5 facts You Didn’t Know About the Boston Marathon

In today’s fast-paced, here-today-gone-tomorrow culture, it is noteworthy when an institution stands the test of time. This year, on April 18th, the Boston Marathon celebrates its 120th anniversary. We can’t wait! Oh, you didn’t know? Yep—we’ll be there! Please, stop by during the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo and tell us your cramp story. We’d love to talk to you about how #ITSTHENERVE is helping athletes defeat muscle cramps. We’ll also have samples you can take and test for yourself. In honor of the Boston Marathon’s 120th birthday, let’s look back at some memorable marathon moments.

  • A New Yorker, John McDermott, won the first Boston Marathon, defeating the other 14 runners with a final time of 2:55:10. Over 26,000 people finished the marathon in 2015 and the winner, Lelisa Desisa, clocked in at 2:09:17.
  • The race is run on Patriot’s Day every year. In 1969, Patriot’s Day was moved from April 19th to the third Monday of April. The last runner to win the marathon on a day other than Monday? The 1968 marathon winner and current Runner’s World editor Amby Burfoot finishing with a posted time of 2:22:17.
  • Women were first officially allowed to race in 1971. However, Roberta Gibb ran in 1966 by hiding in the bushes near the starting line until the race began. The following year, Katherin Switzer registered without indicating she was a woman and was the first female to be issued a bib for the marathon. Nina Kuscsik was the first woman to officially finish the race in 1971.
  • In 2013, bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and over 260 were wounded in the attacks. The nation mourned with the city of Boston and the racing community. In the years since the attacks, victims have returned to finish the race. The city of Boston and the racing community responded to the attacks by carrying on the tradition, expanding the qualifying pool, and maximizing security. The Boston Marathon continues to be among the most celebrated marathons in the country.
  • The gear has changed, the runners have changed, and the host city has changed over the last 120 years. But the marathon itself? Since the course was extended in 1924 to 26 miles, the course has been essentially the same every year.

Congratulations to all the qualifiers for this year’s race! We wish you all the best of luck and look forward to meeting you at the expo on race weekend. Join the conversation below and tell us how cramping has impacted your race training. Follow us to stay up-to-date on all things #ITSTHENERVE.




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