Boston Marathon

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 recognised as the world’s oldest annual marathon. 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.  

Inaugural running: 1897  

Largest field: 35,868 finishers (1996)  

Recent participation: In 2023 there were 26,706 finishers - 15,238 (male) 11,444 (female) 24 (non-binary) 

Estimated number of spectators: 500,000  

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: $901,000 (includes Open, Masters, and Para Athletes prize money); $150,000 for men’s and women’s Open Champions + $50,000 course record bonus 

Wheelchair course records:  

  • Men: 1:17:06 (Marcel Hug, SUI, 2023) 
  • 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: $313,500 ($40,000 for men’s and women’s Wheelchair Champions + $50,000 coure record bonus 

Organisation information: Jack Fleming, President & Chief Executive Officer, B.A.A.  

Media contact: Chris Lotsbom, Director of Race Communications & Media,  

Upcoming race dates: 15 April 2024, 21 April 2025