Race Facts

Patriots’ Day

The Boston Marathon has always commemorated Patriots’ Day, the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Since 1897 it was held on April 19th, then recognized as an official holiday in 1969. 2018 marks the 50th year for Marathon Monday.

Prize Pool

Since John Hancock first provided prize money and bonus awards in 1986, top finishers have received over $19 million over 32 years. This year top finishers receive $830,500 total, plus $220,000 if records are broken. See the complete 2018 prize purse.


The Boston Marathon is New England’s most widely viewed sporting event, with an estimated 500,000 spectators lining the 26.2-mile course. That’s more than four times the fans that could fit in Fenway Park, TD Garden, and Gillette Stadium combined.

Financial Boost

The 2017 Boston Marathon and related events had the highest-ever estimated spending impact to the Greater Boston region with $192.2 million, overtaking the previous high of $188.8 million the previous year. Will 2018 be another record year?


Boston Athletic Association

Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a 15-member starting field to complete the course (then 24.5 miles) in a winning time of 2:55:10. The Boston Marathon has since become the world’s oldest annually contested marathon. The addition of principal sponsor John Hancock Financial Services in 1986 has solidified the event’s success over the past 33 years and ensures it well into the future.

The Course

The legendary Boston Marathon course follows a point-to-point route from rural Hopkinton to Boston and is certified per the guidelines set forth by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and USA Track and Field.

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Distance: 26 miles, 385 yards (42.195 Kilometers)


Participants must have run a qualifying time on or after September 17, 2016, at a certified marathon. All participants must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the B.A.A., USA Track and Field or foreign equivalent, and Wheelchair Sports USA. Qualifying times must be met in competitions observing these same rules. Proof of qualification must accompany the application. Participants must be 18 years or older on race day.

Qualifying Times*

Age Group Men Women
18-34 3:05 3:35
35-39 3:10 3:40
40-44 3:15 3:45
45-49 3:25 3:55
50-54 3:30 4:00
55-59 3:40 4:10
60-64 3:55 4:25
65-69 4:10 4:40
70-74 4:25 4:55
75-79 4:40 5:10
80 and Older 4:55 5:25

*Qualifying times are based upon age on race day.

Push Rim Wheelchair Qualifying Times*

Class Age Group Men Women
Open (Classes 3 & 4) 18–39 2:00 2:25
40–49 2:15 2:40
50 and Over 2:30 2:55
Quad (Classes 1 & 2) 18–39 2:45 3:10
40–49 3:00 3:25
50 and Over 3:15 3:40

Blind/Visually Impaired Division

The qualifying time is 5:00 hours for visually impaired athletes (men and women) classified T11, T12, and T13.

Mobility Impaired Program

Individuals with physical impairments that affect their ability to ambulate, who would not otherwise qualify for entry in other divisions, may be granted the following extended qualifying times:

  • The qualifying time is 6:00 hours for individuals who, because of the nature of their disability, have difficulty ambulating.
  • The qualifying time is 8:00 hours for individuals who, because of the nature of their disability, need mobility aids such as prosthetics, leg braces, or crutches to ambulate.

All other individuals with disabilities must follow entry procedures and qualifying standards of either the B.A.A. or the established qualifying standard from the recognized disability sports organization.


Charity Program

The majority of the fundraising runners gained entry through the B.A.A.’s Official Charity Program and John Hancock’s Marathon Non-Profit Program, which provide non-profits with guaranteed entries (“bibs”) that enable runners to fundraise for their organizations.

Over the past 32 years, the official B.A.A. Charity Program and John Hancock’s Non-Profit Program have combined to raise more than $297 million for community-based organizations.


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