Last week, 50 athletes from 12 different states took to the bases and completed the 116 laps around Fenway Park to complete the inaugural Fenway Park Marathon. The race is believed to be the first marathon ever held entirely within a major league ballpark.
The 26.2-mile course inside the famed ballpark took runners around the perimeter of the outfield warning track in a counter-clockwise direction. Registration filled in less than two weeks and was limited to 50 entrants, which included Dave McGillivray, the director of the race who also directs the Boston Marathon.
Each athlete raised a minimum of $5,000 to receive their bib, with proceeds going to the Red Sox Foundation, the official charity of the Boston Red Sox that primarily focuses on youth programming and cancer research.
You’re probably used to seeing Michael Wardian’s name at the top of race results and the Fenway Park Marathon was no exception. Wardian, of Arlington, Va., won the race with a time of 2:53:45 (and even managed to high-five his kids every lap). The first woman to finish was Frances Kilmczak of Collinsville, Conn. with a time of 3:57:46.
McGillivray is no stranger to Fenway Park—he has run into it during endurance runs five times—and has produced events with his company, DMSE Sports, at the park. He has dreamt of making the Fenway Park Marathon a reality since 2004 and hopes to make it an annual event.
“For me, the monotony of running around and around NEVER ONCE happened…never…it was just so exciting to be in the moment. It rained a few times and poured once and as uncomfortable as that was, it just added another element of challenge to it that we will never forget,” said McGillivray in a press release.
He added, “Watching Michael Wardian blow by us every few laps was both inspiring and depressing (ha) but he was so gracious cheering the rest of us along as he ran around us every time—he had to have run 30-miles. Most everyone’s times were relatively slower than expected only because we know we ALL ran further than a marathon—most of us ran 27.5 miles or more given all the laps and passing on the outside. But, no one cared—we were all just so glad to be able to be there and do this.”