Boston Athletic Association

Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887. Inspired by the event at the 1896 Olympic Games, the B.A.A. held the first Boston Marathon on April 19, 1897. It has since become the world’s oldest annual marathon. The addition of principal sponsor John Hancock in 1986 has solidified the event’s success and ensures it well into the future.

$871,000 Prize Purse at Stake

The total prize money distributed among the top finishers of the 123rd Boston Marathon will be $871,000, plus an additional $220,000 if records are broken. As principal sponsor, John Hancock provided the first-ever prize money in 1986 and has awarded more than $20.5 million to top finishers over the past 33 years.

Patriots' Day

Since its inception, the Boston Marathon has been held on the holiday commemorating Patriots’ Day. From 1897 to 1968, the Boston Marathon was held on April 19, unless the 19th fell on a Sunday. Since 1969, the holiday has been officially recognized on the third Monday in April. The 123rd race will mark the 51st consecutive year the race has been held on a Monday.

Financial Boost

The 2018 Boston Marathon and surrounding events, including the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, were estimated to bring $201 million in spending impact to the Greater Boston region last year. This is the highest-ever estimated Boston Marathon spending impact.

2018 Race Synopsis

The 122nd Boston Marathon saw some of the worst conditions in race history. But the cold and rain proved ideal for breakthrough performances in the open division, with Des Linden becoming the first American woman to win since 1985 and Yuki Kawauchi becoming the first Japanese man to win since 1987. In the wheelchair division, Marcel Hug and Tatyana McFadden asserted their dominance, earning their fourth and fifth respective Boston titles.

Top Performances


Historic Moments

The 123-year history of the Boston Marathon is full of broken hearts, broken barriers and broken records. But through stunning victories and, in 2013, devastating tragedy, each remarkable Marathon moment underscores a persistent theme of human strength and spirit.

View Timeline [PDF]

Abbott World Marathon Majors

The Boston Marathon is one of six Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series consisting of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. Other races take place in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City.

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