Voici quelques passages d’un article a lire absolument du Boston Globe!
On connait maintenant la vérité. BAA donne tout simplement de plus en plus de spots à des riches amis…
The BAA is a multimillion-dollar enterprise whose management of the race carries major economic and cultural implications for the city and region. Last year, the marathon made an estimated $122.7 million impact on the area, according to the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Last April alone, the BAA granted non-qualifying invitations to 5,740 runners in a field of 26,790. The invitational entries, priced at $250 each (nearly double the $130 fee for qualifiers), were distributed in allotments both massive — 1,000 to principal sponsor John Hancock, 500 to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 498 to foreign tour operators — and minute enough to accommodate privileged runners connected to the BAA and its partners.
While inspirational stories among the non-qualifying runners abound, the marathon has effectively evolved since the 1980s into two events: an elite competition and — depending on the observer — a parade, a freak show, or the epitome of the event’s historical distinction as “the people’s race.’
The BAA’s allotment of charity numbers rose 48 percent over the last decade, to 2,515, while invitational entries distributed to an array of BAA-related individuals and entities — members, volunteers, consultants, vendors, past champions, and the media — jumped 32 percent, to 823.
Amid the relentless push for entries, Boston’s field of qualified runners increased to 21,050 last April, nearly double the total of 11,210 in 2001. Over the same period, the BAA heightened the risk of shutting out qualified runners by allowing the number of non-qualifiers to grow by 31 percent, to 5,740, up from 4,396 in ’01.
Scattered back in the field each year are fun-loving runners in a kaleidoscope of costumes. In recent Aprils, they included Bob Babbitt, co-founder of Competitor Magazine, who was granted entry as a media member and ran as Elvis to promote the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon; Diana Dawson, a Canadian so thrilled with qualifying for Boston that she ran dressed as a princess; and Sam Novey, a Harvard senior who unofficially ran as a hamburger to promote b.good restaurant and raise money for a Boston middle school while he and teammates dressed as potato fries were accompanied by a film crew from the Game Show Network.
“If you buy your number and do whatever you want — wear a silly costume with your name on it and try to get cheers from the crowd — it becomes a weird thing,’’ Derderian said. “It degenerates pretty quickly into a freak show.’’
BAA leaders said the overall performance of non-qualifiers has improved thanks to a requirement that charity runners participate in marathon training programs. Yet one of the only performance requirements for more than 3,000 runners who receive their invitations from entities other than charities is that they complete the course within six hours. Considerably slower than the 5-hour-30-minute qualifying time for women 80 and over.
Et pour finir…