Sports Illustrated's 'Boston Strong' Marathon Cover Is Absolutely Beautiful

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterApril 16, 2014

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16:  The finish line of the Boston Marathon, located on Boylston Street, is seen on April 16, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

This past Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. On Monday, runners will again embark on the 26-mile journey, proving once again that strength overcomes terror. To that end, Sports Illustrated decided to offer a poignant snapshot of thousands who remain Boston strong. 

Providing more comfort and beauty than words could ever do justice, here is that cover via a tweet from Sports Illustrated

Time's Sam Frizell has more on the cover, including the massive number of residents who showed up to show their solidarity: 

Commemorating the city’s comeback since the Boston Marathon tragedy one year ago, the cover photo depicts 3,000 Boston residents, including the city’s mayor, dozens of runners and first responders in a moving portrait of the city’s spirit.

Those in the image showed up at 7 a.m. on Saturday, donned their favorite Boston clothes and featured in a picture alongside Mayor Marty Walsh, police officers and firefighters.

Frizell spoke with Scott Price, the man who wrote the Sports Illustrated piece to go along with the image. Price had this to say:

The Boston Marathon can’t help but regenerate itself. It will always be new because there’s something about its history and civic fervor, its oddly attractive personal toll, even its most catastrophic moment, that makes converts of us all.

Sports Ilustrated's Joey Maestas caught up with SI’s Director of Photography Brad Smith, who had this to say on the picture: 

A year later, Boston has shown the strength to carry on. I’m proud that Sports Illustrated was able to contribute, in a small way, to that process with this cover. You can see in the faces of the people of Boston, how far they’ve come, together as a city.

It has already resonated well with those on Twitter, who offer their immediate thoughts on the cover: 

Fortunately, Sports Illustrated provides a behind-the-scenes video of the epic cover shoot and posted it to the magazine's YouTube page

Photographer Gregory Heisler states, "It's incredible to see that resiliency and to see people coming together like this." Heisler continues with a sentiment most share: "It's not surprising." 

It's important to remember this is but a snapshot of the overwhelming camaraderie shared by Boston locals and, to a larger extent, all those who can't wait to see the thousands who will run on Monday. 

As Red Sox slugger David Ortiz writes in a special piece for the magazine, the past year has really illustrated a remarkable community: 

I've seen so many great things since coming to this country from the Dominican Republic, and one of them is how strong we can be in tough times. I will never forget that. Seeing Boston regroup the way it has over the last 12 months has been awesome.

When the annual marathon kicks off, it will be just as renowned as in years past. However, this iteration will be truly a celebration of strength. 

This isn't a collection of MLB stars and firefighters but one cohesive community that extends well beyond Boston's borders. 

The cover is that rare image that resonates with just about anybody who sees it, thankfully lending smiles a year after such heartache. 

If the outpouring of support for the cover is any guide, Monday will feature not just marathon runners but millions of supporters cheering from just about every corner of the nation. 

Boston is indeed beautiful. 

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