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home > news > usa: northeast > american red cross and boston athletic association partner for runner safety at 116th boston marathon

American Red Cross and Boston Athletic Association Partner for Runner Safety at 116th Boston Marathon

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Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012

BOSTON - After years of working for the health and safety of Boston Marathoners, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) and the American Red Cross have put their relationship in writing.

A memorandum of understanding has been executed between the two organizations, signed by Thomas S. Grilk, executive director of the B.A.A. and Jarrett Barrios, American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts CEO. The relationship centers on support provided on the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon® course on race day, which this year is on Monday, April 16, 2012.

The B.A.A. and the Red Cross have a long history of working together at the Boston Marathon to the benefit of thousands of participants and spectators along the route. For more than three decades, hundreds of American Red Cross volunteers have staffed first aid stations located at each mile.

The agreement celebrates the contributions of longtime volunteers, Kandi Finch, who has volunteered on race day for 38 years, and Kathy Callahan, who has volunteered with the Red Cross for the marathon for 15 years. Red Cross volunteers provide critical emergency medical services to athletes running the Boston Marathon, as well as those viewing the race along the route.

New for 2012, the Red Cross has been designated as an official charity by the B.A.A. for the Boston Marathon. The American Red Cross will provide valuable training to participants on race weekend in conjunction with a first-ever CPR program to be held at the Seaport World Trade Center. The CPR program allows some of those running in the marathon an opportunity to familiarize themselves with simple and potentially life-saving techniques should they witness cardiac arrest during the race.

“We are so proud of our history with the B.A.A. and the Boston Marathon, and are happy to grow our partnership,” said Barrios. “I might even run with Team Red Cross next year.”

A total of 21 runners are participating in next month’s race with a goal of raising $100,000 for programs for the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts. New Cape Cod and Islands Red Cross Chapter Director Hilary Greene is among the athletes running for Team Red Cross.

In addition, the agreement notes that up to 325 medical volunteers will be provided by the American Red Cross. Medical supplies, ice, Poland Spring® water and Gatorade® will be provided by the B.A.A. for the comfort of its athletes.

“The American Red Cross is an active and easily indentified organization on course which we are pleased to count on for the safety of our runners,” said B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk. “For years, participants of the Boston Marathon® have been assisted by the trained staff, creating a network of safety and a sense of confidence regardless of the weather conditions in any given year. We are grateful and thankful for the measure of comfort and relief the American Red Cross provides. “

Established in 1887, 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 Services. The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors along with the Virgin London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon. Nearly 50,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2012.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at



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