A Unicorn. That’s the Boston Athletic Association’s mascot. A Unicorn.
But, why a Unicorn? Per the BAA website:
Chosen by the founding members of the Boston Athletic Association in 1887 — ten years prior to the inaugural Boston Marathon — the Unicorn is believed to have been chosen as the organization’s symbol due to its place in mythology. In Chinese and other mythologies, the Unicorn represents an ideal: something to pursue, but which can never be caught. In pursuit of the Unicorn, however, athletic competitors can approach excellence (but never fully achieve it). It is this pursuit to push oneself to his or her own limit and to the best of one’s ability which is at the core of athletics. And for this reason, as the marathon matured, that the B.A.A. also decided that the Unicorn would be the appropriate symbol for the marathon.
“The Unicorn represents an ideal.” Very appropriate, seeing as the Boston Marathon is one of the world’s major marathons and everyone who is part of the running community either watches it, blogs about it, or tries to qualify for it (BQ!). Or, if you’re me this year, refreshes Twitter obsessively to get all the minute-by-minute updates while at work.
The Boston Marathon, in itself, represents an ideal. I think a lot of runners want to say, “I ran Boston.” A lot of runners want to say “I conquered Heartbreak Hill.” This year, the men’s winner of the Boston Maration, Geoffrey Mutai (KEN), at 2:03:02, and second place, Moses Mosop (KEN), at 2:03:06, BOTH beat the current World Record of 2:03:59. Unfortunately, Mr. Mutai’s time is not eligible to be a WR, due to the elevation drop and point-to-point measurements of the Boston course. But, the IAAF has noted that Mutai ran “the fastest marathon ever run.”
Does this mean that Mr. Mutai has reached this ideal? He’s done what seems to be the impossible. He’s run faster than he’s ever run before – he shaved a full minute and 53 seconds off his personal best (Rotterdam, 2010). He’s run faster than any other man in a marathon.
If this isn’t achieving excellence, I don’t know what is.
But, as a side note, can I just say that the Unicorn is the most awesome mascot ever? Ever! I run, and the truth is, one day I want to say, “I ran Boston”. But, I also want to say, “I am wearing a unicorn on my shirt.”
It could be that I’m slightly obsessed with unicorns. I used to watch The Last Unicorn on repeat when I was sick as a child.
But, even amateur runners know not to wear the Unicorn unless you’ve run Boston. And if you’re Carly or me, you want unicorns on your shirt. Or shorts. Or shoes. We’re not that picky.
Carly: “I wish there was more workout gear featuring unicorns. Is that too much to ask?!”
Me: “Apparently so. Unless you run Boston.”
So off I went on a search for running gear with unicorns on them. So far, my exhaustive Google search has found socks:
And the New Braunfels High School Fighting Unicorns:
Do you have any suggestions on where to find unicorn-themed running gear?