Boston Athletic Association

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) is a non-profit, running-focused, organized sports association for the Greater Boston area. The B.A.A. hosts such events as the Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. 5K, the B.A.A. 10K, the B.A.A. Half Marathon, the B.A.A. Distance Medley (comprising the 5k, 10K, and half marathon events), and the B.A.A. Invitational Mile.

The mission of the B.A.A. is promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running.

Boston Athletic Association
Formation15 March 1887
FounderRobert F. Clark
Legal statusNon-profit (501c3)
Headquarters185 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116
LeaderJoann Flaminio (2011 - Present)


Among the nation's oldest athletic clubs, the Boston Athletic Association was established on March 15, 1887 under its first president, Robert F. Clark, and with the support of George Walker Weld and other leading sports enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and politicians of the day.

According to Article II of its 1890 Yearbook Constitution, their objective was to "encourage all manly sports and promote physical culture." The B.A.A. clubhouse on the corner of Exeter and Boylston Streets in Boston's Back Bay was completed in 1888, on the present-day site of the 1970s-era expansion of the Boston Public Library. In addition to such facilities as a gymnasium, bowling alley, billiard hall, Turkish baths and tennis courts, the Association also owned a shooting range and a country club.

Among the active sports of the day were boxing, fencing, water polo and athletics. The club held its first organized track and field competition in 1890 and in 1897 the first famed Boston Marathon took place. A unicorn was chosen as the Association's symbol and appears on the Boston Marathon medals to this day.

The B.A.A. ice hockey team won the United States Amateur Hockey Association championship in the 1922–23 season.[1]

In 1936, the original clubhouse was closed due to financial hardship. The B.A.A. is now headquartered at 185 Dartmouth Street. In 1986, John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. assumed major sponsorship of the Boston Marathon. The B.A.A continues to rely on the support of John Hancock and other sponsors and contributors not only with its signature event, the Boston Marathon, but also in its year-round community programming.

Walter A. Brown was the President of the Boston Athletic Association from 1941 to 1964.[2] In 1951 during the height of the Korean War, Brown denied Koreans entry into the Boston Marathon. He stated: "While American soldiers are fighting and dying in Korea, every Korean should be fighting to protect his country instead of training for marathons. As long as the war continues there, we positively will not accept Korean entries for our race on April 19."[3]

The B.A.A. maintains an active running club, organizes the B.A.A. 5K on the weekend of the Boston Marathon, The B.A.A. 10K in June, the B.A.A. Half Marathon in October, and the Mayor's Cup cross country races in Franklin Park in October. The B.A.A. successfully bid to host the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Women's Marathon, which was run on the Sunday before the 2008 Boston Marathon.

In January 2016, the B.A.A. purchased an office building just yards from the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. The office building will be used by the association for the registration of runners and services for various B.A.A. events.[4]

Youth races

The B.A.A. also organizes an annual relay race for Boston-area middle school and high-school-aged runners that takes place on Clarendon Street in Boston.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "United States Amateur Hockey Association". Vintage Minnesota Hockey. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  2. ^ Marvin Pave, Boston Globe, April 17, 2008: Legacy on the line
  3. ^ Sport: Banned in Boston. Time, February 12, 1951.
  4. ^ Phelps, Jonathan (2016-02-04). "BAA buys property near Marathon start line in Hopkinton". MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  5. ^ Youth Programs, B.A.A. Website

External links

1970 Boston Marathon

The 1970 Boston Marathon took place on Monday, April 20, 1970. It marked the 74th time the event was organized. The race was won by Englishman Ron Hill.Women weren't officially allowed to enter until 1972, but their first-place results from 1966 through 1971 were later ratified by the Boston Athletic Association.

2012 Boston Marathon

The 2012 Boston Marathon took place in Boston, Massachusetts on Monday April 16, 2012. It was the 116th edition of the mass-participation marathon. Organized by the Boston Athletic Association, it was the first of the World Marathon Majors series to be held in 2012. A total of 22,426 runners started the race. The competition was held in hot running conditions, reaching 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31° Celsius) that afternoon, and some of the 27,000 registered runners opted to take up the organizers' offer to defer their entry until the 2013 race.Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop won the elite men's and women's races respectively. Josh Cassidy and Shirley Reilly were the winners of the wheelchair racing section. In the masters section, Uli Steidl won the men's marathon and Svetlana Pretot (ninth overall) was the women's champion.

2013 Boston Marathon

The 2013 Boston Marathon took place in Boston, Massachusetts on Monday April 15, 2013. It was the 117th edition of the mass-participation Boston Marathon. Organized by the Boston Athletic Association, it was the second of the World Marathon Majors series to be held in 2013. Over 23,000 runners participated. Lelisa Desisa won the men's division with a time of 2:10:22. Rita Jeptoo won the women's division with a time of 2:26:25. More than $800,000 of prize money was awarded.The event was disrupted by a terrorist attack in which two consecutive explosions on the sidewalk near the finish line killed three spectators and injured 264 other people. The race was halted, preventing many participants from finishing. The attack received widespread international media attention.

2014 Boston Marathon

The 2014 Boston Marathon took place in Boston, Massachusetts, on Monday, April 21 (Patriots' Day). It was the 118th edition of the mass-participation marathon. The race is organized by the Boston Athletic Association. On account of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, extra security measures were implemented. The 2014 Marathon had about 36,000 registered participants, second only to the 1996 race in number of entries. The Boston Globe reported that over a million people were expected to line the marathon route to watch the race, twice the number who attend during a typical year.Meb Keflezighi won the men's race in 2:08:37 and became the first American male runner to win the Boston Marathon since 1983. Ethiopian runner Bizunesh Deba won the women's race in 2:19:59, and was awarded the title on October 26, 2016, after a review by the IAAF disqualified original winner Rita Jeptoo.

