Boston Marathon 2016/2017
The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual city marathon in the world, appearing
for the first time in 1897. In this first version of the Boston Marathon only 18
runners entered the race, but the number of participants has increased steadily
since then. The largest field of runners so far was in 1996, when over 35,000
people finished the 100th Boston Marathon. The 2011 Boston Marathon on 18 April 2011, attracted 26,895 entrants
and about 500,000 spectators. The 2015 version will be held on 20th April.
The Boston Marathon ranks as one of the most prestigious running events
in the world, thanks to the long history of
the race, the challenging course and the fact that you have to qualify to register
as an official participant. In order to qualify, every runner must have finished
a certified marathon within a certain timeframe determined by the age of the runner.
The qualifying standard is high enough to make qualifying for Boston – also known
as ‘to BQ’ – quite an achievement in itself. An overview of qualifying times divided
into age groups is available
The legendary course of the Boston Marathon
has been the same throughout most of the history of the race. The route follows
42.195km of winding roads from rural Hopkinton to urban Boston, and it is renowned
for its level of difficulty. Shortly after the 25km mark, the road starts going up
a series of hills, named the Newton Hills. These hills never reach truly high
elevations, but their position after 25km of downhill running, when glycogen stores
are likely to have run out, can break even the toughest runner. The last of the
four hills is known as Heartbreak Hill. This hill does not, as one may think, get
its name from the many runners being heartbroken from the fact that they have to
conquer yet another ascent, but the name does originate in the Boston Marathon.
In the 1936 race defending champion, John A. Kelley, caught up with race leader,
Ellison ‘Tarzan’ Brown, giving him a consolatory pat on the shoulder as he passed
him. This overbearing gesture apparently gave Tarzan supernatural strength, and
he went on to win the race in front of Kelley. In the words of a local journalist,
the outcome of this act of nemesis ‘broke Kelley’s heart’.
The hilly course at Boston also played a part in making the 2011 race the fastest
marathon ever. Geoffrey Mutai and Moses Mosop of Kenya benefited from a fortunate tailwind and
the downhill slope of the course to finish in the fastest times ever recorded. Mutai finished in
amazing 2:03:02, just four seconds ahead of Mosop. However, due to the nature of the
Boston course, the IAAF does not recognize it as eligible for records, and thus Mutai's impressive
run is not accepted as an official world record. That record still belongs to Haile Gebreselassie
who won the 2008 Berlin Marathon in 2:03:59.
The Boston Marathon is
one of five members of the World Marathon Majors
, consisting of marathons in Berlin,
Chicago, London and New York, apart from the one in Boston.
For registration in the Boston Marathon and further information, please follow the link to the official site
Boston Marathon 2016/2017 Results and Information