Friday, April 13, 2012

Countdown to Boston: A Beacon of Hope

With Boston only days away (3 to be precise), I'm going to begin a countdown to Boston series of posts. In the final days of the taper, it's hard to get my brain to focus on much other than the upcoming race, but with plenty of Boston-related topics, hopefully I can at least keep the blog interesting.

In the final miles of the marathon, having physical landmarks to focus on can really help. By breaking the course down into smaller pieces, you make it seem easier to manage. Obviously, one of the most famous landmarks on the Boston Course is the 60ft-by-60ft Citgo sign near mile 25. For years this sign has been calling runners to the finish, but if you have an inquiring mind like I do, maybe you've wondered about what it's doing there.

In 1940, the Cities Service Company erected a large sign above its Beacon Street regional services office. In 1965, when the company re-branded itself as Citgo, it replaced the sign with the now iconic triangular logo.

During the energy crisis of the late-1970s, Citgo actually left the sign dark for four years as a symbol of energy conservation. Unfortunately, the 1980s saw the sign deteriorate and Citgo prepared to tear it down. When the demolition crews arrived, however, the public outcry was so great that the company agreed to refurbish the sign.

In 2005 the more than 5 miles of neon tubes used to light the sign were replaced with LED lights. Those lights were replaced with newer, even more energy efficient lights in 2010. The good news is, this sign should be guiding runners to the finish for years to come.
Today's Run: I'm taking a rest day today and tomorrow so there was no morning run. My next run will be a pre-race warm-up in Boston!!!

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