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Boston Marathon

Boston, MA


Race Dates

2018: Monday, April 16, 2018
2017: Monday, April 17, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Downhill
Type: Point to Point
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 49°F (9°C)
Average High: 57°F (13°C)
Average Low: 41° F (5°C)

Historical Weather


PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 99.62
Course Score: 99.62

Race Size

2017: 26,411 Finishers
2016: 26,629 Finishers
2015: 26,598 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: 30.3%
2016: 33.6%
2015: 48%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

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Course Description

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 IAAF and USA Track and Field.

If run wisely and with patience, the course can be very fast. However, many runners who are aggressive in the early downhill miles may struggle once they reach the Newton Hills and/or the downhill/flat last 10K.


Marathon Rankings

The Boston Marathon was the 3rd largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 3rd largest in 2015.

This year 30.3% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 33.6% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Boston Marathon the 6th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 4th highest percentage so far in 2017.


Its Course Score of 99.62 ranks it as the 63rd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 1st fastest course in Massachusetts.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are within the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Boston Marathon a PR Score of 99.62. This PR Score ranks it as the 46th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 1st fastest in Massachusetts.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.


Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 470 feet (143m)
Min Elevation: 10 feet (3m)

Boston




Ratings & Reviews for the Boston Marathon

5 Stars from 31 Reviews



review of 2017 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Great crowd support, great course, challenging, bucket list race

Race Tips

Go slow 1st half

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Stay in Airbnb , take the runners bus to the start



review of 2017 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The crowd support was outstanding. Just being in Boston was a fun experience. The Expo is huge and has so many vendors for runners. The runners wore their jackets, shirts and medals all over town. Runner complimented each other over finishing, which was unusual. The Boston people welcome the runners into town. The race is pretty expensive with hefty hotel charges. Many more details to manage than a local course.

Race Tips

Boston's course is famous for the Newton Hills and Heartbreak, living up to the expectation. Make sure you train on uphills and downhills. The downhills are hard on the quads. The temps in Boston for race day can be higher so make sure you try to acclimate as much as possible. The race starts at later morning so practice fueling before long runs. Bring clothes to wear for cold or warm temps.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

We worked with Marathon Travel to find a hotel and it went smoothly. I would try to book as close to the finish line as possible. We stayed at the Boston Park Plaza and it was okay for the price. The area of Boylston Street has many restaurants and runners are at the sport stores and finish area for photos. Took a travel bus to the starting line and I recommend that. We could stay in a comfortable seat and rest for the race.



review of 2017 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

What's not to like? It's the Boston Marathon! Great crowds from Hopkinton to Boston. It's definitely an experience of a lifetime.

Race Tips

I would recommend you get into town on Friday and take it all in. Watch the 5K on Saturday, run shakeouts on the river, shop at the expo, visit Hopkinton and drive the course. On race day, be prepared for a long bus ride from Boston to Hopkinton. Be prepared to wait around in the athlete village and corrals for a while. The downhills in the first half really take a toll on you. Be prepared for massive soreness in your quads for several days to a week after the race.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

I think the Back Bay neighborhood is the best area to stay since you're close to the action during the weekend and near the finish line on Monday. Book your hotel as early as possible!



review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars

Review

Incredible event and organization - but a wicked hahd race!

Race Tips

Don't go to the Expo every day before Marathon Monday and don't go drinking for three nights in a row with all the folks from Saucony and New Balance.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The tradition is like no other. If you have the opportunity and qualify, run it.

Race Tips

Try, try, try to hold back in the beginning. This is hard with the downhill start, but you will thank yourself later ehn you hit the hills.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

I love staying downtown, but it is pricy. If you are on a budget, consider staying outside the city as long as you have access to the train or subway. Or if you are travelling with family consider staying in Framingham or Westborough where you can be driven to Hopkinton State Park and take a quick (1 mile) bus ride to the start area. They can watch the start and then drive to the city and see you finish easily - even if you are a 2:30 guy!



review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Iconic! well-organized! Fun and if run correctly, not as hard as many marathons.

