The new Boston RunBase will serve as a multifaceted running center for Boston Marathon participants and running enthusiasts. Its ties to the marathon are strong, with a museum housing race memorabilia and a location near the finish line—ground zero for the deadly bombings of 2013.
The Boston Athletic Association (BAA), Marathon Sports, and Adidas have joined forces to create a year-round running epicenter, combining an interactive museum, retail store, and communal space for runners. Boston RunBase will open April 16, four days before this year’s Boston Marathon.
“It’s going to be an interactive hub for those that love the Boston Marathon,” Chris Brewer, U.S. director of running at Adidas, told the Boston Globe. “It will be a retail experience like no other.”
Visitors to the 2,000-square-foot establishment can stock up on running gear and use the facilities to shower and change after running. Boston RunBase will also serve as a space for hosting community events, running clinics, and meet-ups.
Visitors will be able to experience 119 years of race history through memorabilia from the BAA archives and four interactive screens, which include records of every Boston Marathon competitor.
“When someone participates in the Boston Marathon, they feel like they are added to the honor roll,” BAA spokesman Jack Fleming told the Associated Press. “It’s almost like being a part of an alumni association: You just have that connection with the people that have preceded you. And you know that you are following, literally, in their footsteps.”
Boston RunBase is the first U.S. RunBase location and the sixth worldwide. The Boston site is especially significant because of its ties to the marathon.
“This RunBase is the front door,” Tom Grilk, executive director of BAA, told the AP. “It is intended to be a place where the visitor can touch the history, the tradition of the Boston Marathon, and then get out and do something, go for a run themselves.”
Reflecting on Tragedy
Boston RunBase also holds strong emotional significance, with its location a block from the site of the second explosion in the 2013 bombing attacks that resulted in three deaths and hundreds of injuries. Boston RunBase is envisioned as a testament to the resilience of the global running community.
The Boston Marathon bombings “drew the global running community together over something that’s kind of ours, as runners,” Mikal Peveto, Adidas’ director of running innovation, told the AP. “It changed everything. From something so tragic, it was incredibly powerful what came out of that … realizing that we had something even more special than we had before.”