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The oldest annual marathon in the world (founded 1897) is run on the third Monday in April—the Patriots' Day holiday in Massachusetts.



The Boston Marathon is run on the mid-April Monday celebrated as Patriots' Day in Massachusetts.

The race begins in Hopkinton MA at the Doughboy statue on East Main Street at Ash Street; map). Run in two "waves," the first wave with the elite runners starts at 10:00 am, the second wave at 10:30 am.

The finish line is at 700 Boylston Street, Copley Square, Boston, in front of the north entrance to the Boston Public Library (map).

View Boston Marathon Finish Line in a larger map

About 20,000 runners, men and women from around the world, qualify to run each year. (For the 100th running of the race in 1997, there were 38,000 runners.) To qualify, you must have completed an officially-recognized marathon within time limits assigned by age and gender: for men aged 18 to 34, you must have run the 42.195 km (26.22 miles) course in no more than 3 hours and 10 minutes; for women of that age group, 3 hours and 40 minutes. (80+-year-olds get 5 and 5-1/2 hours, respectively.)

With so many runners, it can take 10 minutes for the last runners in a wave to even reach the starting line after the starting gun has been fired.

After the race, prizes are awarded in a ceremony beginning at 5 pm in the Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston Hotel in Copley Square.

Hotels in Boston are heavily booked for the entire weekend, so make your reservations well in advance—months in advance, if you can:

Boston Marathon
Boston Athletic Association
40 Trinity Place, 4th floor
Boston MA 02116
Tel: 617-236-1652
Fax: 617-236-4505

—by Tom Brosnahan

Special Events in Boston

Patriots' Day

Patriots' Day Events

Finding Your Way in Boston

What to See & Do in Boston

Boston Transportation

Tourist Information

About Boston

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