The Boston Marathon: a handy historical timeline
You may not have the determination and overly-toned thighs to run the race on Marathon Monday, but that doesn’t mean you have to be ignorant about it. Besides, any Bostonian worth his or her salt knows that those who can’t do, know esoteric trivia. With that in mind, here’s our quick-and-dirty guide to Boston Marathon history.
1897 – After seeing the first modern Olympic Games in Athens the year before, members of the Boston Athletic Association found the world’s first annual marathon. The race started in Ashland and ended at Irvington Oval in Boston. There were only 18 participants.
1901 – Somewhere along the course between Natick and Wellesley, a horse joins the race. It was probably awesome.
1918 – The race is canceled on account of World War I.
1920 – The Boston Marathon hosts the Olympic marathon trials for the first time.
1924 – The race is lengthened to 26 miles and 385 yards, moving the starting line is from Ashland to Hopkinton.
1935 – Arlington native John Kelley wins his first of two Marathons. He runs the race 61 times over the course of his life, finishing his last full course at the age of 84.
1966 – Roberta Gibb is the first woman to run the complete course. Women are banned from entering, so in order join in she hides in the bushes near the starting line.
1972 – Women are finally allowed to compete in the race. New Yorker Nina Kuscisk is the first official female champ.
1975 – Bob Hall finishes the race on a wheelchair. He goes on to head the BAA’s Wheelchair Division.
1976 – Competitors run on the hottest Marathon day in history, with temperatures at almost 100 degrees.
1980 – Rosie Ruiz wins in record-breaking time, only to be disqualified when witnesses claim to have seen her emerge from the watching crowd half a mile before the finish line.
1986 – The BAA begins to award winners in cash. Before then, the only prize was a laurel wreath and oodles of street cred.
2010 - Kenya's Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot clocks the fastest time in Boston Marathon history, finishing at 2:05:52.