Due to the heightened security surrounding the Boston Marathon in response to last year’s bombing, the Campus School Volunteers of Boston College (CSVBC) will not be permitted to maintain their long-standing tradition of participating in the marathon as bandit runners. As a result, the Campus School will host its own marathon on April 13, the week before the official Boston Marathon.
Charities can register with the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) to run in the marathon, but this option is beyond the reach of the Campus School team. Registration with the BAA supplies a charity team with a limited number of bib numbers, and each runner is required to raise at least $5,000-an amount that is not feasible for many BC students-according to Sean Schofield, volunteer coordinator for the Campus School.
The BAA’s decision to tighten security in light of last year’s tragedy is understandable, though its effect on the Campus School is unfortunate. Still, the Campus School’s decision to host its own marathon to honor the hard work of its runners is wise. Training for a marathon is physically grueling and mentally fatiguing-the uncommon dedication required to face such a challenge should not go unrecognized.
The Campus School’s marathon listserv included 350 people before the announcement that they would not be able to partake in the official marathon, but many runners will likely be discouraged from running in the Campus School’s marathon and either choose to forgo running a marathon this year or seek to run at another official location. These reactions are understandable. It is admirable that the Campus School is trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation outside of its control, but students should respond to the change in whatever way best works for them.
Some runners, however, may be tempted to eschew the marathon’s tightened security and try to jump in as a bandit runner anyway. Those who would consider doing so should remember that security officials are striving to maintain the enjoyable atmosphere of Marathon Monday while still assuring the safety of all-which is no easy task. Ignoring regulations would only serve to make the already difficult job of maintaining the public safety even more arduous.
Students who do ultimately decide to run in the Campus School’s marathon should run with pride. Running 26.2 miles is a monumental accomplishment, no matter the date or format. While the separate Campus School marathon will likely not have the atmosphere that many runners had imagined while training, BC students should take the time to stand along Comm. Ave. on April 13 to support the Campus School runners nonetheless.