Let the 5700 who didn't cross the finish line run the Boston Marathon in 2014
  • Petitioned Boston Athletic Association

This petition was delivered to:

Boston Athletic Association
Executive Director: Wellesley, MA
Hans Larson
Chair- Wellesley, MA
Terri Tsagaris
Race Director
Dave McGillivray: Boston Athletic Association
City of Boston
Mayor Thomas Menino
Town Manager: Hopkinton, MA
Norman Khumalo
Town Manager: Ashland, MA
Anthony E. Schiavi
Town Manager: Framingham, MA
Robert J Halpin
Town Administrator: Natick, MA
Martha L White
City of Newton, MA
Mayor Setti D Warren
Town Administrator: Brookline, MA
Melvin Kleckner
Executive Director: Boston Athletic Association
Tom Grilk

Let the 5700 who didn't cross the finish line run the Boston Marathon in 2014

    1. Ryan Polly
    2. Petition by

      Ryan Polly

      Williston, VT

May 2013


After over 28,000 people signed Ryan's petition, the Boston Athletic Association announced that thousands of runners who were unable to complete the 2013 Boston Marathon as a result of the tragic bombing will be invited to participate in the 2014 race. Ryan said, "On behalf of the thousands of people that supported this request, I’d like to thank the Boston Athletic Association and their partners for respecting our need to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon. The 2014 Boston Marathon will most assuredly be an emotional experience filled with both painful memories and new beginnings. I will be honored to run along with the other finishers as we heal together and cross the finish line! Thank you for hearing our call and giving us the opportunity for closure. Boston Strong!"

Last month, I was thrilled to get the chance to run my first marathon race: the Boston Marathon. I trained for months to prepare -- even running through subzero temperatures in the cold Vermont winter weather. In order to participate in the race, runners need to meet strict qualifying times, raise a significant amount for charity, or be granted an invite by a running organization. Like my fellow runners, I worked hard to earn my spot in this marathon and a lot of people pitched in to help me along the way, too. I never could have imagined that I wouldn’t get a chance to finish.

I was less than a mile away from the finish line when I heard that a bombing had occurred, that the marathon was over, and I wouldn’t be able to complete the race. I will never forget the chaos and confusion as I, and many other runners, struggled to locate our friends and families with limited phone reception. Less than a week later, instead of the party I had planned to celebrate finishing the race with my friends in Vermont, I organized a fundraising 5K run-walk that raised over ten thousand dollars for the fund to support victims.

But I wasn’t alone. Approximately 5,700 Boston Marathoners had our dream cut short by the terrible acts of April 15th. We were not able to experience the exhilaration that only crossing the finish line can bring. The most exciting day of our lives turned out to be the scariest. We were lucky that we hadn't quite made it to the finish and therefore were safe from harm. However, we will forever carry emotional scars from those horrifying moments.

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA), the organization in charge of running the Marathon, is providing those of us who didn’t get a chance to finish the race with a finisher’s medallion and an estimated finishing time. We are certainly appreciative of these efforts, but we feel our journey is not complete. We worked hard to get to the finish line and greet our families with tears of joy. Now we cannot say we accomplished our goals. Instead we have to say we almost finished.

That’s why I’m asking the Boston Athletic Association, as well as the Cities of Boston and Newton and towns of Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, and Brookline, to grant the 5,700 of us automatic entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon. We are not asking for a free spot, simply a guaranteed entry. The leadership of the BAA has mentioned that they are considering their options on this issue, so let's send a unified message together.

We respectfully ask that a Wave Four be created so that we may run with our brothers and sisters in solidarity and healing. We want to be able to finish what we started. We want to do it with one another. We want to be able to say that we completed the Boston Marathon.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 25,000 signatures
    2. A brief thank you

      Ryan Polly
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you for the support

      Uploaded by Ryan P on 2013-05-11.

    3. We've gotten some attention

      Ryan Polly
      Petition Organizer

      Good Evening:

      First I want to thank you all for supporting this initiative. I have been in correspondence with the BAA but we have yet to get a direct answer as to whether they will let us run in 2014. If you have a moment, please watch the attached video. This video speaks from the heart.

      Also, I still need your help. Will you please share this petition with your family and friends. Share the video as well. We'd like to get the message to all of the 5700 runners!

      Thank you again for your supporting me and all of us runners. We will run again!

      Ryan Polly

      5700 Boston Strong: Please Let Us Run

      To support us go to www.change.org/letusrun Approximately 5700 runners were unable to finish the 2013 Boston Marathon. We are asking the Boston Athletic Association, as well as the Cities of Boston and Newton and towns of Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, and Brookline, to grant the 5,700 of us automatic entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon.

    4. Reached 20,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Eric Elwood EUGENE, OR
      • over 1 year ago

      Our daughter was working at the race, escorting finishers to the Marriot Hotel. She has shared what an emotional thing it was for the racers to "finish". We also think that the only way to truly show the bombers that they really didn't win is to make fewer victims. This can change victims into Boston Marathon finishers.

    • Kaylen Burke FORT MILL, SC
      • over 1 year ago

      Many of the people I love were effected by such a senseless tragedy.

    • Cédric Moulin BRUXELLES, BELGIUM
      • over 1 year ago

      Let the 5,700 finish what they started, and don't let the bombers get away with this additional take on the marathon runners and their friends and families

    • Honorata Janowicz OPALENICA, POLAND
      • over 1 year ago

      Because this attempt was big harm to humans, who ran and did not complete the course

    • Victoria Glerum NEW YORK, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      I am a runner and know the time and sweat that goes into training for a marathon.


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