Boston Marathon documentary to go beyond 2013 attacks

Boston Marathon
AP
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BOSTON (AP) — America’s marquee marathon is ready for its close-up.

“Boston,” the first feature-length documentary film about the Boston Marathon, is in the works. Its creators say the movie will go well beyond the 2013 bombings to retrace the iconic footrace’s first steps in 1897.

“Over the years, the Boston Marathon has had so many extraordinary stories of people achieving and accomplishing things,” said producer Megan Williams, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker. “It’s like looking at cultural and social change over the last century through the lens of this major sporting event.”

Two feature films (one starring Mark Wahlberg), a stage play and an HBO special also are in production, though they’re all about the 2013 finish line attacks that killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others.

No Boston documentary would be complete without the dark events of 2013. “Boston,” however, will focus less on the chaos than the comeback. The producers had 56 cameras along the course in 2014 for the marathon’s first running since the bombings.

Director Jon Dunham said the city’s determination to take back its namesake race will be a recurring theme in the movie, which was conceived before the attacks.

But the film will be a sort of highlights reel from the 120-year-old marathon, the nation’s oldest. The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the race, gave Dunham exclusive rights to its archive of photos, video and marathon memorabilia.

“Boston” will tell the stories of some of the greatest marathoners ever to conquer the hilly 26.2-mile course stretching from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to Boston. They include four-time winner Bill Rodgers; Johnny Kelley, who ran 61 Bostons and won two; and Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967 became the first woman to run with an official bib number.

“It’s a huge undertaking. We’ve got 300 hours of stuff we shot, not counting the archival material,” said Dunham, who hopes it will psych up runners like his popular “Spirit of the Marathon” films — cult classics that followed select amateur and elite runners at the 2005 Chicago and 2012 Rome marathons.

Nothing rivals the Boston Marathon in terms of sheer lore, said Tom Derderian, a running coach and author who’s serving as an executive producer, along with 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor.

“The marathon is a mirror in which you can see the reflections of the times in every year,” he said. “For instance, the world of the 1910 Boston was not this world — it featured young men who were considered at great risk of ruining their health by running. That was the essential myth of those times.”

Derderian ticks off other examples: wild speculation in the 1920s that fueled rampant betting on the winner, and unemployed men who ran during World War II in hopes the media attention would help them compete for scarce jobs.

“Boston” also will follow more modern heroes, such as 2014 victor Meb Keflezighi, the first American man to win in 31 years.

But the real star is the race itself.

The movie tentatively is set to premiere in April 2017 in conjunction with the 121st edition of the race. John Hancock Financial, the marathon’s principal backer, has signed on as the film’s title sponsor, though Williams said she’s still working to raise half of the project’s $2 million budget.

In the meantime, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is recording Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal‘s score.

“I’m not a runner and I’m not from Boston,” Williams said. “But I hope our film really captures the uniqueness and importance of the Boston Marathon.”

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Online:

Film site: http://bostonmarathonfilm.com

BOSTON Film Trailer from Jon Dunham on Vimeo.

U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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