Do you believe in unicorns?
In 1887--ten years before the first Boston Marathon - the unicorn was chosen as the symbol of the Boston Athletic Association. According to the B.A.A. website, the unicorn “represents an ideal: something to pursue, but which can never be caught. In pursuit of the unicorn, however, athletic competitors can approach excellence (but never fully achieve it.) It is this pursuit to push oneself to his or her own limit and to the best of one’s ability which is at the core of athletics.”
The horned creature is also a symbol of purity. And in Chinese mythology, the unicorn is believed to be an animal of good omen that came to humans only on important missions.