The Boston Athletic Association has extended invitations to the runners in the 2013 race affected by the bombings that claimed the lives of four people and injured more than 260. The field for the 2014 race has been expanded by to 36,000 entrants to handle the surge in interest in the race, which will make it the largest Boston Marathon on record.
According to the association, the special invitations are extended to those "personally and profoundly impacted by the events of April 15, 2013." Those who wish to be included may submit a 250-word essay online explaining how they have been affected by the tragedy by Nov. 27. Neither a qualifying-time performance or fundraising will be required of these entrants.
The BAA has already extended entries to first responders and hospital personnel who reacted to the bombings last April. In May, the association allowed runners who had passed the halfway point of the 2013 race but were unable to complete the race due to the bombings to register for next year's marathon.
UPDATE 12/18: Boston Globe videographer Steve Silva was just 30 feet from the first blast. "I saw the attack, the heroic first responders, and my city in a state of shock up close but I continued to do my job," he said. His request for an invitational entry was recently accepted. He has begun writing about his training for the race next April