Íàçâàíèå: This Is America (Å. Ã. Ãðèøåíêîâà)
1 KEY WORDS
Match the vocabulary items with their definitions
2 FIND THE INFORMATION
Read the text as quickly as possible and answer the questions
1. When is the oldest marathon held each year?
2. What age groups compete? Which group is the largest/smallest?
3. What device helps to know how long the runner takes to compete the race?
4. When did the Boston Marathon start to include users of wheelchairs?
5. When was the first Boston Marathon held? Why?
6. What cities hold their marathons? Why are the organizers pleased with the areas they choose for the competition?
7. Why has running gained popularity in the US?
8. Why do sport experts and doctors urge runners to prepare themselves for running long distances?
9. Why do people run?
10. How do people feel when they cross the finish line?
This year, thousands of people from many nations are running marathon races in the United States. Many cities hold these races of more than forty-two kilometers.
More than sixteen thousand people will compete on April 15, 2002 in the 106th
Boston Marathon. The race is the oldest marathon in the world held each year.
Men and women over eighteen run in the marathon. The largest number of runners, eight thousand six hundred, is in the under forty group. It is not surprising that the smallest number, forty-five, is in the seventy and older age group.
Winners of the 2001 Boston Marathon in the under-age-forty group will race again this year. Lee Bong-Ju of South Korea won the men’s race last year. Catherine Ndereba of Kenya won the women’s race. They are among many serious competitors in the 2002 marathon.
Winners will share five hundred twenty-five thousand dollars in prize money given by companies and organizations.
Runners in the Boston Marathon have demonstrated that they are good at the sport. They completed earlier races called qualifying races. They have to run those races within a set time.
Other people join the Boston Marathon just for fun. These people have not officially joined the race. They just start running with the crowds. They are called bandits. Many of them probably will finish hours after the serious runners. But these unofficial racers are just as happy. They sometimes kiss the ground after crossing the finish line.
The runners will begin this year’s Boston Marathon at noon next Monday in the town of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. They will then pass through the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton and Brookline. They will run up and down hills. They will complete the race in the center of Boston.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to watch the marathon. Many will carry signs that say things like, “We are proud of you, Mommy.”
Security for both watchers and runners has been increased this year, after the terrorist attacks on the United States last September.
Before the marathon begins, a computer chip device is attached to each runner’s shoe. It electronically records how long the runner takes to complete the race. Timing begins when a runner passes another device placed across the road at the starting line. The computer chip records each runner’s time as he or she passes over several areas along the race. And it records the runner’s final time when crossing the finish line.
Last year, Lee Bong-Ju ran his winning race in two hours, nine minutes and forty three seconds. Women’s winner Catherine Ndereba finished in two hours, twenty three minutes and fifty three seconds.
People who cannot walk also compete in the Boston Marathon. Competitors in wheelchairs begin the race earlier than others. The Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include users of wheelchairs in 1975.
Last year, South African competitor Ernst VanDyk won the wheelchair race. He finished in one hour twenty-five minutes and twelve seconds. That was more than six minutes faster than his closest competitor.
The first Boston Marathon was held in 1897. Fifteen men competed. Ten finished the race. Since then, the marathon has been held every year as part of a holiday in Massachusetts called Patriot’s Day. The holiday honors the beginning of the American War of Independence in the 1770s.
This year, several special events are planned for Patriot’s Day. For example, musicians will perform 18th century music at a public gathering place at Hopkinton where the race begins.
The word “marathon” comes from an area along the coast of Greece. An important battle took place in Marathon about two thousand five hundred years ago. An army from Persia had invaded Greece. Greece’s army defeated the invading army at Marathon. An Athenian general sent a Greek runner to Athens to tell the news of the victory. Marathon was about forty kilometers from Athens. The man ran to Athens at top speed. He announced his message. Then he fell to the ground, dead.
A men’s marathon of about forty kilometers was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The distance of the marathon was increased to forty two and two tenths kilometers at the 1908 Olympics in London. The marathon continues to be a popular Olympic sport.
