Read on the Road: Famed Moments of the Boston Marathon

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Monday marks the start of the 123rd Boston Marathon. This year, the Moving Greater Boston team is volunteering on behalf of the American Liver Foundation in Copley. We’ve put together a digestible list of some of the greatest marathon moments in history that you can read between Hopkington and Copley.




Historical Moments of The Boston Marathon


  • The marathon at the Athens Summer Olympics inspired the creation of the Boston Marathon in 1896.
  • From 1897-1986, the Marathon was held on Patriots Day, April 19 and was moved to Monday when the 19th fell on a Sunday.  In 1969, the marathon moved to the third Monday of April.
  • John Graham organized the first Boston Marathon in 1897.
  • John J. McDermott placed first on April 19, 1897.
  • Women weren’t allowed entry into the race until 1971, but Roberta Gibb and Katherine Switzer snuck into the race and competed in 1966 and 1967.
  • Nina Kuscsik was the first woman to win the Boston Marathon in 1972.
  • The Boston Marathon included the first wheelchair division in 1975, recognizing Bob Hall who finished the race in 2 hours and 58 minutes.
  • Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach won the women’s race in 1985, finishing at 2:34:06.
  • Ernst Van Dyk holds 9 titles at the Boston Marathon, making him the most successful marathoner to date.
  • There was a partial eclipse of the sun in 1939 in Hopkington when runners were faced with dark Northeast weather.
  • In 1905, the temperature climbed to 100 degrees. Just 3 years later, in 1908, runners competed in snow and rain.








Viewing the marathon, but not running?

  • Optimal Viewing Times –








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