Boston Marathon Bombing

Personal tragedy brought Carlos Arredondo, "the man in the cowboy hat," to the finish line that day, but his spontaneous act of heroism helped save a life and change the course of the investigation into the attack.

Patriots Day (2017)

No. In researching the Patriots Day true story, we quickly discovered that he is a "composite" character who is largely fictional. "There were many police officers who were instrumental in different parts of the investigation," says actor Mark Wahlberg. "So Tommy Saunders is actually a composite character." Producer Scott Stuber added, "As we started to realize how many different Boston police officers were in different places of importance, the most respectful thing we could do is to say that Mark was representing law enforcement. There was no one person everywhere." This also obviously means that Tommy Saunder's wife Carol, portrayed by Michelle Monaghan in the movie, is a fictional character.

Is Patriots Day based on a book?

How many people died or were injured as a result of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing?

Three people died and an estimated 264 were wounded as a direct result of the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 (view footage of the explosions). 17 people underwent amputations, with some suffering full or partial traumatic amputations during the blasts ( These individuals include newlyweds Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, who are portrayed by Christopher O'Shea and Rachel Brosnahan in the movie. Both were standing near the finish line and lost their left legs below the knee in the attack (Jessica would eventually also lose her right leg as well). Like others, they also suffered shrapnel wounds and perforated eardrums. Watch the real Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky discuss the tragedy and the movie.

"I have little glimpses in my memory from those first days," Jessica Kensky said in an interview. "I have stories people told me later. But the really painful stuff, it kind of fades away. It's just too much. I remember writing the words 'Patrick's foot.' I had no idea at that point that I had lost a leg. The only thing I could think about was Patrick's foot, laying on the ground. Then he wasn't there. He was taken to a different hospital." