In a tribute to the city of Boston, Sports Illustrated has decided to dedicate their cover to the runners of the marathon.
Sports Illustrated managing editor Chris Stone described how the cover is meant to capture “Boston Strong” — the theme that the city adopted in the aftermath of the tragic bombings that killed three and injured 260 people at the race last year.
“Boston Strong is a story about people, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, ordinary people doing ordinary things,” Stone said.
The photo shoot will be on April 12 at 7:00 a.m. at the finish line of the race, which is on the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth streets. The photo will feature the runners and fans, as well as the city’s first responders and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
“SI’s creative director, Chris Hercik, believed the best way to tell this story a year later was to bring all those people, or as many as possible, into a single photo at the finish line,” Stone said.
The issue donning the “Boston Strong” cover will be released on April 16.
It is also meant to show the stark contrast between the 117th and 118th marathons.
Last year’s April issue featured the famous image of a lone runner who had fallen on the cement from the blasts, with police officers rushing to help, and smoke and fire eclipsing the background.
“If you look at last year’s cover photo, you see all that empty space all the way down Boylston Street filled by smoke and that backdrop of chaos and destruction. This year’s photo fills those spaces with the Bostonians who wrote the Boston Strong story,” Stone explained.
In a true showing of the strength of the city, the Boston Marathon participation will be stronger this year than ever before. The traditional cap for the race was 27,000 runners, but this year there will be 36,000 running through the eight cities and towns along the 26.2-mile course.
However, even with increasing the field size by approximately 9,000 runners, the Boston Athletic Association still had to turn down runners according to their online site.
In addition to qualified runners, extra slots were given to “include those most affected by last year’s events: those who were prevented from finishing, first responders, elite and legacy runners, and families of victims,” the Boston Marathon online site reads.