Celebrating Milestones on Boston Marathon Monday
This Monday, April 18th marks the 120th annual Boston Marathon. Runners from around the world will gather in Hopkinton, Massachusetts to run 26 miles to the finish line on Boylston Street.
The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the world and it is one of six major marathons around the globe. The first Boston Marathon in 1897 had just 18 runners participating. Now, roughly 500,000 spectators come to Boston each year to view this inspiring event and roughly 30,000 runners participate in the marathon.
The course starts in Hopkinton MA and goes through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, and Brookline before finishing in Copley Square right next to the Boston Public Library. The infamous Heartbreak Hill will challenge runners towards the end. This final hill is the race’s toughest trial after 20.5 miles of running. Along the course there are endless crowds of support that cheer on every runner.
The public support has only grown since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Boston citizens and people around the country showed their support with the Boston Strong hashtag after three people were killed – including an 8-year-old boy – and hundreds of others were injured. April 15th, the anniversary of the bombing, has become known as “One Boston Day.”
Another important part of the Boston Marathon is who holds the honor of being grand marshal. According to the Boston Athletic Association, this year’s grand marshal will be Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb, who became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon in 1966. Celebrating 50 years of women running the Boston Marathon, Gibb will ride in a pace car ahead of the runners, signifying to onlookers that the crowd is on their way to the finish line.
Two runners from Kenya currently hold the record for fastest time in both the men’s and women’s open. The fastest time recorded for women is held by Rita Jeptoo, who ran the 26 miles in 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 57 seconds in 2014. The record for men is held by Geoffrey Mutai with a time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 2 seconds in 2011.
Along with these two incredible athletes, there are other famous people who ran this iconic race, such as Shalane Flanagan, Will Ferrell, and Mario Lopez. Even though many elite runners and celebrities run this marathon, you don’t need to have a reputation to participate.
One way you can run the Boston Marathon is by raising at least $5,000 for a charity that partners with the Boston Athletic Association. Another way to get into the race is by qualifying. For men ages 18 to 34 the time is 3:05:00 and for women ages 18 to 34 it’s 3:35:00. People from around the world come to Boston on Patriots Day just to view the marathon, and countless people dream of running it themselves.