PRESS RELEASE: BOSTON, February 5, 2014 — The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), organizer of the Boston Marathon, today launched Boston Marathon World Run, a mobile application and website that connects runners from around the world with the 2014 Boston Marathon. In response to receiving an unprecedented amount of inquiries from runners seeking to participate in the 2014 Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. created a virtual experience in which all runners, regardless of ability or geography, could run a distance of their choosing and participate in the athletic spirit of the event.
“We’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support and a high-level of interest in participating this year,” said Tom Grilk, executive director, Boston Athletic Association. “While we were able to increase our field size by 9,000 to 36,000 runners, we can only physically accommodate so many runners on the course and we were nowhere near meeting demand. Through technology, we wanted to create something that engendered that same sense of community and resiliency as the race itself, ensuring that no one would be denied the chance to have their own 2014 Boston Marathon experience. The app does just that.”
Created in partnership with John Hancock Financial, Boston Marathon World Run is available for Apple and Android devices and integrates with social media networks to create a virtual running community. There is no registration fee. It’s also available in website form at www.bostonmarathonworldrun.org. The objective is for participants to achieve their self-determined running goals by the evening of the 2014 Boston Marathon, April 21, 2014. Users, who can participate individually or in teams, receive digital training and finisher badges as part of the program, as well as a bib number and finisher certificate.
“As a long-time partner of the B.A.A. and the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock is eager to support the B.A.A. in this first of its kind inclusive global event,” said Rob Friedman, head of sponsorship and event marketing at John Hancock Financial. “No matter where you live, or how fast you move forward, we invite you to become a Boston Marathon World Runner. Let’s show our support for the City of Boston and see how far we can go together in 2014.”
Boston Marathon World Run also encourages participants to contribute to One Fund Boston through distance pledging and online donations. One Fund Boston was created by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to raise money to help the families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded on April 15, 2013.
Lagardére Unlimited, a global consulting and sports marketing agency, created and developed the app in conjunction with the B.A.A. The goal of the app is to build a community of virtual runners and fans from all over the world who can participate, donate, post pictures and videos, and interact with one another in real time.
Additional notes on Boston Marathon World Run:
- All participants will be able to begin a group or join an existing group and invite their contacts to participate.
- All runners will be able to pledge a distance, in miles or kilometers, and may update that pledge as they progress.
- Global Ambassadors, including past Boston Marathon champions and current Boston Marathon elite athletes, will also be logging miles and uploading photos and videos.
- The number of registrants, the total miles or kilometers pledged, and the funds raised through World Run for One Fund Boston will be updated in real time.
Participants will be able to share their experience with the community by uploading photos and videos. An interactive map will display participants’ content to show community activity in real time.