NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

May 9, 2013

For 1st race after Marathon, BAA sees bigger field

BOSTON — Runners around the world have shown their support for the Boston Marathon and the victims of the bombs that went off at the race’s finish line.

Now they’ll get their chance to do it in Boston.

The Boston Athletic Association 10K, the organization’s first race since this year’s marathon, nearly filled up on the opening day of registration yesterday.

B.A.A. executive director Tom Grilk said shortly after 5 p.m. that there were a few hundred spots available in the 6,500-runner field for the June 23 race. The event did not sell out in the previous two years it was held.

Grilk said the popularity of the race was consistent with the support runners and non-runners alike had shown after two bombs killed three people and wounded hundreds more on Boylston Street on April 15.

“We’re not going to give in to terror. They’re going to stand up, show up and run,” he said. “I’m pleased to be part of a community that reacts that way.”

The B.A.A. has received what Grilk called overwhelming support following the bombing — actor Kevin Spacey stopped by the office last week — and runners have been among the most visible backers. Already-scheduled events dedicated their races to Boston, and new runs sprouted up to show support and raise money for the victims.

Grilk would not say yet what would be done at the B.A.A.’s own race. He also declined to comment on security measures for a course that travels two blocks from the Boylston Street bombing site.

“Everyone will have a heightened sense of security,” Grilk said. “In terms of what public safety officials will do, I can’t say, and wouldn’t.”

A 125-year-old organization that remains best known for its signature, 26.2-mile race, the B.A.A. expanded its calendar in 2001 to include a half-marathon and then added a 5K five years ago and a 10K in 2011. The three shorter races are combined into a distance medley, and those who run all three are eligible for prize money based on the combined times.

The inaugural B.A.A. 10K had a field of 3,656. There were 5,503 runners last year.

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