Held on Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April that commemorates the first battles of the American Revolutionary War, the Boston Marathon is the oldest and probably best-known marathon in the entire world. The race... ... read more
Held on Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April that commemorates the first battles of the American Revolutionary War, the Boston Marathon is the oldest and probably best-known marathon in the entire world.
The race routinely attracts more than 25,000 entrants, and has even hit peaks closer to 40,000 in recent years – quite a step up from the 18 people who ran the first Boston Marathon back in 1897.
One of the five races that make up the elite World Marathon Majors (Berlin, Chicago, London, and New York City are the other four), the Boston Marathon sees the world’s elite runners at the starting line every year, all competing for a million dollar purse shared equally between the top male and female runner.
Notoriously hilly – including the famed Heartbreak Hill at mile 20 – and often held during blisteringly hot weather, this is no first-timers run. In fact, all participants must complete an officially sanctioned marathon elsewhere prior to running the Boston Marathon, with exceptions made for a few thousand slots reserved for charities, sponsors, and other special groups.
The Boston Marathon course usually begins in the small town of Hopkinton, following Route 135, Route 16, Route 30, and several city streets into the center of Boston before finishing at Copley Square. All-in-all, Boston Marathoners run through eight Massachusetts cities and towns, including Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, and Brookline.
Half-a-million spectators usually come out to watch the Boston Marathon, with cheering fans lining the street throughout the entire course, including fans spilling out of Fenway Park after a Red Sox game coordinated to give baseball fans and running fans a chance to enjoy both spectacles on the same day.
The Boston Marathon entry fee is $150 for U.S. residents and $200 for foreigners.