When: April 17, 2017
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897 and inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events. It is one of five World Marathon Majors. Today, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) manages this event. Amateur and professional runners from all over the world compete in the Boston Marathon each year, braving the hilly New England terrain and varying weather to take part in the race. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts an average of about 20,000 registered participants each year.
The Course 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 onto 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.
Finish Line The final 100 meters of the race is lined with bleacher seating. However, this area is reserved for race officials and invited guests. The Charles River (north) side of Boylston Street is open to the general public, and many fans arrive at the finish area in the early hours of the morning to secure the best viewing area. Spectators planning to view the race from this area should plan accordingly, and be aware of the many parking restrictions. A viewing area for persons with disabilities is located at the corner of Hereford and Boylston Streets. This area is adjacent to the Boston EMS Medical Tent and the fire station. Principal race sponsor John Hancock furnishes the finish area with a large video monitor, enabling spectators to watch a broadcast of the race while they await the arrival of all the finishers. The screen is located on Boylston Street at the intersection of Exeter Street, opposite the Boston Public Library.