The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon running event that takes place in greater Boston in the United States. The race is conducted every year on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. The race is one of the six World Marathon Majors.
The race began in 1897 and has been held every year even during the years of two world wars. The event, which attracts over 500,000 spectators and an average of 30,000 participants is the world's oldest annual marathon event and is regarded as the world's best marathon.
Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya finished the race with a record course time of 2:03:02 in 2011. It was also the fastest marathon run ever at that time but has since been surpassed in the Berlin marathon. Rita Jeptoo, also from Kenya, holds the women's course record at 2:18:57 set during the 2014 race.
The Boston Marathon is considered as one of the most difficult marathon races because of the course that leads through the Newton hills. The IAAF however does not recognize the course for world record status because it does not satisfy the rules of elevation drop and start/finish separation.
In 2013, the race was a target of two bombings which occurred about 200m from the finish line. Though the winners had crossed the finish line by then and no runner was affected, the incident unfortunately killed three spectators and injured several others.
In 2020, the event was canceled for the first time in 124 years, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the race was run virtually, with participants running the distance themselves and sending in their times.