FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
B.A.A. to Honor Lt. Colonel Rodney Freeman with Patriots' Award
Freeman, the Founder of the Boston Marathon Shadow Run,
Will Receive the Award on Thursday, April 11.
Thousands of U.S. Armed Forces Personnel Stationed Overseas
Have Participated in the Shadow Run Since 2005.
BOSTON - The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced that Lt.
Colonel Rodney Freeman will receive this year's Patriots' Award at the
official opening ceremony of the 117th Boston Marathon®, "Cheers to the
Boston Marathon," held at the Hampshire House on Thursday, April 11.
Freeman founded a shadow version of the Boston Marathon, which is held on
or near Patriots' Day for United States armed forces personnel stationed
A York, Maine native, Freeman is an Army Lieutenant Colonel and director of
Human Resources for the New Hampshire National Guard. He had begun a
training plan for the 2005 Boston Marathon before being deployed to Iraq.
Stationed at Camp Adder, formerly an Iraqi air base near the city of
Nasiriah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, Freeman established a shadow
version of the Boston Marathon in late 2004. The first shadow marathon was
held in April 2005.
Since 2005, thousands of overseas servicemen and servicewomen have
participated in the Boston Marathon Shadow Run, whether in Iraq,
Afghanistan, or on a ship at sea. The Boston Athletic Association has
provided Boston Marathon start and finish banners, bibs, tee shirts,
medals, and finisher certificates for participants in the shadow marathon
each year since 2005. Thanks to service personnel with New England roots
and the outreach of the B.A.A, the shadow marathon is becoming part of the
history of the world's oldest annual marathon.
Freeman will receive the Patriots' Award on Thursday night at the Hampshire
House in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood. Awarded by the B.A.A. and the
City of Boston each year since 2002 to a New England-based individual,
group, or organization that is patriotic, philanthropic, inspirational, and
fosters goodwill and sportsmanship, the Patriots' Award further unifies the
Boston Marathon with Patriots' Day, the holiday on which the race has been
held since 1897.
The recipients of the Patriots' Award have been Robert and Myra Kraft and
the New England Patriots (2002); Red Auerbach and the Red Auerbach Youth
Foundation (2003); Ron Burton and the Ron Burton Training Village (2004);
the Boston Red Sox Foundation (2005); Rick and Dick Hoyt (2006); Joan
Benoit Samuelson (2007); Mike Andrews and the Jimmy Fund (2008); longtime
Boston bartenders and philanthropists Eddie Doyle and Tommy Leonard (2009);
lifetime New England Patriot and three-time Super Bowl Champion Tedy
Bruschi (2010); Carol Fulp, President & CEO, The Partnership, Inc. (2011);
and longtime Boston Red Sox pitcher and philanthropist Tim Wakefield
About the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) Established in 1887 and now
in its 125th Anniversary year, the Boston Athletic Association is a
non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and
promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The
B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the
organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity,
youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor
of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon
is part of the World Marathon Majors, along with the international
marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. The 117th
Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 15, 2013. Nearly 50,000
runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2013.