The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events. The Marathon is run on the 3rd Monday in April. The Boston Athletic Association manages this American classic, which is sponsored by John Hancock Financial Services.
Boston Marathon History
Boston Marathon After experiencing the spirit and majesty of the Olympic Marathon. B.A.A. member and inaugural US Olympic Team Manager John Graham was inspired to organize. And conduct a marathon in the Boston area. With the assistance of Boston businessman Herbert H. Holton, various routes were considered. Before a measured distance of 24.5 miles from the Irvington Oval in Boston to Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland was eventually selected. On April 19, 1897, John J. McDermott of New York, emerged from a 15-member starting field. And captured the first B.A.A. Marathon in 2:55:10, and, in the process, forever secured his name in sports history.
The legendary Boston Marathon course follows a point to point route from rural Hopkinton to Boston, and is certified per the guidelines set forth by the IAAF and USA Track and Field. Of course, the most famous hill in all of running is almost certainly “Heartbreak Hill”, located between miles 20 and 21 of the Boston Marathon course in Newton, MA. Heartbreak is the last of the three Newton Hills that determines the ultimate
Viewing the Race
The Boston Marathon is run from the town of Hopkinton to downtown Boston on the 3rd Monday in April each year. This nationally televised event draws hundreds of thousands of spectators to cheer on runners from all over the world. You can pick a spot on the 26.2 mile course to cheer on runners from around the globe as they head to the finish line near Newbury Street.
To qualify to run the Boston Marathon, entrants must run a qualifying time at a certified marathon. Qualifying times are determined by your age on the date of the Boston Marathon in which you will be participating.
All participants must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the B.A.A., USATF or foreign equivalent, Wheelchair Athletics USA, and the International Stoke-Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation and must meet the standards for eligibility as outlined by these organizations. Qualifying times must be met in competitions observing these same rules. All times are subject to verification. Participants must be 18 years or older on race day.
Women Run to the Front
Roberta Gibb was the first woman to run the full Boston Marathon in 1966. Gibb, who did not run with an official race number during any of the three years. That she was the first female finisher, hid in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Katherine Switzer did not clearly identify herself as a female on the race application and was issued a bib number. B.A.A. officials tried unsuccessfully to physically remove Switzer from the race once she was identified as a woman entrant. At the time of Switzer’s run, the Amateur Athletics Union had yet to formally accept participation of women in long distance running. When the A.A.U. permitted its sanctioned marathons to allow women entry in the fall of 1971.
Olympic Champions at Boston
Three-time defending women’s champion Fatuma Roba became the fourth person to win the Olympic Games Marathon and the B.A.A. Boston Marathon when she posted a 2:26:23 to win the 1997 Boston Marathon. Roba, who won the 1996 Olympic Marathon, joined fellow-women’s champions Joan Benoit, who won Boston in 1979 and 1983. before adding the 1984 Olympic Games title and Rosa Mota. who won a trio of Boston crowns , while adding the 1988 Olympic title. Gelindo Bordin is the only male to win the Olympic and Boston titles.
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