Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!

LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Honoring the Boston Marathon


Susan F. Craft
 

According to legend, the world's first marathon was run — unintentionally — in 490 B.C. by a Greek soldier, Pheidippides, who ran the twenty-five miles to Athens from the town of Marathon to announce a battleground victory over the Persians. Marathons were not formally run until the revival of the Olympic Games in Greece in 1896.
In Colonial America, by 1750 households at all levels had prospered to the point where they could buy a wide range of non-essential consumer goods. Along with the prosperity came an interest in leisure activities, including outdoor games and foot races.

Militia musters, court days, and public executions became community festivals, which included games, foot races, wrestling contests, horse races, and cudgeling, in which contestants used a stout ash stick to bludgeon an opponent into submission. Colonials also enjoyed itinerant magicians, acrobats, trapeze artists, jugglers, and the
presentation of exotic animals.
In the rugged frontier environment of the backcountry in places like Appalachia, running, no-rules fighting, and throwing axes and spears became popular sports.
Running among the American Indians grew out of the skills needed for war, particularly the need for practiced and trained runners who carried messages and vital information. Sometimes they held races as a form of entertainment at the conclusion of councils. The Iroquois tribes would select their best runners to compete in those foot races.
Foot races were a favorite sport among the Eskimos, who called them uk-whaun and ran them in the autumn when the new ice formed. The races would be one to three miles in length, to and around some natural object such as a stand of rocks.
During the American Revolution the First Continental Congress discouraged sports, as the founding fathers believed that idle amusements were decadent. They thought Americans should be virtuous and should abstain from luxuries like sports and should practice frugality. In contrast, George Washington encouraged games among his troops including foot races, bowling, cricket, shinny, fives, and a form of football. He felt the games allowed soldiers to exercise and gave them a relief from fighting and from their terrible living conditions.
Track-and-field athletics in the United States dates from the 1860s. The Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America, the nation’s first national athletic group, held the first collegiate races in 1873, and in 1888 the Amateur Athletic Union (which governed the sport for nearly a century) held its first championships.
An estimated 800 marathons are now held around the world each year; 20 of them with 10,000 or more finishers.
The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon.  When it was first held in 1897 only 18 runners took part. Last year, however, more than 21,000 runners finished the 26.2 mile course.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims of the terror attack. I’m so proud of the first responders, professional and volunteer, who ran toward the victims and treated them with such care and concern. My sincere thanks to the members of all the agencies who worked together to capture the perpetrator of this heinous crime. Evil is alive and prospering in this world. As a Christian, it comforts me to know, with blessed assurance, that good will ultimately win the battle. God will prevail.

 

14 comments:

  1. Nice post, Susan. May God bless America.

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. These are trying times. And, yes, may God bless America.

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  2. Interesting history of running and the marathon! I have to love that George :o) Beautiful tribute, Susan. Thank you. "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us", Hebrews 12:1

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    1. I should have included that verse at the beginning of this post. Thank you for reminding me of it, Rebecca.

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  3. The Boston Marathon has always stood for achievement and perseverance. I expect it will draw record numbers next year. Thank you for sharing its history and the chance to pay tribute to those who have gone through so much in the last week.

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    1. I hope the Boston Marathon roars back next year, stronger than ever.

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  4. Thanks for such an interesting and informative post, Susan. One of my daughters-in-law ran it three years ago. So grateful she wasn't there this year.

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    1. The daughter of a friend of mine finished the marahon six minutes before the bomb went off.

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  5. What a wonderful post, Susan. A very fitting tribute to the Boston Marathon and quite an interesting history to this Patriot's Day event held in Boston each year. I grew up in a suberb of Boston and worked in Boston as well. My heart also goes out to all those who were injured and the families of the deceased. And to all the amazing Bostonians and others who were involved. I do think we all, as a nation, are moved greatly by what happened. Thanks again, for sharing this.

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  6. Carla, all this must be even more poignant for you. It hurts my heart to see so many victims-- and for what?

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  7. We need to run the good race --and keep the faith. In our case, it's continuing to write about the good race. And you've done a beautiful job, Susan. So touched by this post; it was hard to believe that it happened on Patriot's Day. Yet it proved that the spirit of those early Bostonians lives on in her children today. God bless them and grant them peace.

    Thanks so much, Susan!

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  8. what a timely and wonderful post. Thank you for sharing this.

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  9. Fascinating post, SUSAN, thank you. Indeed, these are trying times and we must continue to pray for those affected by the recent tragedy in Boston.

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  10. Thank you for your post and for sharing your words of wisdom and knowledge. We must continue to pray and be alert we never know when and who will strike next but God knows all things. We won't fear but take courage knowing we are in HIS hands. People don't realize the weapon of pray and how it can change anything. Pray and God's word are powerful weapons stand fast and PRAY!

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