Boston’s 2024 Olympic Bid Can’t Include Boston Marathon Course
The overall elevation decrease makes the course unusable in Olympic competition.
The Boston Globe had a story this week about Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid, and specifically the marathon course.
Obviously, the Boston Marathon is perhaps the most iconic marathon in the world. But using that course in the 2024 Olympics? Can’t happen.
For the same reason that Boston Marathon times can’t be “official” records, the Hopkinton-to-Boston point-to-point course has an overall decrease in elevation beyond international standards, which makes the course unusable in the Olympics. The story also explains how the Charles River can’t be used as an Olympic rowing venue due to wind, current and bridges, despite hosting the famous Head of the Charles Regatta for 50 years.
“It’s kind of unfortunate,” Doug Arnot, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s adviser to the Boston 2024 bid, told the Boston Globe. “You and I can go to the federations and say they should change their rules, but I don’t think they’re going to.”
Of course, this isn’t a surprise to hardcore running fans. A more likely marathon alternative would be similar to the course used in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon run by the women, which started and finished on Boylston Street at the famous Boston Marathon finish line, and consisted mostly of four 6-mile loops that ventured into Cambridge.
The United States decided recently to submit a bid for the 2024 Olympics, and Boston was chosen as the potential host city over San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The U.S. Olympic Committee while now devote its efforts over the next two years to securing Boston’s bid over several international candidates. The United States hasn’t hosted the Summer Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta.
The International Olympic Committee will make their decision in 2017.
FURTHER READING: Boston Globe