On April 15, 2013 when the two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, more than 5,000 runners had yet to cross the Boylston Street finish line.
Today, the Boston Athletic Association (the organization behind the race) has reached out and offered the group of 5,633 runners the opportunity to finish what they started just over a month ago. Race officials have offered to pre-register anyone who was past the halfway mark of the race when the explosions occurred.
The news was emailed to all of those who were cut off from completing the race and then announced to the world in a press release from the B.A.A.
In the announcement, B.A.A.'s Executive Director Tom Grilk said;
The opportunity to run down Boylston Street and to cross the finish line amid thousands of spectators is a significant part of the entire Boston Marathon experience. With the opportunity to return and participate in 2014, we look forward to inviting back these athletes and we expect that most will renew their marathon training commitment.
Boston spectators are known for their impassioned support and unbridled enthusiasm, and they will give these returning athletes some of the loudest cheers at next year's race.
The group of 5633 potential runners is a diverse one, representing all 50 states, four U.S. territories and 726 runners from outside of the country. Their ages range from 18-82. Mr. Grilk has said that he expects many of those who missed out on the chance to finish the 26.2 mile race will be back in Boston next April.
ESPN reports that the news has been favorably received in the social media communities. The B.A.A. Facebook page was instantly hit with many "likes" from runners who have vowed to return next year.
In case you were wondering, the invitation to participate in next years' Boston Marathon is non-transferrable.