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The Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon first began in 1897 and is the oldest marathon in the world. It is also one of the country’s most popular marathons. It is hosted by the city of Boston usually on the third Monday in April of every year which corresponds to Patriots’ Day. It’s one of the five World Marathon Majors which also include marathons in New York City, Berlin, Chicago and London. The Boston Marathon is currently hosted and managed by the Boston Athletic Association, which is a non-profit, organized sports association.

When it first started, the Boston Marathon only had 18 entrants and that number has steadily increased through the years. Today, the marathon attracts anywhere from 20,000 to 25,000, both amateur and professional runners every year, and in 1996 on the race’s 100th anniversary, there were a record-setting 38,708 entrants. Women were first allowed to compete in the race in 1972 and the first cash prizes only began being awarded in 1986. Runners over 18 and from any nation can compete in the marathon provided they satisfy certain qualifying conditions such as runningaaqualifying time at a certified marathon. The Boston marathon is also very popular with the local population and draws in over 500,000 live spectators, making it the city’s most widely-viewed sports event.

The Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon has a course of 26 miles, 385 yards which is about 42.195 Kilometers. The Marathon begins on Main Street in the rural town of f Hopkinton in New England and follows Route 135 through the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley. The runners than go on Route 16 through Newton Lower Falls onto Commonwealth Avenue. They then turn right at the fire station onto Route 30. It continues on Commonwealth through the Newton Hills, the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Avenue and Cleveland Circle. The runner then turn left onto Beacon Street continuing to Kenmore Square, and then follows Commonwealth Avenue inbound. The course turns right onto Hereford Street and then left onto Boylston Street. They finish near the John Hancock Tower in Boston’s Copley Square. The Boston Marathon’s route is known for its difficulty and hills, and while it doesn’t have very high elevations, it does become trying for the most professional of runners at the renowned heartbreak Hill.

Registration for the Boston Marathon takes place for ten days in the September before the marathon and is very competitive with the fastest runners getting priority registration. In order to qualify runners have to meet certain criteria in minimum qualifying times. The times change depending on age groups and gender. Because of the high demand to be eligible for the marathon, qualifying times become increasingly stringent from year to year.

The Boston Marathon

During the Boston Marathon weekend, both entrants and spectators can visit the Annual John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo which takes place at the Seaport World Trade Center. Here athletes can pick up their official bib numbers with their official photo Identification, and visitors can learn all about the Boston Marathon and marathon-related products and services. Marathon runners can also indulge in a pre-race dinner with all types of pasta and other goodies at City Hall Plaza the night before the race. Tickets to the dinner are included in the bib number packets for race entrants and cost $20 for family and friends of the runners.

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