By Kaitlyn Schallhorn, ,
Published April 16, 2018
Runners, take your places – the Boston Marathon kicks off on April 16.
The 122nd Boston Marathon, which stretches for 26.2 miles, is the world’s oldest annual marathon. While the race was initially held on April 19 (Patriot’s Day), it has since moved to the third Monday in April.
Here’s what you need to know about the race.
The Boston Marathon will begin the morning of April 16, with the elite women’s group the first to race at 9:32 a.m. ET. The first wave of the elite men’s group will start at 10 a.m. -- with three additional waves after. The last group of men will begin at 11:15 a.m.
The historic course begins in Hopkinton, Massachusetts near the Doughboy statue and ends more than 26 miles later in Boston, near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.
Runners can expect fluid and energy gel stations along the course, as well as clocks, mile markers and portable toilets.
The American Red Cross will also have stations along the course to help runners who cannot complete the race or need assistance.
But for those who still have the Boston Marathon on their bucket lists, the qualifying window for the 2019 race began on September 16, 2017.
Runners must meet specific qualifying standards, based on gender and age, in order to run the marathon. For 2018, athletes who were 3 minutes and 23 seconds faster than the qualifying time for his or her age group were accepted into the race, according to the BAA. This qualifying time varies from year to year.
The race also has open and masters divisions. In order to participate in the open competition, runners must be at least 18 years old; athletes must be at least 40 years old to participate on a masters team.
For 2018, U.S. residents paid an entry fee of $185. Non-U.S. residents were charged $250.
The fee is non-refundable, according to the Boston Athletic Association.
According to the BAA, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya and Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia hold the men’s and women’s open records, respectively. Mutai set the men’s record in 2011 with a time of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 2 seconds; Deba set the women’s record in 2014 with a time of 2 hours, 19 minutes and 59 seconds.
John Campbell of New Zealand and Firiya Rifkatovna Sultanova-Zhdanova of Russia hold the men and women’s records for the masters competition. Campbell set the men’s record in 1990 with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 4 seconds. Sultanova-Zhdanova grabbed her record in 2002 with a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 58 seconds.
The records for both the men’s and women’s wheelchair competition were set by athletes from Switzerland in 2017: Marcel Hug with 1 hour, 18 minutes and 4 seconds and Manuela Schar with 1 hour, 28 minutes and 17 seconds, respectively.
Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb was the first female to finish the Boston Marathon in 1966, though women weren't officially allowed to enter the race until five years later. At the time, Gibb hid in the bushes until the start of the race and did not wear an official bib, according to the BAA.
Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the marathon with an official bib number, doing so in 1967.