Jimmy Golen, AP Sports

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Marathon is sending out a special invitation for next year’s race for those “personally and profoundly impacted” by the bombings at the finish line.

The Boston Athletic Organization says as many as a few hundred entries have been reserved for those who have a “special connection to the events of April 15.”

This year’s field has already been expanded by 9,000 to accommodate runners who want to participate in the first race after the bombings. But those runners still had to qualify by running an accredited marathon in a time that can be as fast as 3 hours, 5 minutes.

A total of 4,722 who were stopped on the course in April were also allowed to enter the 2014 race without requalifying.

Those wishing to enter under the new provision need to submit a 250-word essay at the B.A.A. website.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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