On Thursday, exactly one month and a day since the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon, the Boston Athletic Association announced that the runners who were unable to cross the finish line in April will be invited back for 2014. Approximately 5000 participants had their marathon cut short.
"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," said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. "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."
The 2014 Boston Marathon invite applies to runners who officially started the 2013 race and reached the 13.1-mile mark. When registration opens in September, they will receive a special, non-transferable code for entry. Runners will still be required to pay an entry fee, though the exact amount has not yet been determined.
The B.A.A. says 5633 runners fall into this category; 2611 from Massachusetts and 726 international participants.
No decision has been made yet on what the maximum field size will be for the 2014 Boston Marathon.