15 Boston Marathon Facts


  1. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897.
  2. John J. McDermott emerged from a 15-member starting field to complete the course (then 24.5 miles) in a winning time of 2:55:10. The Boston Marathon has since become the world’s oldest annually contested marathon.
  3. Since 1969 the Boston Marathon has been held on Patriot’s Day, which is the third Monday in April.
  4. Record Size Field- The all time world record for finishers for the Boston Marathon was in 1996 with 35,868 finishers out of 36, 748 official starters that participated in the 100th running of the Boston Marathon.
  5. John A Kelley ran 61 Boston Marathons, he finished 58 of them and ran his last on at age 84 in 1992. He holds the record for running the most Boston Marathons!
  6. The Boston Marathon is the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division. They officially recognized Bob Hall in 1975.
  7. The Boston Marathon is the second largest single day sporting event in terms of media coverage.  It ranks only behind the Super Bowl!
  8. There are usually 500,000 spectators lining the 26.2 mile course on race day.  It is the most widely viewed sporting event in New England.
  9. The Boston Marathon Charity Program enables selected charitable organizations to raise millions of dollars for worthwhile causes. In 2012, 31 charities raised more than $11 million!!!
  10. The marathon distance was later changed as a result of the 1908 Olympic Games in London. That year, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria wanted the marathon race to begin at Windsor Castle outside the city so that the Royal family could view the start.
  11. The distance between the castle and the Olympic Stadium in London proved to be 26 miles.
  12. Organizers added extra yards to the finish around a track, 385 to be exact, so the runners would finish in front of the king and queen’s royal box. Every Olympic marathon run since the 1908 Games has been a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards.
  13. In April 19, 1924 the Boston Marathon course was lengthened from 24.8 miles to 26.2 miles
  14. In 1966 Roberta Gibb was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon but she was not an official entrant, meaning she didn’t have a number to run. She finished in 3 hours, 21 minutes and 40 seconds and finished 126th overall.
  15. On Monday, April 17, 1972 women were officially allowed to run the Boston Marathon. Only 8 women started and finished the Boston Marathon that year. Nina Kuscsik won for the women with a time of 3 hours 10 minutes and 26 seconds.

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