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B.A.A. Boston Marathon

About the B.A.A. Boston Marathon

Overview

Inspired by their experience at the 1896 Olympic Games, several members of the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) founded their own marathon in 1897. The race has been run every year since and is recognized as the world’s oldest annual marathon. (The 1918 edition featured a military relay and the 2020 edition was run as a Virtual Experience.) Both the start and finish lines have moved slightly over the years, but much of the point-to-point course remains exactly as it was originally designed.

Since 1924 the race has started in the town of Hopkinton and finished on Boston’s historic Boylston Street. Runners must qualify for entry by meeting time standards corresponding to their gender and age, which is another aspect – besides its course and longevity – unique to the Boston Marathon.

Key stats

  • Inaugural running: 1897
  • Largest field: 35,868 finishers (1996)
  • Estimated number of spectators: 500,000 


Recent participation

Year Finishers (Men/Women)
2022 24,834
(14,262/10,572)
2021 (in person) 15,386
(7,942/7,444)
2021 (virtual) 22,876 (10,486/12,348)
2020 (virtual) 16,183
(8,744/7,439)
2019 26,657 (14,675/11,982)
2018 25,907 (14,268/11,639) 
2017 26,400 (14,431/11,969)  


Course records

  • Men: 2:03:02 (Geoffrey Mutai, KEN, 2011)
  • Women: 2:19:59 (Buzunesh Deba, ETH, 2014)


Most victories

  • Men: 7 (Clarence DeMar, USA)
  • Women: 4 (Catherine Ndereba, KEN)
  • Runner prize purse: US$751,500 (includes open, masters and para athletes prize money; $150,000 for male and female open champions)


Wheelchair course records

  • Men: 1:18:04 (Marcel Hug, SUI, 2017) 
  • Women: 1:28:17 (Manuela Schär, SUI, 2017)


Most wheelchair victories 

  • Men: 10 (Ernst van Dyk, RSA) 
  • Women: 8 (Jean Driscoll, USA) 
  • Wheelchair prize purse: US$125,000 (US$25,000 for male and female wheelchair champions)


Organisation information

  • Race contact: Jack Fleming, Acting Chief Executive Officer, B.A.A.
  • Media contact: Chris Lotsbom, Communications & Media Manager (clotsbom@baa.org)
  • Upcoming race date: Monday 17 April 2023