Boston Marathon veterans may recognize the iconic Citgo logo that marks one mile remaining in the iconic race. It’s likely that runners of this year’s race will see that logo more often than in past years.
The Houston-based oil and gasoline company will have an official role with the Boston Marathon as the two have signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement. Citgo will be the Boston Marathon’s “official fuel supplier,” according to a Boston Athletic Association release.
Citgo will have a cheer zone located beneath the iconic sign at Kenmore Square. The current sign’s design has been present during the Boston Marathon since 1965, making it a mainstay for runners looking for a visual cue to begin their late-race surge (or fade).
The 2017 Boston Marathon, now in its 121st year, will be run on April 17. The iconic race, part of the World Marathon Majors, is arguably the world’s most famous road race. The marathon begins in Hopkinton, Mass. and finishes on Boylston Street in downtown Boston. Approximately 30,000 runners will run the oldest continuously run marathon in the world in 2017.
While the Boston Citgo sign may signal one mile (1,609m) remaining in the 42K race, the landmark is visible much farther away teasing runners into thinking they may be closer to the finish than they really are. “When participants envision the Boston Marathon, one of the most memorable images is that of the Citgo sign and the final strides to the finish,” said B.A.A. chief executive Tom Grilk.
The Citgo sign also receives occasional airtime on Boston Red Sox broadcasts, which bolsters its popularity, as the sign is located within eyesight of Fenway Park, the city’s Major League Baseball stadium.
According to the Boston Globe, Citgo has been a past sponsor of the Boston Marathon but not since 2002. The Globe notes that redevelopment of the area may put the Citgo sign’s future in jeopardy.
Eric Gillis and Rachel Hannah headline the Canadian contingency for the 2017 Boston Marathon.