Boston Marathon 2017 – History and Tips to Enjoy Your Trip

history of boston marathon

Possibly one of the most iconic sporting events in the world, The Boston Marathon is an epic event. Because of its immense popularity, planning to run in it, or even just to be a spectator, takes time and knowledge to do! But aside from knowing how to plan, do we even really know the history behind this iconic event?

In honor of this year’s marathon, happening in just a little under three months, we’ve compiled some of the most interesting factoids about the Boston Marathon, enjoy!

History of the Boston Marathon

history of boston marathon

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This year will mark the 121st running of the Boston Marathon!

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The Boston Marathon was one out of four big national events that still took place during both World Wars.

Explore Copley Square Hotel’s Packages and Special Offers

3rd Monday

The marathon is always held on the third Monday of April because it’s Patriot’s Day. Patriot’s Day is an official state holiday in Massachusetts, which commemorates two battles that took place around that time – The Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.

Related: Bostonians Fervently Adore The Patriots. Here’s Why.


In 1924, the marathon distance was adjusted from its original 24.5 miles to the Olympic standard of 26 miles and 385 yards.


The very first year in which the race featured official female entrants was 1972. Eight women finished the race!

history of boston marathon

The winner of the marathon that year was Rob de Castella of Australia.


It wasn’t until 1986 that prize money was given to the winners. The amount in the first year of prize money was $30,000 to the first place finisher.


The date that the first ever feature-length documentary film about the Boston Marathon will premiere. Happening on April 15th, 2017 at 8 p.m. at the Boch Center Wang Theater.

So there you have it, some helpful, fun, and informative factoids about the Boston Marathon. These facts will certainly come in handy next time you’re in Boston to run or watch the Marathon. What may be even more helpful when it comes to preparing for your trip, are these bits of information:

  • Know where the race course is, and be aware that there will be MANY road closures. Traffic patterns will not be normal or easy, but as long as you prepare yourself, you can work around them. The best resource for up-to-date information on the closures is here.
  • It will basically be impossible to drive into, or through, the city on the day of the race. We advise not to have plans to do so.
  • Staying in a hotel near the race will be the best course of action for your trip. If you’re staying near the event you won’t need to do any driving. Additionally, staying at a hotel near the event means the entire hotel staff will be experts on everything to do with the race and navigating the city on the day of. You can find out how to get there, the quickest walking paths, where to eat, where to shop, what will be open and closed, etc.

Copley Square Hotel is one such hotel that is both close to the race and filled with expert staff who will help ensure you have the tools and information needed to enjoy the entire Marathon experience. Keep in mind, it is common for all hotels near the race to be completely booked in advance. Reserve your hotel now! Right now! Once that’s set, you can rest your mind knowing you have a place to stay and access to anything you’ll need! Happy planning!


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