The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest—and one of the most prestigious—marathons. An annual event since its premier in 1897, the Boston Marathon continues to attract some of the world’s top athletes. With a maximum of 25,000 participants, the marathon route in Boston is not as crowded as marathons in other cities, and while there are many Boston Marathon hotels available, be sure to book as far in advance as possible. The marathon not only attracts a great number of athletes, but a great number of spectators who arrive to cheer and support the runners.
Boston caught marathon fever after the 1896 Olympic Games. The traditional Olympic Marathon was 24.8 miles, a distance with significance in Greek legend. The event captured the spirit of the city over the years and grew in popularity. From 1897 through 1968 the marathon was held on April 18, also known as Patriots’ Day, to commemorate the start of the Revolutionary War. From 1969 onwards, the event was changed to the third Monday in April each year. While the race has always been open to male runners, the first woman to run the entire marathon route in Boston was Roberta Gibb in 1966 and the Boston race became the first marathon to sponsor a wheelchair division in 1975.
Registration takes place each fall for the Boston Marathon the following spring. From September through approximately November participants sign up for the marathon and begin training. Participants must pick up their individual numbers the weekend before the race, and many arrive in the city early or stay after the race to see the historic attractions. Modern marathons finish at more than 26 miles and the marathon route in Boston is a challenging one. Beginning in rural Hopkinton and weaving through eight cities and towns en route to Boston’s Back Bay, the Boston Marathon is one of the world’s best-known road races.
Boston Marathon hotels are booked for the day of the race and the weekend before very far in advance. Some runners make their hotel reservations even before registration for the race begins. The best rooms and the best prices go quickly in Boston, so if you intend on combining the marathon with exploring the city, you’ll want to book ahead. Alternatively, a cheap hotel room can be found outside of the city, and you can make use of a rental car or local public transportation. If you’re arriving to Boston by air, there is a wide selection of car companies at Logan Airport.
There are cash prizes for the winners of the Boston Marathon, but these places are always secured by professionals. Most participants view the marathon as an opportunity to get in shape, or stay in shape, and simply appreciate the accomplishment of finishing the race. There is a lot of preparation for the marathon, including consistent training, eating correctly, and booking Boston Marathon hotels well in advance, but all of this effort is rewarded to the runner who after 26.2 miles has the joy of crossing the finish line.