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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Opinion | JENNIFER GRAHAM

Boston Marathon’s starting line dust-up

Hopkinton, Ashland base identities on where marathon begins — or began

When runners stream down Route 135 next week, en route to the blistery nirvana that is Boylston Street, they will tread across one of the greatest rivalries in sports. Not the Sox and the Yanks, not the Patriots and the Ravens, not “tastes great” and “less filling.” It’s Hopkinton vs. Ashland, in the two suburban towns’ dueling quest for a marathon museum.

In one corner, there’s Ashland, where the Boston Marathon began — or rather, the 24.5-mile road race that would become the modern-day marathon, the king of distance racing. In the other corner, there’s Hopkinton, which has been called “the spiritual ZIP code of the marathon” and has claimed the starting line since 1924.

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