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Everything you need to know about the Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is a yearly marathon race that is hosted by many cities and towns in greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts, United States. It was started in 1897 and was inspired by the success of the first marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics. It is the world’s oldest annual marathon and is one of the best-known road racing events. The event usually attracts 500,000 spectators which makes it New England’s most-viewed sporting event. Let us learn more about the Boston Marathon and everything you need to know about it.

Boston Marathon


This year’s Boston Marathon is supposed to be held on Monday, April 15th, 2024. It is always held on Saint Patrick’s Day which is a legal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of April in Massachusetts. Athletes will take off from the starting line beginning at 9.02 am and will continue in waves through 11.15 am local time. The professional men’s and professional women’s division frontrunners are expected to cross the finish line around 11:45 am and 12 pm respectively.   

How to watch Boston Marathon?

  • TV – WCVB Channel starts its race day broadcast at 4 am and will remain covering the Boston Marathon until 8 pm. ESPN will also broadcast race day from 8.30 am until 1 pm with additional coverage during Sportscenter throughout the day.   
  • Streaming – WCVB, WMUR, WMTW, and WPTZ will all live stream the race on their digital streaming platforms and apps. There will also be a live stream available on Very Local Boston. Streamers can also find Very Local app stores for mobile devices as well as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, and Samsung TV.  
  • In Person – There will be space available to gather all along the racecourse. Other famous viewing spots are the Scream Tunnel at Wellesley College, Heartbreak Hill which culminates around 21 miles at Boston College, and of course the finish line on Boylston Street. Parking is very limited as many streets are closed for the marathon. Spectators are therefore encouraged to use the MBTA to get to viewing locations. 
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The participants will follow Route 135 from Main Street in Hopkinton and wind through Ashland, Framingham, and Natick, then into Wellesley. The marathon then continues on Route 16 through Wellesley into Newton, where it turns right onto Commonwealth Avenue through the Newton Hills and bears right into the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Avenue. The route then turns left on Beacon Street and continues into Kenmore Square before rejoining Commonwealth Avenue. The final stretch includes the legendary right turn into Hereford Street and left onto Boylston Street before finishing near Hancock Tower in Copley Square

Who is running?

Athletes who have completed other marathons can qualify for the Boston Marathon if they meet or beat set cut-off times based on age and gender. A race record of 33,000 athletes applied during the registration week in September and more than 22,000 of those runners were accepted into the 2024 race. About half of the people in the field are people participating in the Boston Marathon for the first time. While among the returnees, 660 people have completed at least 10 previous consecutive Boston Marathons. Athletes that did not have qualifying times can still participate in the Boston Marathon through the race’s charity program which allocates slots on the route to people who raise at least $5,000.   

There are certain famous athletes and several previous champions who are coming to Boston in 2024. Here are some of them listed below for you.  

  • Sisay Lemma from Ethiopia.  
  • Evans Chebet from Kenya.  
  • Gabrial Geay from Tanzania 
  • Marcel Hug from Switzerland  
  • Aaron Pike from the United States  
  • Daniel Chuk from the United States  
  • Hellen Obri from Kenya  
  • Worknesh Degefa from Ethiopia  
  • Susannah Scaroni from the United States  
  • Manuela Schar from Switzerland 
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Getting there

The best recommended way to get to the start in Hopkinton on race morning is to use the official B.A. buses. Bus loading will begin on Charles Street between the Public Garden and Boston Common. To load all the buses effectively please avoid any delays and get to the start on time. All participants must show their bib number to board buses.  

Parking in Boston’s Back Bay area is limited but there are several parking garages in the area.   


  • Only four men have won the Boston Marathon three consecutive times.  
  • There are 18 women with personal bests faster than 2 hours, and 23 minutes in the elite field, the most in history.  
  • There will be citizens of 127 countries that will compete in this year’s race.  
  • The prize pool for the Boston Marathon has crossed the $1 million mark.  
  • 167 nonprofit charity organizations are participating in the Boston Marathon’s charity program this year.   
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Food and Drinks

  • Bill’s Downtown Pizzeria & Bar – It opens later than usual on Monday’s marathon at 3 pm. You will have plenty of carbs to devour like pasta and pizza.  
  • Blue Square Pizza – It is a sourdough pizzeria that is located just before the starting line. You will find three kinds of pies: Detroit-style, grandma pizza, and New York-style.  
  • Jack’s Abby Brewing – If you’re watching from downtown Framingham and need a beer you should consider heading over here. It starts at 10 am and is hosting a festival with multiple vendors, live music, food, and beer.   
  • Lockheart – If you’re looking for something heavier during lunch you can grab a taco, slider, or a house Margherita at Lockheart in Wellesley’s downtown.   
  • Cityside Tavern – It opens bright and early at 8 am and becomes a marathon viewing destination in time for the Boston Marathon. They have a patio, and their food menu includes burgers, bar appetizers, and a whiskey menu.  


  • Lenox Hotel – It is located just a couple hundred yards away from the iconic Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street. It is very easy to get around in Back Bay, Fenway Park, or any downtown attraction before or after the race starts from here. 
  • Fairmont Copley Plaza – Located right in Copley Square near the Boston Public Library, it has been a popular choice for spectators, runners, and media alike. The entrance to the hotel is near the main medical tent on Boylston Street which makes it an easy meet-up point for runners and their families. 
  • The Westin Copley Place – It is close to the finish line and loaded with a variety of amenities. It is an excellent place for runners who want a little extra care and comfort. It is alongside a 24-hour fitness center and on-demand yoga classes.   
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