The Boston Marathon Fact Sheet

A guide to the world's most celebrated road race

by Erin Teare Martin, Mike Morrison, and Catherine McNiff

Shoes from the 2013 Boston Marathon Memorial Exhibit

The Boston Marathon Virtual Tour: A no-sweat guide to the world's most famous race

What: 118th Boston Marathon

Where: From Hopkinton, MA, to Boston (26.2 miles)

When: Monday, April 21, 2014 race begins at 10:00 A.M., with earlier starts for the mobility impaired (9:00 A.M.), wheelchair (9:17 A.M.), handcycle (9:22 A.M.), and elite women (9:32 A.M.). Like last year, there will be three waves releasing the rest of the field, at 10:00 A.M., 10:20 A.M., and 10:40 A.M.

Who: Organizers are expecting 36,000 runners in 2014, 9,000 more than usual. One reason for the increase is that the 5,633 runners who were not able to finish the 2013 marathon because of the bombings have been guaranteed entry. Also, several runners are participating as part of fundraising efforts for victims in last year's bombing. With the increase in runners, the 2014 marathon may come close to the current race record of 38,708 runners, set in 1996 for Boston Marathon's 100th anniversary. In 2014, athletes will be representing every state in the nation and over 90 countries.

New for 2014

The amount of spectators lining the course is also expected to double in 2014. Up to one million people are expected to show up to watch the race. Security has also been increased for this year's event. More than 3,500 police officers will be patrolling the marathon. Spectators are being asked to not bring large items, backpacks or coolers. Instead, public safety officials have asked that all personal items be carried in clear plastic bags. Runners are also not allowed to bring bags on the buses from Boston to Hopkinton, the starting point for the event. Unregistered runners, known as bandits, are not allowed to run the course in 2014.

Marathon Facts

The Boston Marathon, organized by the Boston Athletic Association, is the world's oldest marathon. It takes place on the third Monday in April, also known as Patriot's Day, which is a holiday (in Maine and Massachusetts) that commemorates the famous battles of Lexington and Concord.

$806,000 in prize money is up for grabs in 2014, plus an additional $220,000 in bonuses if records are broken in the open, masters, or
push rim wheelchair divisions.

Of the 26,655 runners who entered the race in 2012, 22,485 actually ran, and 21,616 finished. That is 96.1%.

In terms of media coverage, the Boston Marathon is the second biggest single-day sporting event in the U.S., just behind the Super Bowl with an expected 500,000 spectators to line the course. (This former runner would like to give a special thanks to the women of Wellesley College, who come out in full force every year to cheer on the participants.)

New as of 2013, supporters can register for the marathon's Athlete Alerts. You will receive an alert as your runner reaches the 10K, 13.1-mile, 30K, and the finish line! You can also text a special message on race day to support your runner—your message will appear on three big screens along the race course.

In 1988, Ibrahim Hussein became the first black male to win at Boston.

Former Massachusetts Governor and presidential candidate Mike Dukakis finished 57th (3:31) as a high school student in 1951.

In 1975, Boston became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division.

In 2007, the marathon initiated a wave start, with one group of runners going off at 10:00 A.M. and a second group starting a half an hour later.

In total, the last five years of the women’s open division was separated by only a combined ten seconds.

In 2012, due to the warm weather (almost 90 degrees), anyone who decided to pick up their bib, but chose not to run the race, would be given automatic deferment to the 2013 Boston Marathon. After timing adjudication post-race, 2,160 runners became eligible for this offer.

In 2013, two bombs exploded near the finish line during the marathon. The bombs went off at 2:50 in the afternoon as runners finished the race. Three people were killed. One was an eight-year-old boy. More than 260 people were injured. The first explosion happened on Boylston Street close to the finish line. The second blast came just over ten seconds later, 50 to 100 yards away.

2014 Winners

Men's Open:
Meb Keflezighi (United States), 2:08:37

Women's Open:
Rita Jeptoo (Kenya), 2:18:57

Men's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Ernst Van Dyk (South Africa), 1:20:36

Women's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Tatyana McFadden (United States), 1:35:06

2013 Winners

Men's Open:
Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia), 2:10:11

Women's Open:
Rita Jeptoo (Kenya), 2:26:25

Men's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Japan), 1:25:33

Women's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Tatyana McFadden (United States), 1:45:25

2012 Winners

Men's Open:
Wesley Korir (Kenya), 2:12:40

Women's Open:
Sharon Cherop (Kenya), 2:31:50

Men's Masters:
Uli Steidl (United States), 2:23:08

Women's Masters:
Svetlana Pretot (France), 2:40:50

Men's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Joshua Cassidy (Canada), 1:18:25

Women's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Shirley Reilly (United States), 1:37:36

2011 Winners

Men's Open:
Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya), 2:03:02

Women's Open:
Caroline Kilel (Kenya), 2:22:36

Men's Masters:
Migidio Bourifa (Italy), 2:13:45

Women's Masters:
Larisa Zyusko (Russian Federation), 2:34:22

Men's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Masazumi Soejima (Japan), 1:18:50

Women's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Wakako Tsuchida (Japan), 1:34:06

2010 Winners

Men's Open:
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (Kenya), 2:05:52

Women's Open:
Teyba Erkesso (Ethiopia), 2:26:11

Men's Masters:
James Koskei (Kenya), 2:17:28

Women's Masters:
Denise C. Robson (Canada), 2:43:16

Men's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Ernst Van Dyk (South Africa), 1:26:53

Women's Push Rim Wheelchair:
Wakako Tsuchida (Japan), 1:43:32

Course Records

Men's Open:
Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya), 2:03:02, 2011

Women's Open:
Rita Jeptoo (Kenya), 2:18:57, 2014

Men's Masters:
John Campbell (New Zealand), 2:11:04, 1990

Women's Masters:
Firaya Sultanova-Zhdanova (Russia), 2:27:58, 2002

Men's Wheelchair:
Joshua Cassidy (Canada), 1:18:25, 2012

Women's Wheelchair:
Wakako Tsuchida (United States), 1:34:06, 2011

Fact Monster™ Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.