4th Annual B.A.A. Half Marathon
On a Columbus Day weekend reserved to remember one of the greatest distance runners who ever lived, many of the 3,181 starters (4,309 entrants) of the Fourth B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund, dedicated their race to John A. Kelley who passed away this past Wednesday at the age of 97.
Dan Verrington, 42, of Bradford, Mass., placed first in the masters division in 1:14:14.
The Boston Athletic Association Running Club won the overall men’s and women’s team titles, as well as the men’s masters division team title. Merrimack Valley Striders prevented a B.A.A. sweep by winning the women’s masters division team title.
A prize purse of $30,000 was awarded to the top individuals, masters and push rim wheelchair division finishers. Top teams also won prize money awards.
With a temperature of 60-degrees Fahrenheit at the race’s start (8:00 a.m.), the 2004 edition of the 13.1-mile road race marked the first time in the event's history (four years) that 3,158 finishers--including ten in the push rim wheelchair division--did not have to contend with precipitation.
A portion of each entry fee benefits the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the organization charged with overseeing Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace park system in Boston and Brookline.
Nearly 300 Dana-Farber Runners ran to raise money in a fund-raising effort for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The Fourth B.A.A. Half Marathon was presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund and was also sponsored by adidas, PowerBar/PowerGel, Gatorade Thirst Quencher, Long’s Jewelers, Veryfine, New England Apples, and Belmont Springs Water.
The organizing Boston Athletic Association offers special thanks to the City of Boston, Town of Brookline, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, The Boston Parks and Recreation Department, Franklin Park Zoo, and the hundreds of volunteers who helped administer the race.
A moment of silence prior to the race was observed in memory of Johnny Kelley, whose funeral will be held on Monday, October 11 at 11:00 a.m. on Cape Cod. The legendary figure’s theme song, “Young at Heart,” was played several times from the public address system.