NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

May 2, 2013

BAA: Support after attacks at race overwhelming

BOSTON — In the foyer of the Boston Athletic Association headquarters is the Champions’ Trophy that documents the winners of the world’s most prestigious marathon. It shines from its perch above display cabinets stuffed with shoes, bibs and other artifacts of the organization’s 125-year history, the finial atop the silver cup slightly askew.

At some point in the commotion following the explosions at the race’s finish line last month, the base of the trophy was bent. B.A.A. officials seem less interested in how it happened than in getting it ready for next year, when they fully intend to update it with the champions of the 118th Boston Marathon.

“We’re going to do this again,” race director Dave McGillivray said Wednesday, when B.A.A. officials sat down for their first interviews since bombs killed three people and wounded hundreds more at the marathon’s finish line. “This is not just about Boston anymore.”

In a conference room in their Back Bay offices, McGillivray and B.A.A. executive director Tom Grilk discussed the tragedy that interrupted the April 15 race and the response that allowed them to be hopeful for next year’s.

They would not comment on security — deferring to law enforcement and elected officials — or potential plans to expand the 2014 race to accommodate the thousands who have said they want to run Boston to support the city and the event. But both men said they were heartened by the way the community — runners and non-runners alike — has rallied around the race.

“The outpouring of support is overwhelming, to the point where we’re challenged now with how to handle all of it, how to respond to it, how to direct these people who are looking to help,” McGillivray said. “The entire running industry feels victimized. They need to do something, too. They need to heal, and that’s what we’re seeing.”

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