The Boston Marathon is the country’s premier long-distance running event and a Patriots’ Day mainstay for Beantowners. But it’s become much more than that. The heinous acts of two troubled young men in 2013 turned the city into a symbol of American resilience and “Boston Strong” into a rallying cry heard worldwide. As a result, the Boston Marathon is characterized not by the violence of that day, but rather by the fact that we continue to run freely each year.
Symbolism aside, a spot in the Boston Marathon is a prestigious position. The field is limited to just 30,000 people, 80% of whom must beat an age-based qualifying time in another marathon to even have a chance. Those who do make the cut also get to chase the richest purse in racing in U.S. That’s one big reason why there’s always plenty of elite talent – including Olympians past and future – leading the pack.
You can’t overlook the Boston Marathon’s impact on the local economy, either. In fact, the area gets a roughly $7.67 million boost for each of the 26.2 miles in the race each year.
Clearly, there’s a lot to learn about this storied event. So to help get you up to speed, WalletHub analyzed the race from start to finish in search of interesting Boston Marathon factoids. You can check out what we found in the infographic below, followed by an expert Q&A about the Boston Marathon’s significance and the business of running. Enjoy the race!
For a closer look at the business of big races such as the Boston Marathon, we posed the following questions to a panel of leading experts. You can find their bios and responses below.
- What tips do you have for a non-professional, first-time participant in the Boston Marathon?
- What are the economic impacts of the Boston Marathon on the city and neighboring communities?