The oldest marathon in the history of the United States is upon us again, as the 117th running of the Boston Marathon is set to commence on Monday morning.
While the men's and women's runnings are the big draws of the event, there are other divisions that are offered for wheelchair, mobility impaired and handcycle participants, giving people from all forms and walks of life the chance to participate in this legendary race.
Wesley Korir (men's open), Sharon Cherop (women's open), Joshua Cassidy (men's wheelchair) and Shirley Reilly (women's wheelchair) are four of the reigning champions from the 2012 Boston Marathon, and each will be hard-pressed to repeat in their given categories for the 2013 top prize.
Always held on Patriots' Day, or the third Monday in April, the Marathon has been the calling card of the upper northeast for quite some time, known as the "American Marathon" to some and the biggest pride of the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) since its inception in 1897.
Over half a million people are expected to be in attendance and/or participate in this epic race, so here's a complete look at the current route, some useful times, television information and a few extra notes on what to watch for as the world's oldest yearly marathon kicks off.
What: 117th Boston Marathon
When: Monday, April 15th, 2013
Where: Boston, Mass.
Watch: WBZ-TV, Universal Sports Television Network (Check local listings)
The most historic marathon also has one of the most challenging routes of the events that make up the World Marathon Majors.
Starting in Hopkinton and moving into Boston for the 24th mile, the course runs through eight Massachusetts cities and passes historic landmarks such as the "Newton Hills" and Boston College University.
To better quantify the magnitude of the 26.2-mile path, check out this excerpt from the spectator information page of the Boston Athletic Association website:
The historic course starts on Main Street in the rural New England town of Hopkinton, and follows Route 135 through Ashland, Framingham, Natick and Wellesley to where Route 135 joins Route 16.
It continues along Route 16 through Newton Lower Falls, turning right at the fire station onto Commonwealth Avenue, which is Route 30.
It follows Commonwealth through the Newton Hills, bearing right at the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Avenue to Cleveland Circle.
The route then turns left on Beacon Street, continuing through Kenmore Square, and under Massachusetts Avenue.
The course turns right onto Hereford Street (NOTE: against normal traffic flow) then left onto Boylston Street, finishing near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.
Although called the Boston Marathon because of the finish, the scenic views of the first 20-plus miles of the course encompass the beauty of the entire New England landscape. Runners will have a chance to take it all in during the race, and bet that spectators fully line the route to see the participants as they speed by during the entirety of this event.
2013 Race Schedule
|RACE TYPE||TIME (ET)|| |
|Mobility Impaired||9:00 a.m.||6|
|Wheelchair Division||9:17 a.m.||30|
|Elite Women||9:32 a.m.||50|
|Elite Men & Wave One||10:00 a.m.||9,000||Red|
|Wave Two||10:20 a.m.||9,000||White|
|Wave Three||10:40 a.m.||9,000||Blue|
|Awards Ceremony*||5:00 p.m.|
(*) Awards ceremony will be held at Fairmont Copley Plaza, in Boston, Mass.
Be sure to check out how the field fairs on "Heartbreak Hill," the last of the four "Newton Hills" and the spot of the famous comeback of Tarzan Brown, who found the strength to find another gear in completing a comeback win over then-repeat champion Johnny Kelley.
As Brown came up the hill, Kelley passed him and patted him on the back, giving Brown some added motivation as he wound up completing the comeback over the final four miles of the Marathon and giving the hill the name we use today.
Boston Magazine had some great photos of Brown in a recent piece, and how the hill got its name.
Lauren Landry of BostInno.com also had a useful guide for the event, providing viewers with 13 facts you probably didn't know about the 117-year history of the race, including the note that the winner receives $150,000 for his Boston Marathon triumph.
All in all, it looks to be a special day yet again in Boston.
Kenya has dominated the Marathon over the last couple of decades, producing a winner in 19-of-22 men's opens and 8-of-12 in the women's open. Both defending champions are from Kenya, and the country looks to continue its recent dominance with two more victors in 2013.
In 2011, Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai also set a course record with a time of 2:03:02, a mark that was not broken in 2012 and will be a tough one to beat for anyone on this course for years to come.
With the preparation already underway for what should be a special day for both elder and young patrons of the event alike, the Boston Marathon should be yet another pillar of excellence for the 117th time, proving that longevity is still around in sports events today.
Note: Information from BAA.org was used to compile this report.