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March 28, 2004
The Mark Charbonnier Memorial Run
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April 19, 2004
Boston Athletic Association's "Boston Marathon"
"I would like to invite those donating to our cause to send me the name(s) of friends or family members that have battled these cancer or childhood diseases. We will honor their fight by placing their names on the jersey I run with. We began this two years ago and I found it to be a great influence as the miles wore on.
As I cross each miler marker, I look down and read the names dedicated to that mile. Some names I know, while others I don't, but it doesn't matter, each person on the shirt has fought harder and longer than I ever have. Whatever pain I am experiencing at the time goes away when I think of what these people have experienced. I know this act cannot bring back the people who have passed but it does show the respect we have for each of them and the support we wish to give the ones still fighting."
- Michael O'Neill
Among the nation's oldest athletic clubs, the Boston Athletic Association,(B.A.A.) was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games, was comprised of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897.
The B.A.A. Boston Marathon has since become the world's oldest annually contested marathon.
The Boston Athletic Association, is committed to encouraging and promoting fitness through athletics, has developed a program with the Boston Marathon for charitable organizations in the Massachusetts area. The B.A.A. assists these charitable organizations by providing guaranteed entries for fund raising and, in the spirit of charity, encourages all qualified runners to aid in these efforts.
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