2015 Boston Marathon

The 2015 Boston Marathon was the 119th running of the Boston Athletic Association's mass-participation marathon. It took place on Monday, April 20 (Patriots Day in Massachusetts). The men's race was won by Lelisa Desisa from Ethiopia in a time of 2:09:17. Caroline Rotich of Kenya won the women's race with a time 2:24:55.

2016 Boston Marathon

The 2016 Boston Marathon was the 120th running of the Boston Athletic Association's mass-participation marathon. It took place on Monday, April 18 (Patriots Day in Massachusetts). Both of the winners were from Ethiopia: the men's race was won by Lemi Berhanu Hayle in a time of 2:12:45. Atsede Baysa won the women's race with a time of 2:29:19.

2017 Boston Marathon

The 2017 Boston Marathon was the 121st running of the Boston Athletic Association's mass-participation marathon. It took place on Monday, April 17 (Patriots Day in Massachusetts). Geoffrey Kirui won the men's race in 2:09:37 and Edna Kiplagat won the women's race in 2:21:52.

Kathrine Switzer at age 70 ran the marathon under bib number 261, the same number she had worn 50 years previously in 1967, finishing in 4:44:31. That number was then retired from all future Boston Marathons. Women were not allowed to run marathons until 1972, but she registered under the name K. V. Switzer.

B.A.A. 10K

The B.A.A. 10K is an annual road running event for men and women over 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) that takes place in June in Boston in the United States. A total of 3040 people finished the race at the inaugural edition.The B.A.A. 10K is one of two major annual races that cover the 10 kilometer distance in the city, alongside the Tufts Health Plan 10K for women, which is held in October.

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon race hosted by several cities in greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts, United States. It is always held on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897, the event was inspired by the success of the first marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. It is one of six World Marathon Majors. Its course runs from Hopkinton in southern Middlesex County to Copley Square in Boston.

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has organized this event since 1897, and it has been managed by DMSE Sports, Inc. since 1988. Amateur and professional runners from all over the world compete in the Boston Marathon each year, braving the hilly Massachusetts terrain and varying weather to take part in the race.

The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 15 participants in 1897, the event now attracts an average of about 30,000 registered participants each year, with 30,251 people entering in 2015. The Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 established a record as the world's largest marathon with 38,708 entrants, 36,748 starters, and 35,868 finishers.

Edward F. Sheehan

Edward "Ed" F. Sheehan Jr. (June 18, 1958 – May 6, 2005) was an elite athlete and coach, a native and longtime resident of Weymouth, Massachusetts, was head coach of the Boston Athletic Association, qualified for the US Olympic Marathon Trials in 1980 and 1984, and twice finished in the top 15 in the Boston Marathon (1980 and 1982).

George Owen (ice hockey)

Harvard George Owen Jr. (December 2, 1901 – March 4, 1986) was a professional ice hockey defenceman for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League.

George V. Brown

George Vincent Brown (21 October 1880 – 17 October 1937) of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, was an American sports official. He championed the development of various sports and sporting events in the United States, most notably the Boston Marathon and amateur ice hockey. From 1904 to 1936, Brown served the United States Olympic Team as a manager, official, and coach. In 1919, he became general manager of the Boston Arena, home to indoor track meets, boxing matches, and hockey games, among other events.

Gerry Geran

Pierce George "Gerry" Geran (August 3, 1896 – September 8, 1981) was a professional ice hockey player in the National Hockey League.

Henry G. Lapham

Henry G. Lapham was an American investment banker, oilman, philatelist, philanthropist, and sportsman. He was the founding president of the Boston Garden-Arena Corporation and a major sports promoter in Boston during the 1920s and 1930s.

Jock Semple

John Duncan "Jock" Semple (October 26, 1903 – March 10, 1988) was a Scottish-American runner, physical therapist, trainer, and sports official. In 1967, he attained worldwide notoriety as a race official for the Boston Marathon, when he attempted to tear off the number of Kathrine Switzer, who was officially entered despite a ban on female competitors. He subsequently oversaw implementation of qualifying times in 1970 and the formal admission of female runners in 1972.

Leon Tuck

Leon Parker Tuck (May 25, 1891 – September 2, 1953) was an American ice hockey player who competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics. Born in Melrose, Massachusetts, he was a defenseman on the United States hockey team. The team competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics, winning the silver medal.

Sara Mae Berman

Sara Mae Berman (née Sidore born 14 May 1936) is an American marathon runner. Berman won the Boston Marathon from 1969 to 1971 as an unofficial woman winner as women were not allowed to compete until 1972. Berman's wins were made official by the Boston Athletic Association in 1996. In 2015, she was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame.

United States at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Fourteen competitors from the United States competed in three sports at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The Americans were the most successful athletes in terms of gold medals, beating host nation Greece, 11 to 10, despite fielding only 14 competitors compared to an estimated 169 Greek entrants. However, the Greeks' 46 total medals dwarfed the Americans' 20.

The United States team had 27 entries in 16 events, with 20 of the 27 resulting in top-three finishes.

Most of the American competitors were students at Harvard University or Princeton University or members of the Boston Athletic Association. The team trained at The Pennington School, in Pennington, New Jersey, while preparing in secret for the first modern Olympic Games.

Walter A. Brown

Walter A. Brown (February 10, 1905 – September 7, 1964) was the founder and original owner of the Boston Celtics as well as an important figure in the development of ice hockey in the United States.

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