Race Tips

The route offers no shade. Start off conservative and don't get swept away by the excitement. Save your quads for the late hills. Let it go after Heartbreak Hill--it is mostly downhill. Take in the crowds--they are fantastic.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Stay downtown within walking distance of the runner's buses.



review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The atmosphere of this race is unsurpassed!

Race Tips

The first few miles are downhill, so it's important to run conservatively, and with good form to avoid trashing your quads early. You'll need them in the Newton hills between mile 16-20.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

It is at the TOP of the Bucket List for most Runners!

Race Tips

You are a Parade with thousands of strangers lined up to cheer you on!

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Enjoy the race and even more than trying to PR.



review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips

Don't be afraid of the famous hills, they aren't that bad as long as you don't run the first half too hard. I just cruised the first half and ran a negative split even with the hills in the second half.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Without being lengthy. Excellent. Top notch

Race Tips

Downhill and hill training near end of long runs. Take the 1st 5-6 k approx 15 sec slower than race pace and save the quads

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Historic, Iconic...The mother of Marathons! Starts in the country ends in the heart of downtown Boston. Impeccably organized! Crowds are intense!

Race Tips

Train on hills.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Have a beer at the Black Rose or Bell in Hand afterwards.



review of 2016 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

I stayed near finish with a number of friends and enjoyed the fans. Cost is high but worth it. Public transportation was very usable.

Race Tips

I have run it 5 times. 2016 was the one Boston that I did not go out slow and it was miscible for the last 5 miles.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

book hotel early. even before you get in since you can cancel. Watch flights as they fluctuate a great deal. Take time to go to the free pasta dinner. You can go in on Sunday but to get the true experience arrive no later then Saturday and really Friday.



review of 2015 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Every runner should be able to experience Boston at least once in their lives! If one cannot qualify by time, there are charity openings. I have volunteered for Boston for three decades and come back every year. :-)

Race Tips

Do your hill work before attempting Boston. Enjoy the crowds along the way...especially the Wellesley College co-eds' "scream tunnel!" The point to point course is truly New England unique...starting the little town of Hopkinton by their Village Green and finishing in the heart of Boston!

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Savor the energy, bustle and crowds of Boston Marathon Weekend! The hotel are comparatively expensive, but you're getting a great experience. You do not need a car since public transportation is plentiful and the race bus shuttle efficient. Just read and follow the race instructions and you'll be good to go. See you there!



review of 2015 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2015 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Tradition and the feeling of being part of history. There is a reason the field size is limited and qualifying standards exist.

Race Tips

Take it easy the first sixteen miles, the next seven miles are long. Don't run down the hill too fast into Cleveland Circle either.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2015 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

This is the Granddaddy of all marathons. The downside now is no warm clothes at the finish line anymore. You have 1/2 mile+ walk to get your clothes. If you don't get to the village early you will not be under the tent and be outside and cold and if raining you will be wet and cold for hours before your start. I have done 20 Bostons and next year Boston will be my 100th Marathon as it was my first marathon, I want the 100th to be special.

Race Tips

The race is downhill for the first 15+ miles (some rollers, but downhill) then at 16 you go up a hill almost a mile (biggest hill on course) open to all the elements. Heartbreak hill is only 0.3 miles and not that steep.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Wear plenty of throw away clothes for the start. Try to have someone who loves you at the finish with warm clothes.



review of 2015 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Crowded, but historic. Try to enjoy, not the best race for a PR attempt.

Race Tips

Definitely be careful of the downhills in the first 4 miles. They are deceiving. Go out slower.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Good luck. The whole town is a bit of a zoo. Leave lots of time. Try to share a hotel with friends. Everything overpriced. If not, AirBnB.



review of 2015 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

It's the most competitive race I've ever run and I had plenty of people to pace off of the whole time. It rained hard in 2015 which made for great racing temps and sub-optimal conditions at the finish line. My chief complaint was that the organizers did not move the thermal blanket station up closer to the finish line until later in the day, so many athletes finishing below 3 hours spent the first 15 minutes after the race standing uncovered in rain and 40F.

