Inspired by their experience at the 1896 Olympic Games, several members of the BostonAthletic Association founded their own marathon in 1897. The race has been run every year since (though the 1918 edition featured a military relay and 2020 featured a Virtual Experience), and is recognized as the world’s oldest annual marathon.
Both the start and finish lines have been moved over the years, but much of the course remains exactly as it was originally designed more than a century ago. Since 1924 the race has started in the town of Hopkinton, and from there descends through Ashland, Framingham, Natick and Wellesley. Upon entering Newton, the course gradually rises to the famous Heartbreak Hill. As participants reach the top, they can see downtown Boston for the first time, four miles in the distance. After running through Brookline, the course enters Boston where it finishes on historic Boylston Street.
Runners must qualify for entry by meeting time standards corresponding to gender and age, which is another aspect– besides its course and longevity – unique to the Boston Marathon.
<time-bold>2:03:02<time-bold><runner-text> (Geoffrey Mutai, KEN, 2011)<runner-text>
<time-bold>2:19:59<time-bold><runner-text> (Buzunesh Deba, ETH, 2014)<runner-text>
<time-bold>1:18:04<time-bold><runner-text> (Marcel Hug, SUI, 2017)<runner-text>
<time-bold>1:28:17<time-bold><runner-text> (Manuela Schär, SUI, 2017)<runner-text>