Fall, Football, and the Boston Marathon?


Did you know that October is the only month where we get to enjoy watching the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots all at the same time? It is simply one of the best months of the year. To make it even better, 2021 is the first year we get to add the Boston Marathon to the mix!

This past Monday, runners had to wait 910 days to get the chance to run the 125th Boston Marathon. Here are 26.2 facts to commemorate this glorious day and celebrate all those who participated: 

1. The Origin of the Marathon: The Greek soldier, Pheidippides was sent from Marathon to Athens. He was sent to share news about the victory of the Persian army at the Battle of Marathon. This created the first marathon distance of 24.8 miles. 1

2. The Marathon Distance: The distance was changed in the 1908 Olympic Games after the Royal family wished to view the race from the Windsor Castle. The distance from the Castle to the stadium was 26.2 miles.1

3. Patriot’s Day Tradition: In 1897 the Boston Marathon was held on April 19th to celebrate the start of the Revolutionary War. In 1969, Patriot’s Day and the Marathon were officially held on the third Monday of April.1

4. Women Join the Scene: The first woman to run the Boston Marathon was Roberta Gibb in 1966. She did not run with an official bib and hid in the bushes until the race began. Katherine Switzer pulled a similar stunt in 1967 and officials tried to remove her from the race.1

5. Women Run: Finally in 1971, women were allowed to take part in the Boston Marathon. Eight women signed up and all eight finished.1

6. Spectators Galore: Each year (excluding this year) about 500,000 spectators line the street in Boston, making it one of the most attended sporting event in New England.2

7. The Best Name Award: Ronald MacDonald was a Canadian runner from Boston College who ran the race in 1898. This name has come a long way since! 1

8. Heartbreak Hill: It is known as the toughest part of race but in fact is not the highest point in the race. It is only 88 feet high but spans over 0.4 miles at mile 20 which causes a struggle amongst most runners. 3

9. Celebrity Sighting: Former New England Patriot’s, James Devlin ran in this year’s Boston Marathon. Will Ferrell, Tedy Bruschi and Joe Andruzzi have also run in the past.

10. Best Viewing Spots: Per experience, I find the most exciting spots to cheer on runners are Copley Square, Kenmore Square, and the Boston University/Boston College. Try it out next year!

11. The Unicorn Symbol: This mythical symbol was chosen in 1890. According to B.A.A. chief operating officer, Jack Fleming, the unicorn inspires you to pursue the dream, push harder, and continue to grow as a runner. 4

12. Hottest Marathon: In 2012, the hottest marathon was recorded at 89 degrees for the finish. 3

13. Windiest/Rainiest Marathon: More than half of the participants dropped out in the 2018 race due to wind and rain conditions. Temperatures were in the upper 30s, but Des Linden was one of the few that toughed it out. 3

14. Marathon Route: Believe it or not, marathon runs mostly outside of Boston, including towns such as Newton, Brookline, Hopkinton, Ashland, Natick, Wellesley and many more.

15. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: The first male and female finishers win $150,000. Second place winners take home a good $75,000. Third place comes in at $40,000. Not a bad deal! 5

16. Red Sox Tradition: Fenway Park has been coordinating home games with the Marathon since 1959. Generally, people hop from the game to the race. This year we got even luckier with a playoff game win! 7

17. Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eaters: Each year there are “Boston Bandits” that enter the race by simply jumping the barriers. Officials note over 50 people per year run the race without registration.7

18. The “Scream Tunnel”: Wellesley College never lets runners down on Marathon Monday. They line the street to cheer on the runners and make out as the loudest cheering spot on the course. Pre-COVID, they’d give out free kisses. 7

19. The Dynamic Duo: Father and son, Dick and Rick Hoyt have completed the Boston Marathon together for the past 32 years. Dick pushed his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, and were a staple of the marathon for years. 7

20. Fastest Times: The fastest man to run was Geoffrey Mutai who clocked at 2:03:02 in 2011 and Buzunesh Deba holds the fastest female time at 2:19:56 in 2014. 8

21. The Starting Line: Jack Leduc spends nearly 30 hours on creating the start line stencil into the pavements… only to be stepped on thousands and thousands of times. He started this tradition over 37 years ago. 9

22. The Citgo Sign: Just like many Boston residents use the Citgo Sign to find their way home, marathon runners use it as a marking to indicate one mile left in the race!

23. Abbott World Marathon Majors: Boston is one of six races you can run to earn your six-star metal. Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York are also included in this list.

24. Olive Wreaths: These are distributed to the winners of the race which are in fact handmade from Marathon, Greece.

25. Wheelchair Addition: In 1975, Boston became the first marathon to include the wheelchair division. Bob Hall was the first individual to win and complete the wheelchair course. 1

26. Fundraising goals: This year, the BAA raised $32.1 million for 242 nonprofit organizations.10   Find the link if you are interested in learning more:

26.2 A Celebratory Drink: Sam Adams treats marathon spectators to a tasty treat one time per year. They created a 26.2 beer to celebrate the Marathon to be distributed to local bars along the route. 2


1.) “History of the Boston Marathon.” History | Boston Athletic Association,
2.) “Fun Facts about the 2018 Boston Marathon.” Women's Running, 16 Apr. 2020,
3.) Douglas, S. (2019, April 3). 5 times the weather at the Boston Marathon won the day. Runner's World. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from
4.) The Boston Globe. (2021, September 22). Here's why a unicorn is the symbol of the Boston Marathon. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from
5.) Prize money. Prize Money | Boston Athletic Association. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2021, from
6.) 12 fast facts about the Boston Marathon. PodiumRunner. (2019, April 17). Retrieved October 13, 2021, from
7.) Boston or Bust. Marathon | Abbott U.S. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2021, from
8.) Research, C. N. N. E. (2021, October 12). Boston Marathon Fast Facts. Action News Now - Chico, Redding News, Weather Sports & Breaking News. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from
9.) Engerman, A. S. (2018, November 27). RoadSafe paints Boston Marathon start and finish lines. RoadSafe Traffic Systems, Inc. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from
10.) Boston Marathon fundraising surpasses $400 million milestone. Boston Athletic Association. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2021, from