Race Tips

The downhill start definitely lends to a positive split but you can minimize the damage of that by balancing your effort on the hills in miles 15-19 before Heartbreak. I had a 2 minute positive split and my first 4-5 miles of the race were 10 seconds faster than I wanted. You can really roll on the first half of the course if you want to.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

I took the buses out to the course. I was in Wave 1, Corral 2 and thus was able to get some real estate to sit down early under the tent when it started to rain.



review of 2014 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The classic of all races. Fastest field...... Qualifying makes it very special.

Race Tips

Negative splits are best with a very conservative first 4 miles.... Push it on the last 10k.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

MBTA Green line - riverside line.



review of 2014 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The atmosphere at Boston is unique. Going to the course so early is a hassle, and the security is a hassle, but the race is worth it.

Race Tips

Don't count on a PR. The course looks fast, but it isn't. There are way too many variables (crowds, weather, course, weird start time, etc) that you can't control, so go for the experience, not for the PR.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2013 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

It's a amazing run - crowds and the history make this a bucket list item. As for the race itself - not so much. The course is narrow - and overcrowded. I limit this to a once every 5 years or so event.

Race Tips

Unless you're in coral 1 or 2 - forget pacing. It ain't gonna happen. You'll be struggling to find a rhythm for the 2-4 miles. Best to take it easy for the first 5 and enjoy it. Then if all is right, try racing.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2013 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Great race. Will always have a place in my heart as the race where my family was spared from death, and where I cannot even approach the finish line without tearing up.

Race Tips

This course can be fast, but you need to chill out for the first half. You may want to not even go with the flow of fellow (perhaps foolish) runners the first half: purposely slow down if your splits are faster than they ought to be. Then slowly reel in the last half of the race. You're going to be tired, anyway, for the Newton Hills, but if you have paced properly you will be able to handle them just fine. Even after that, you have five more miles to turn up the heat.

Don't listen to anybody who talks about getting caught up in the half marathon course or going on the wrong side of the road. The full and half are not even on the same day (they are months apart).

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Hotels in Boston are very expensive, so consider only staying there after the race for a night or two. For the night before the race, two years in a row I stayed in Milford, MA which is much closer to the starting line. They have shuttles from the small towns to the athlete village, much closer to your desired time, so you don't have to sit around the village for hours waiting to get to the start (and you don't have to board the BAA buses at 6:00 in the morning).



review of 2013 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

I ran this the year of the bombing. Wasn't a great finishing experience. But everything leading up to the day was great!

Race Tips

Prepare for rolling hills.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2012 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Awesome town with so much history. It was great, although I had to be careful not to walk around all day trying to see everything! No complaints about anything related to race organization.

Race Tips

I was planning to PR when I ran Boston back in 2011 as I assumed a substantial net loss in elevation would help me run faster. Don't fool yourself, this is a tough course if you don't train on hilly terrain. I ran it 11 minutes slower than my qualifier, and I talked to others who had the same thing happen to them. Train for rolling hills...

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Make sure to visit the starting line the day before the race.



review of 2012 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The environment, atmosphere and crowds were amazing.

Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Pre-race is a logistical challenge. Think through how to manage all of the time you are likely to have waiting for the start.



review of 2011 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

It's Boston. What else can I say. I qualified after my fourth attempt over three years. It was worth the wait! The crowds were awesome on every bit of the course. Welleslley didn't disappoint, but the kids at Boston College were incredible and came right after Heartbreak Hill.

Race Tips

After I BQ'd, I trained specifically for the Boston course. The hill work I did got me over the hills in Newton, but I was really unprepared for the downhills after that. My legs really blew up. I'd recommend training downhills for this course more than concentrating on the uphills. I still managed to PR though!

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

We stayed at the Marriott just down from the Hynes Civic Center (expo). It was very convenient. Although on race morning we had to take a taxi to the buses since the nearest subway line was closed.



review of 2010 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Excellent crowds and great town.

Race Tips

Hills and unpredictable weather.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Close to finish is best.



review of 2006 Boston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Excellent crowd support. weather too warm.

Race Tips

Go out slow.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Boston Marathon in 4:52:00, what would your time in the New York City Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.