The Boston Marathon has been held since 1897 and is known to be the most important race in the world. Together with New York , Chicago, Berlin, London and Tokyo, it is part of the six events that make up the World Marathon Majors , the athletic competition that brings together the most important marathons on the planet. But not only that, the Boston Marathon is the oldest annual race in the world and has never ceased to be celebrated despite world wars, the Cold War or financial crises.

The first edition was held on the third Monday in April, as usual, in 1897. The idea came after the first Olympic Games of the contemporary era, which took place in Athens. The race was planned for Patriots Day and thus commemorate the defense for freedom of the United States and Greece. John Graham, manager of the US Olympic team, and Herbert Holton were the founders of this marathon, which is already an icon in the world of running.

In that first edition, 120 years ago, 15 athletes ran, although only 10 finished the race. Nothing comparable with the 30,000 runners that go to Boston every year. In that first stage, registering was free and the winner was awarded an olive crown. However, since 1986 the awards are in cash to attract professional athletes.

In 1967 the Boston marathon made history as it was the first race of this modality in which a woman participated, Katherine Switzer, who also managed to finish the tour. However, since the participation of women was prohibited , Switzer could only register with his initials, a ruse that did not help him since the judges tried to eliminate it in the middle of the course.

However, the marks obtained in this marathon are not considered official because they do not comply with the IAFF standards. The route does not meet the following requirements: the distance in a straight line between the start and the finish is not equal to half the distance of the race and, in addition, the difference between the start and finish altitude is not less than 42 meters In fact, in this race there are 136 meters of difference.

When is it Celebrated?

The American race is celebrated on the third Monday of April, coinciding with Patriots Day. The date of the next Boston marathon is Monday, April 20, 2020.

Where is it Celebrated?

The race starts at Hopkington, a town near Boston, and ends at Hereford Street.

The Most Emblematic

In 1924, the route was extended from 39.4Km to 42.2, to follow the rules of length established in the 19808 Olympic Games.
In 1967 participated the first woman who managed to complete the race, Katherine Switzer, the previous year participated Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb, who failed to finish.
In 1980, runner Rosie Ruiz appeared out of nowhere and won the women’s race. The judges suspected it and reviewed the videos of the race to verify that Ruiz had not run the first part of the marathon.
In 2011 Geoffrey Mutai made the fastest mark in history in a marathon by getting 2:03:02. However, the IAFF did not admit the result because the route does not meet the standards.
In 2013 there were two explosions on Boylston Street, in the last 200 meters of the race. That attack killed three spectators and there were more than 260 injured.

How to Register?

The Boston Marathon is much more restrictive when it comes to granting bib numbers than is usually the case. For each age group it is required to certify a mandatory minimum mark in order to participate. However, this is the first phase, the better time you contribute from other marathons, the more chances you have of running in Boston.

During the first and second day of the open term, those who have a mark 20 minutes better than the minimum allowed may register. That is, if the minimum is 2:54:36, you must have 2:34:36 to pass the first screen. The third and fourth day will be reduced to 10 minutes, therefore, if the minimum is 2:34:36 you must have 2:24:36. On the fifth and sixth day the brand drops again, in this case you must improve the minimum at least 5 minutes.


Much of the Boston 2020 marathon route is simple, flat and quite downhill. Even so, there are some steep elevations, which can become a handicap for runners. The climb known as ‘Heart break Hill’ at kilometer 32 of the race is the one that has caused the most dropouts due to its 1,400 meters elevation.

The race begins in the heart of the city in Hopkinton and until kilometer 26 the runners are descending with small elevations. That is, more than half of the test occurs downhill. The problem arises in the final part of the marathon since until kilometer 35 there is a very strong part of ascent. They are only three kilometers high, but extremely hard and difficult to overcome. Of course, if you manage to do it the last 7 kilometers they are back downhill until they end up on the shore of the ocean.