The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual city marathon in the world, appearing for the first time in 1897. That year, only 18 runners entered the race. The number of participants has increased steadily since then. On Monday, the traditional Patriots’ Day running of the race, about 25,000 people will run, cheered on by about 500,000 spectators.
In terms of on-site media coverage, the Boston Marathon ranks behind only the Super Bowl as the largest single day sporting event in the world. More than 1,100 media members, representing more than 250 outlets, receive credentials annually.
Thus, the Boston Marathon ranks as one of the most prestigious running events in the world. This honourable position is attained thanks to the long and venerable history of the race, the hilly and challenging course, and the fact that runners have to qualify to register as an official participant.
The qualifying standard is high enough to make just qualifying for Boston--AKA to BQ--quite an achievement in itself. The time limit for my age group is a quick 3 hours and 35 minutes. That's an average of about 8 minutes per mile for all 26.2 miles! Whew!
I'll be following the race live on the WBZ TV website.