THE BOOK - Read how it all began in a bar; the story of a runner who swam across the harbor during the race; how legendary coach Bill Squires and his Greater Boston Track Club ignited the level of competition; how the race’s inspiration - Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter - came to Falmouth; why the course ranged from 6.9 to 7.5 miles; how 6-time champ Joan Benoit Samuelson nearly missed running one year due to her race-morning boat ride; and much more.
This definitive and historical chronicle - the first book devoted entirely to the race - features a stunning array of stories, anecdotes, tales, and tidbits. The entertaining and compelling story is told through vintage and race-day photographs - some of which never before published; a foreword by race founder Tommy Leonard; extensive and diligent research through personal, public, library, historical society, and Falmouth Road Race archives and records; and nearly 100 book-exclusive interviews of legendary Olympians and champions such as Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Alberto Salazar, Henry Rono, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Jen Rhines, Lynn Jennings, Craig Blanchette, Tatyana McFadden; organizers Tommy Leonard, John & Lucia Carroll, Rich & Kathy Sherman, Dave McGillivray, Matt Auger; longtime volunteers and sponsors; and many more.
THE EVENT - The Falmouth Road Race began on August 15, 1973, the 40th birthday of race founder Tommy Leonard. The point-to-point race from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights in Cape Cod, Mass., has attracted international fields of world-caliber athletes, local age-groupers, national and Olympic champions, charity runners, and more.
"A well-researched reference book on one of America's most beloved road races. At 134 pages, it's a quick read, but in that span Clerici packs in everything you could possibly want to know about Falmouth."
Jonathan Gault, "Let’sRun"
"Accurate, thorough, and interesting. As a 38-year co-director, I can attest to that!"
Rich Sherman, Falmouth Road Race co-race director 1973-2010
THE BOOK - Read about where it all began in Ashland in 1897; the various start lines in Hopkinton; the year in which a train cut through the race in Framingham; Tarzan Brown’s “dip” in a Natick lake during the race; the Scream Tunnel of women at Wellesley College; the Johnny Kelley statue in Newton; how Heartbreak Hill earned its name; the Red Sox connection and Kenmore Square; the different finish lines in Boston; and more.
The book takes readers through the colorful 26.2-mile journey - mile by mile, town by town, story by story. The great race is brought to life through informative, humorous, and enlightening detail that includes stories about every statue, moment, landmark, and portion of the course from its start the year after the first Modern Olympic Games in Greece with just 10 male finishers to its current incarnation of 30,000 participants, including women and push-rim wheelchair athletes!
With forewords by Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray and the first woman to complete the race - Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb - the book also features a wide range of vintage and race-day photos, some of which never before published; course advice from legendary running coach Bill Squires; and to further enhance your experience, personal runner-perspective views and insight by the author (who's run Boston 23 times).
"A gem of a book about a revered sporting event; facts and anecdotes aplenty in a breezy prose. A must for runners."
Dennis O’Rourke, musician, author/editor "Clean Cabbage in the Bucket and Other Tales from the Irish Music Trenches"
THE BOOK: CHINESE-LANGUAGE VERSION - "Boston Marathon History by the Mile" has been translated into Chinese by Mao Daqing and is sold in China as “Journey of the Boston Marathon,” with journey also meaning pilgrimage. On the cover, Paul Clerici is transliterated in simplified Chinese characters (保罗·克莱里西) and traditional Chinese characters (保羅·克萊里西) and is sounded out as “bao luo” (Paul) “kuh lai lee she” (Kelailixi). Special thanks to Ling-Mei Wong, editor of the Chinese-English “Sampan” newspaper in Boston, Mass., for providing the translation and explanation of the book cover.
China has experienced an increase of interest in running, especially the marathon. For the first time in its history, The People's Republic of China hosted the Olympics - the 2008 Beijing Summer Games - and Zhou Chunxiu won marathon bronze for her country.
THE EVENT - The Boston Marathon was first run on Patriots' Day, April 19, 1897, after competing Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) athletes returned from the 1896 Modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, with the idea of bringing the marathon to their B.A.A. Games in Boston, Mass. The oldest continually-run marathon in the world has witnessed the famous and the infamous, national and world records, triumphs and heartaches, and has been hailed as the greatest of them all.
THE BOOK - Read how the formation of this small track club of post-collegiate runners exploded onto the scene and became a behemoth of champions, record-setters, and international medal winners that quickly captured a steady collection of local, New England, and national titles and major marathon wins. Through oft-told and rarely told stories, anecdotes, behind-the-scenes tales, and exhaustive and detailed research and interviews, this first book to chronicle the club’s storied history celebrates the illustrious GBTC and its stunning record of achievements.
THE CLUB - The GBTC was born on August 16, 1973 at Boston College. Originally designed as a track club, it owned the relay circuit and soon expanded its domination to the roads with individual and team wins at the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon; national championships; and Olympic and international competition.
The eclectic membership has included the likes of four-time Boston and New York City Marathon winner Bill Rodgers; 1982 Boston winner Alberto Salazar; 1983 Boston winner Greg Meyer; national wheelchair champion and two-time Boston winner Bob Hall; Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray; US Olympic coach, Notre Dame All-American, and the first GBTC coach, Bill Squires; bestselling author (“The Perfect Storm”) and 1988 Hyannis Half-Marathon record-setter Sebastian Junger; US Olympic Trials marathoner Sara Donahue; US Olympian Anna Willard; sports nutritionist Nancy Clark; playwright Israel Horowitz; coach and USATF-NE president Tom Derderian; and more.
"Clerici's book enables us to reflect on the club's contributions to the sport. Boston insularity can be endearing, and the GBTC's sheer relish in its success story makes enjoyable reading. It includes colorful characters, spicy anecdotes, and truths that any runner will value."
Roger Robinson, scholar, historian, author, "Runner’s World"
"Paul Clerici, who knows the Boston running scene as well as anyone writing today, has put together a 128-page history in pictures and text of the GBTC that is entertaining, astonishing, funny, somewhat melancholy, and filled with adventures - and more often misadventures- that redefine 'colorful.'"
Rich Benyo, author, "Marathon & Beyond" publisher
"Clerici's chronological tale, which weaves through four decades and through two running 'booms,' not only packs a great wallop of inspiring stories, but also the people who brought about and continue to make the GBTC an influential club and a standard for other clubs to follow to this day."
Jeff Benjamin, "RunBlogRun," "American Track & Field"
"I'm not a running 'junkie,' so I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading Clerici's book. I realize many people who read this book will be fans of the Greater Boston Track Club (for those of whom the book is a must read), but the good news for non-runners is you don't have to be an avid GBTC fan to enjoy the book. Clerici breathes an unexpected and lively narrative into the book, weaving both history and anecdote in the GBTC (and to the sport overall) that was unexpected in both its scope and readability. This one stays on the shelf next to my copy of 'The Impossible Dream' and 'Red Sox Nation.'"
Ken Reed, screenwriter