100 Golden Retrievers to Cross Boston Marathon Finish Line Day Before Race

One day before the 127th Boston Marathon takes place on April 17, 100 golden retrievers will walk the final mile to cross the finish line in honor of Spencer, the official dog of the Boston Marathon, who died from cancer in February 2023.

The dogs are part of the MA Golden Meetups, a dog group on Facebook that organized the now-closed mile-long walking event. They are also behind the creation of “Golden Strong” bandanas designed in memory of Spencer and his niece, Penny, who died of cancer just eight days after Spencer sadly passed.

golden retriever
Photo: Pixabay/taylorarisa

Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Golden retrievers are prone to various cancers, making the breed ideal for one of the longest-running canine cancer investigative studies in veterinary history.

A portion of the Golden Strong bandana proceeds will go to the Morris Animal Foundation’s research known as the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Spencer and Penny’s humans also assembled a fundraiser for the group when Spencer died. They are said to have raised $30,000 to date.

golden retriever
Photo: Pixabay/LN_Photoart

MA Golden Meetups

“Spencer and Penny’s deaths shook the Massachusetts golden retriever community,” Elisha Bussiere, co-founder and marketing director of MA Golden Meetups, said in a statement, according to Boston 25. “We all felt connected to them through our love for these dogs and all golden retrievers. Our members wanted to do something for the marathon to spread love and offer comfort in memory of these dogs who brought joy and comfort to so many others.”

marathon runners
Photo: Pixabay/wal_172619

127th Boston Marathon

The morning before 30,000 runners make their way to the starting point of the race, 100 golden retrievers will walk one mile to cross the famed finish line in Spencer’s memory. Spencer became a staple at the Mile 3 marker of the event’s course while holding a “Boston Strong” flag in his mouth after the horrific 2013 bombing tragedy that left 3 people dead and more than 260 injured.

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