In the Know: Boston Marathon

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04:51 AM April 18th, 2013

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April 18th, 2013 04:51 AM

Runners start the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, Monday, April 15, 2013. AP PHOTO/STEW MILNE

The Boston Marathon was launched on April 19, 1897, by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), which took its cue from the first modern Olympic games in Athens, Greece, held in 1896.

The race was originally held on Patriot’s Day, which commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War. In 1969, the race was fixed on the third Monday of April.

Only 15 runners started the race, but it enjoyed greater participation through the years, drawing an average of over 20,000 participants and half a million spectators, easily becoming the most prestigious marathon in the United States.

It forms part of the World Marathon Majors, a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world that includes the Tokyo Marathon, Virgin London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and ING New York City Marathon.

Initially, the Boston course measured 24.5 miles, until it adhered to Olympic standards of 26 miles and 385 yards starting in 1908.

The historic course starts on Main Street in the rural New England town of Hopkinton and finishes onto Boylston Street, near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.

This year, a total of 26,839 runners joined the race, with 4,541 participants coming from 73 countries outside the United States.

Of the participants, 15,233 are male and 11,606 are female.

Although 10 Filipino citizens were listed as participants in this year’s Boston race, only one Filipino racer officially represented the country, based on the BAA’s official website.—Inquirer Research

Sources: Boston Athletic Association; Boston.com; History.com

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