Hopkinton Could House the Marathon Hall of Fame
Thursday, August 09, 2012
The non-profit 26.2 Foundation is currently in the process of planning a marathon hall of fame in Hopkinton, with the hopes of making the Central Mass town a hub for marathon runners and fitness enthusiasts of all kinds.
"The vision of the project includes making Hopkinton a center for fitness and movement," Tim Kilduff, Executive Director of the 26.2 Foundation, said. "Obviously, we want to appeal to the marathon crowd, but we think it can be something bigger than that."
The process began four years ago with the Hopkinton Athletic Foundation, which later became 26.2 for the distance, in miles, of a marathon. The foundation believes Hopkinton is the ideal spot for a marathon hall of fame, not only because it is the town where the Boston Marathon starts, but also because it is a very accessible location.
"Massachusetts and Hopkinton have a very unique spot in the marathon world," Kilduff said. "But also, this is an ideal location. We're right at the crossing of (interstate) 495 and the Mass Pike, so getting here from all over is easy."
The plan is grand in nature. Kilduff says the facility will probably be around 10,000 square feet and feature the hall itself, a museum of the history of distance running, along with training and running trails. It could also feature training equipment for other sports, such as rowing.
"A room with a bunch of running shoes is not going to cut it for us," Kilduff said. "This will be a substantial effort."
The museum and hall of fame will feature both permanent and traveling exhibits. The exhibits will cover the history of the marathon, including its origins from the Battle of Marathon in ancient Greece, but also focus on health and exercise educaion. The foundation is also tossing around the idea of using the facility as a host site for racing events and other competitions.
The process got into full swing at the beginning of the year, with the foundation looking at several properties, all in close proximity to the Boston Marathon course. With locations like Legacy Farms and Hopkinton and Ashland State Parks being considered, Kilduff believes the project could be finished in three years' time.
"We'll start putting together a prospectus now, looking at the financial realities of the project and potential locations," Kilduff said. "We hope that will be completed in September, and then we can move on from there."
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