Sixteen members of U.S. Armed Forces to pass baton along course on Patriots' Day
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced a commemorative military relay will be included in the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2018. A team of sixteen active and retired military personnel -- representing five branches of the military and the eight cities and towns of the Marathon course -- will pass a baton along the race route in recognition of the B.A.A.’s Year of Service.
The 2018 military relay will commemorate the relay that kept the Boston Marathon going a century ago. As a result of America’s involvement in World War I, the 1918 Boston Marathon was held as a military relay race, unlike its traditional footrace format. Ten-man teams representing various military branches ran from Ashland to Boston, passing batons along the course. The relay served as a unifying moment for community and country, and has not been replicated since. The 1918 relay format preserved the continuity of the Boston Marathon, and today the race is the world’s oldest annual marathon.
This year, two runners will run in tandem through each town and into the neighboring community, where they’ll pass a baton to the next pair of runners. Each pair has a connection to the town in which they are running. Relay participants are listed in the accompanying chart below. The first two participants will start at 9:40 a.m., after the Elite Women’s start at 9:32 a.m., and before the Elite Men and Wave One start at 10:00 a.m.
“Each edition of the Boston Marathon offers an opportunity to reflect on milestones in the history of the marathon, and this year’s centennial celebration of the 1918 Military Relay presents a particularly moving opportunity to do so once again,” said B.A.A. CEO, Tom Grilk. “As the nation deepened its involvement in World War I, and as resources here at home were spread thin and priorities were rearranged, the people of Boston still believed that the tradition of the marathon should be preserved as a unifying event for the country and the region, as it is today.”
The military relay is the culmination of the B.A.A.’s Year of Service theme, which has been prominently featured leading to the 122nd Boston Marathon. The Year of Service honors those who have served or are serving country, community, and the B.A.A.’s mission of leading healthy lifestyles. From military members to first responders, medical personnel and volunteers, the Year of Service recognizes and thanks those who serve.
In addition to this year being the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Military Relay, April 15 marks five years since the tragic acts and heroic response on Boylston Street. The B.A.A. will pay homage to its dedicated team of first responders and more than 9,000 volunteers who contribute to the event each year.
Nearly 30,000 participants are registered for the 2018 Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon is the oldest continuously run marathon in the world, spanning 122 years of history.
2018 BOSTON MARATHON MILITARY RELAY PARTICIPANTS
NAME- COMMUNITY- SERVICE
Christopher Tighe- Hopkinton- Navy
Nathan Moran- Hopkinton- Army
Brenda Mancini Heller- Ashland- Army
Jeffrey Chunglo- Ashland- Navy
Marc George- Framingham- Air Force
Keith Moser- Framingham- Army
Christopher Hampton- Natick- Marines
Graham King- Natick- Army
Benjamin Hampton- Wellesley- Marines
Bradley Moffitt- Wellesley- Army
Steve Wightman- Newton- Army
Laura Piscopo- Newton- Army
Mark Johnson- Brookline- Army
Anne Lero- Brookline- Army
Dennis Magnasco- Boston- Army
Alexia Parks- Boston- Coast Guard