Runners who were unable to complete the Boston Marathon because of the bombings near the finish line last month have been invited to run in the 2014 race.
“The opportunity to run down Boylston Street and to cross the finish line amid thousands of spectators is a significant part of the entire Boston Marathon experience,” Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, said in a statement released by the organization. “With the opportunity to return and participate in 2014, we look forward to inviting back these athletes and we expect that most will renew their marathon training commitment.
“Boston spectators are known for their impassioned support and unbridled enthusiasm, and they will give these returning athletes some of the loudest cheers at next year’s race. We want to thank our participants for their patience as we continue to work through the details of arranging this accommodation for them, and we ask for continued patience from the running community as we plan the 2014 Boston Marathon next April.”
More than 5,700 runners were still on the 26.2-mile course and were stopped when two bombs exploded near the finish line on Boylston. The BAA said that 5,633 of those runners are eligible for next year’s race.
Neither the size of the field nor any changes to the course have been determined. It is expected that an unprecedented number of runners will want to participate in what will be an emotional event April 21, 2014.