Boston Marathon starting line moved from Ashland to Hopkinton 100 years ago

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HOPKINTON –  There have been some changes in the infrastructure of the Boston Marathon over the past 100 years, but the feeling remains the same at the start line.

“I grew up here in Hopkinton, and the Marathon really was just an exciting time, of spring, and renewal, and running,” said Kelly Grill, Executive Director of the Hopkinton Center for the Arts.

Boston Marathon art exhibit

Monday marks the 100th time that the Boston Marathon started from Hopkinton after it previously began in Ashland. To celebrate, the Hopkinton Center for the Arts and the 26.2 Foundation have key initiatives that people can view and take part in. 

They created the Winged Foot Exhibit with help from artists all across the Commonwealth.

“We have 26 displayed on the town common for people to visit. Their artist’s statement is on there. So they are able to read all about them, and then we are going to auction them off for the Foundation and the HCA,” said Kim Chisholm, Executive Director of the 26.2 Foundation.

Then there is the start-line experience, where individuals can take a self-guided art tour of the Marathon Legend Sculptures in Hopkinton and check out a one-of-a-kind mural.

“The Hopkinton Public Library was gracious enough to let us use their space. We have a beautiful mural of some winged feet that, again, you can go and take your picture in front of,” Chisholm said.

A piece of the starting line

They are also hoping the exhibit will bring runners a bit of luck. The town of Hopkinton recently redid the marathon start line, so they took the old pieces of pavement and brought them to the exhibit. Now, they’re on display for everyone to see and touch.

“That’s really what this is all about. The start line and the beginning of this road race. So we are going to display it here in our show and encourage runners to come by and rub it for a little luck,” Grill said.

And when you’re running a marathon anything helps.

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