The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world, founded in 1897. Its reputation as a challenging race over varied terrain is unequaled. It is no wonder that over 20,000 people choose to enter this event every year. It offers a world-class venue in which a runner can test his or her mettle, and earn the bragging rights to say that they completed this arduous, picturesque course in front of the enthusiastic crowds who line the roads cheering the participants through whatever weather takes place that year.
April in Massachusetts can be a capricious month. Snow is not unheard of, though it is unlikely to fall on the third Monday on which the marathon takes place. It can rain, sometimes in a light drizzle, sometimes in a downpour. It can also be the most pleasant day of the year, with the trees showing fresh green and the buds of new leaves. No matter what Nature chooses to dish out on Marathon Day, competitors give this run their all, exhilarated to be able to be a part of this ongoing New England sports tradition.
The race runs through eight Massachusetts towns over hills and through valleys for 26.22 miles. Starting in Hopkinton, participants pass through scenic, colonial-era towns and villages before entering the busy metropolis of Boston, the Cradle of Liberty and the Athens of America. The race ends in historic Copley Square, in front of the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church. It is an inspiring setting fit for experiencing the thrill of victory after having completed this exhilarating challenge to muscle and willpower.
The scenery is perfect for postcards. From ancient main streets through hamlets that were marched by Minutemen, through indigenous forests that have been preserved in their primeval splendor, past farms that have been plowed and tended for centuries, along the stately Charles River that serves as a placid lifeline between the Massachusetts heartland and Boston Harbor, through the storied and modern city of Boston, the home of so much national and local history, as well as cutting edge technology and architecture, the marathon's route is unparalleled.
While the race is the reason to visit Boston in April, the city hosts many amenities to make the pre- and post-run stay pleasant and civilized. There are a wealth of cultural opportunities to fill the time before and after the Boston Marathon. No one leaves Boston disappointed.