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Boston Marathon basics: what you need to know

Boston basics

If you are a running fan, Boston Marathon time is one of the most exciting times of the year. This classic race — the world’s oldest annual marathon — boosts a speedier than average field, a challenging course, elite marathon masters, thousands of dollars raised for charity, and 26.2 (42 km) miles of screaming fans.

Here is a little bit more about the 2013 race:

Date: April 15, 2013 – Patriot’s Day

Start times:

  • 9:00 a.m. mobility impaired
  • 9:17 a.m., wheelchair division
  • 9:22 a.m., handcycles
  • 9:32 a.m., elite women
  • 10:00 a.m. elite men and wave 1 qualified runners
  • 10:20 a.m., wave 2 qualified runners
  • 10:40 a.m., wave 3 qualified runners

Where the race is run: Hopkington -> Ashland -> Framingham -> Wellesley -> Newton -> Brookline -> Boston

Number of runners: About 25,000

Number of charity runners: 2,500

Expected weather: 65 degrees, partly sunny, SSW wind (tailwind) (current forecast)

Course records

  • Male: 2:03:02 (Geoffrey Mutai, Kenya, 2011)
  • Female: 2:20:43 (Margaret Okayo, Kenya, 2002)
  • Male push rim wheelchair: 1:18:25 (Joshua Cassidy, Canada, 2012)
  • Female push rim wheelchair: 1:34:06 (Wakako Tsuchida, Japan, 2011)

Most challenging part: Heartbreak Hill, placed at mile 20 to 21, where most marathoners “hit the wall.”

Best location for spectators: Cleveland Circle in Brookline, near mile 22, and the epic finish line in Copley Square. (Map)

Big name runners in 2013: Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan

Why the race matters so much to so many: To run Boston, runners have to qualify by running another marathon in a certain amount of time or raising a minimum of $4,000 for one of the chosencharities. No easy feat.

Race news: Ryan Hall and Meb Kelfezighi, male American winner hopefuls, are out with injuries. In addition, recent changes in the qualifying standards have also put a few amateur runners out of the race.

More info: www.baa.org

Good luck to everyone running and racing and to all those spectating cheer on with the greatest enthusiasm. And a special shout out to my brother. He will be toeing the line in his second Boston Marathon this year. Hoping for much cooler temperatures and a personal best!

Written by Danielle Bressoud. Danielle is a licensed physical therapist, practicing for 7 years, and running addict living in Massachusetts with her husband and son.

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