The 118th Boston Marathon will be held April 21, 2014, with a field of 36,000 expected to start the race in Hopkinton.
Here’s a look at race information, schedules, and new security and runner regulations enacted for 2014.
Race date: Monday, April 21.
Race times (approx. starters):
Mobility impaired: 8:50 a.m. (6)
Wheelchair division: 9:17 a.m. (30)
Handcycles: 9:22 a.m. (24)
Elite Women: 9:32 a.m. (50)
Elite Men and Wave One: 10 a.m. (9,000)
Wave Two: 10:25 a.m. (9,000)
Wave Three: 11 a.m. (9,000)
Wave Four: 11:25 a.m. (9,000)
Number pickup/expo hours: Runners can pick up numbers at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo (free admission) at the Hynes Convention Center as follows – Friday, April 18 from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
BAA 5K: Saturday, April 19, 8 a.m., starts at Boston Common. Registration is closed.
BAA Invitational Miles: Saturday, April 19,11:45 a.m., Copley Square
BAA Relay Challenge: Saturday, April 19,1:30 p.m., Copley Square
Boston Marathon pre-race dinner: Sunday, April 20, 4:30-8 p.m., City Hall Plaza (for official entrants and guests)
Post-race party: Monday, April 21, 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Fenway Park House of Blues
Expected field: The expected field for the 2014 Boston Marathon is 36,000 entrants. This marks an increase of 9,000 participants from the 2013 marathon.
TV Coverage: WBZ-TV will have live coverage from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. A re-broadcast will air on myTV38 from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Bag policies: The Boston Athletic Association, which runs the Boston Marathon, has enacted new policies this year for runners and for spectators in the wake of the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
For runners: No bags will be allowed on buses from Boston to Hopkinton; no bags will be transported from Hopkinton back to Boston; and bags will not be permitted in certain areas, near the start, along the course, and at the finish. The BAA will be offering a gear check to runners on Boston Common on the morning off the race, and will provide a clear plastic bag for runners wishing to take advantage of having a clean change of clothes for after. Runners will not be permitted to wear backpacks, fluid-replacing backpacks (i.e. Camelbacks) or carry heavy sports or military equipment during the race. The only race-day items allowed will be fanny packs no larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches, as well as standard manufactured fuel belts, but bottles must be one liter or smaller.
For spectators: Large bags and strollers are prohibited along the marathon route. Backpacks, handbags, and other heavy bags will be subject to search by police at any time. Spectators with bags around other areas of the marathon, including Kenmore Square, Audubon Circle, and Cleveland Circle will also be subject to search by police.
“Bandit runner” policy: Due to the increased security a this year’s marathon, the BAA will be very strict about unregistered runners entering the course at any point. Runners seen on the course without proper registration will be subject to official interdiction.
Parking: All roads on the marathon route will be closed on race day, some as early as 7 a.m.; spectators are encouraged to walk to the route or take public transportation. On-street parking in Boston is limited during race week; spectators will be unable to drive near the finish area on race day.
Public transportation: The MBTA will be running a holiday schedule on April 21; spectators can reach the marathon finish area via Hynes, Arlington, and Prudential stations on the Green Line, as well as Back Bay station on the Orange Line and Commuter Rail. Visit the MBTA’s Boston Marathon page for more T information and travel updates closer to the date.
Note: Copley Station is CLOSED during the day on Marathon Monday; spectators using the T are asked to plan accordingly.
Road Closures: Roads along the marathon route will be closing early in the morning on April 21. The official closing times have not yet been announced, but here are the times roads have closed historically, along with times that the roads have re-opened:
Hopkinton: 7:00 a.m. (re-open at 1:00 p.m.)
Ashland: 7:30 a.m. (re-open at 1:00 p.m.)
Framingham: 8:45 a.m. (re-open at 1:30 p.m.)
Natick: 8:45 a.m. (re-open at 2:00 p.m.)
Wellesley: 8:45 a.m. (re-open at 2:30 p.m.)
Newton: 9:00 a.m. (re-open at 3:30 p.m.)
Brookline: 9:30 a.m. (re-open at 4:30 p.m.)
Boston: Variable (re-open at 6:00 p.m.)
Note: all road closure times are subject to change.
Marathon route: The route follows Route 135 from Main St. in Hopkinton and goes through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and into Wellesley. In Wellesley, it continues on Route 16 into Newton, where it turns right onto Commonwealth Ave. (Route 30,) following Comm Ave. through Newton Hills and bearing right at the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Ave. The route then turns left on Beacon St. continuing into Kenmore Sqaure before rejoining Comm Ave. into the city. The finale sees the route turn right onto Hereford St. and left onto Boylston St. before finishing near the Hancock Tower in Copley Square. See a map of the course here.
2013 review: The 2013 men’s winner was Lelisa Desisa, who won the race in a time of 2:10:22. Desisa returned to Boston in October and won the 2013 B.A.A. Half Marathon, besting the field with a 1:00:34. He is looking to become the first back-to-back Boston Marathon winner since Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, who won three straight from 2006-2008.
On the women’s side, Rito Jeptoo is returning the try and defend the title she won in 2013, when she crossed the finished line in 2:26.25 to win her second career Boston title. No woman has won back-to-back Boston Marathons since Catherine Ndereba in 2004 and 2005.
The 2013 event was interrupted by the explosion of two bombs near the finish line at 2:50 p.m., and the race was stopped. Three spectators were killed and more than 260 were injured.
Records: The current course record holder on the men’s side is Geoffrey Mutai, who set the record in 2011 with a time of 2:03:02, which was also the fastest time ever run at a certified marathon distance (his record isn’t recognized as the “world record,” however, due to Boston’s course not meeting the requirements for recognition). The women’s Boston Marathon record is 2:20:43, set in 2002 by Margaret Okayo.
History: The Boston Marathon, having been inspired by the original Olympic marathon at the 1896 Summer Games in Athens, was first contested in 1897 and has been run continuously ever since, making it the world’s oldest continuous annual marathon.