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Lacy to Participate in Boston Marathon

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/12/24 | 4/12/24

There’s normally around 30,000 participants in the world-famous Boston Marathon, but  behind the scenes a team of over 10,000 volunteers work to make sure the race goes off  as planned, and to account for any possible scenario during the event.  

Selected as a volunteer for the 128th Boston Marathon in April of this year, Matt Lacy  joins a team of amateur radio operators from across the Northeast to provide reliable  communications between the starting area, the finish line, and checkpoints the length of  the 26.2 mile course. Operators work with race organizers to relay information to  Marathon staff located at any point along the course. 

“Every operator has a purpose,” says Lacy. “Messages and other important data can be  shared between any points on the course to ensure a direct, precise response.” The  nature of the work performed gives amateur radio operators a chance to see and  experience things not normally part of a traditional spectator’s day.  

Volunteers assist with coordinating starting activities, communicating medical  emergencies along the course, act as navigators for the transportation network of  stranded runners, and help to secure the finish line and keep Marathon officials in ready  communication with others, so that these officials can perform their primary jobs. 

The framework provided by the amateur radio network proved invaluable during the  aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon, where emergency communications were able to  be routed in areas in blackout from traditional radio, phone, or internet service. The work  of radio operators along the length of the course saved many lives that day. 

Amateur radio operators are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission after  passing a multiple-choice test on basic radio and regulatory topics. Public service operating events and emergency communications are two cornerstones for ham radio,  with the Marathon being one of the largest coordinated volunteer efforts in the hobby.  

For more information about amateur radio in Schoharie County, plus information about  the emergency service, public service, and STEM/academic components of the hobby,  please visit the Schoharie County Amateur Radio Association online at, contact Club President John Knoebel at, or attend an Association meeting on the 2nd Thursday of the month  at the Schoharie Fire Department on Fort Rd. 

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