Many American cities in addition to Boston hold marathons. For example, the United States Marine Marathon will take place on October 3, 2002 in Washington, D.C., and the state of Virginia.
Chicago also will hold its 2002 Marathon in October. The running area in
Chicago is almost completely flat. This has permitted runners to set some of the
world’s fastest times there. The Chicago race offers more than five hundred thousand dollars in prize money.
New York will hold its marathon in November. This marathon is so large that competitors must take part in a game of chance to win the right to enter. As many as thirty thousand people have run in New York Marathons.
About six thousand people ran in the new Washington, D.C., Marathon on March 24, 2002. It was the first forty-two-and-two-tenths-kilometer race ever held completely inside the city.
Marathon planners are pleased with the areas they chose for the competition. Racers ran through the city center near famous memorials and buildings like the Capitol. They also ran through many of the different areas of the city where people live.
Andrey Kuznetsov of the nearby state of Maryland won the men’s race in the Washington Marathon. He is forty four years old. He crossed the finish line after two hours twenty-three minutes and forty seconds. A mother of three young children from Atlanta, Georgia, won the women’s race. Forty-year-old Victoria Mills finished in two hours fifty four minutes twenty nine seconds. Each won two thousand dollars.
Los Angeles, California also held its marathon in March. More than eighteen thousand runners competed.
Thirty years ago, far fewer people ran in the United States. Today, millions run. Many more women now take part in the sport. Many children in public and private schools run as part of their physical education programs.
Running has gained popularity for several reasons. You can do it anywhere, any time. You do not need other people. And you do not need much equipment. However, experts suggest you wear a good pair of running shoes to protect your feet. The manufacture of running shoes has become a huge industry in the United States.
Other popular products for runners include special watches so they can record their times. Runners often buy drinks that contain minerals said to increase energy. Some carry water or energy drinks in unbreakable plastic bottles they wear on the belts.
People run for different reasons. Most say running makes them feel better physically. It prevents them from gaining weight. It provides needed exercise to help prevent some diseases.
Many people also say running makes them feel better mentally. It makes them feel happier. Some say they forget their worries when they run.
Sports experts, however, urge people to prepare themselves before trying to run in long races. They say special exercises and repeated runs are needed to build strength.
Doctors also urge runners to make sure they are in good health before entering a marathon. They say forty two kilometers is a long way to run as fast as you can without stopping.
Brett Silver is a young businesswoman in Los Angeles, California. She has run the Los Angeles Marathon two times. Last month, she finished the race in an hour less than she did the year before. She says she improved because she now awakens early and runs before work.
Ms Silver describes her feelings at crossing the finish line of a marathon. She says, “You feel terribly tired. At the same time, you feel just wonderful.”
3 COMPREHENSION CHECK
Decide whether these statements are TRUE or FALSE
1. Boston is the only American city where the marathon is held every year.
2. Fifty men competed in the first Boston marathon held in 1897.
3. The marathon is held to honor the American War of Independence.
4. People run in the marathon to raise money for charity.
5. Marathons are becoming more and more popular with the Americans.
6. Marathon running doesn’t require any preparation.
7. People run in the marathon because they feel only excitement at the finish line.
4 VOCABULARY AND GRAMMAR EXERCISES
1) Match the beginning of the phrases with their endings to make expressions from the text
2) Fill in the gaps with the correct article to complete each sentence
1) word “marathon” comes from 2)
area along 3)
important battle took place in 5)
Marathon about two thousand
and five hundred years ago. 6)
army from 7)
Persia had invaded 8)
Greece’s army defeated 10)
invading army at
Athenian general sent 13)
Greek runner to
Athens to tell 15)
news of 16)
about forty kilometers from 18)
man ran to20)
top speed. He announced his message. Then he fell to 21)
men’s marathon of about forty kilometers was included in 23)
first modern Olympic games in 1896. 24)
distance of the marathon was
increased to forty-two and two-tenths kilometers at 25)
1908 Olympics in
marathon continues to be 28)
popular Olympic sport.
5 FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES
1. Think of similar popular sporting events in our country and make a report about one of them.
2. Work with a partner and suggest possible ways of boosting sport popularity among young people.