla Welch defended her masters title in a time of 2:35:00 to finish seventh overall. World record performances in the wheelchair races were turned in by Philippe Couprie of France (1:36:04) and Denmark's Connie Hansen (1:50:06). Division winners Mekonnen and Kristiansen received $45,000 each; Couprie and Hansen - $24,500 each; and Campbell ($24,500), and Welch ($14,000).


With the largest group of runners ever entered - 9,362, the 94th running of the Boston Marathon boasted one of the most competitive fields in the history of the race. Gelindo Bordin of Italy became the first Olympic gold medalist to win the men's race (2:08:09); Olympic champion Rosa Mota of Portugal became the first official three-time women's champion (2:25:23); John Campbell of New Zealand returned for a second consecutive win in the masters division, setting a course and world mark (2:11:04); and Mustapha Badid of France (1:29:53) and Jean Driscoll of Illinois (1:43:17) established world records in the wheelchair divisions. Six East African runners competed, including 1988 champion Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya and Juma Ikangaa of Tanzania, runner-up in 1988 and 1989. Prize money awarded to all division male and female winners of the open, masters, and wheelchair divisions, including world and course record bonuses, totalled $402,500.

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B.A.A. Moment 3

1966 - Bobbi Gibb

Although not an official entrant, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Joining the starting field shortly after the gun had been fired, Gibb finished the race in 3:21:40 to place 126th overall. Gibb again claimed the “unofficial” title in 1967 and 1968.