Boston Marathon to increase field for 2014 race

BOSTON (AP) The Boston Marathon will accept an extra 9,000 runners for next year's race, with room for the more than 5,000 people stopped on the course this year when two bombs went off and for many of those wanting to run as a tribute to the victims.

Registration for the 118th edition of the world's oldest and most prestigious annual marathon will open Sept. 9, the Boston Athletic Association said.

"We understand many marathoners and qualifiers want to run Boston in 2014, and we appreciate the support and patience that the running community has demonstrated because of the bombings that occurred this past spring," executive director Tom Grilk said in a statement Thursday.

The expanded field of 36,000 would be the second largest in the race's history, behind only the 38,708 who registered for the 100th anniversary race in 1996. Organizers have said they are forced to cap the field size because they have limited space at the start in Hopkinton and on some of the course's Colonial-era streets.

Registration will begin Sept. 9, with the fastest qualifiers getting the chance to sign up first. It will continue through the end of the week and, if space remains, reopen for all qualifiers Sept. 16.

Organizers already had said they would allow those runners who were stopped on the course this year to reregister for next year's race, inviting back all those who reached the halfway point but not the finish line on Boylston Street. Registration for those runners took place this week and was scheduled to end at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

More than 4,500 of those who were stopped on the course this year have entered next year's race, the BAA said. They were required to pay the entry fee $175 for U.S. residents and $225 for international residents but they did not have to rerun another race at a qualifying time.

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This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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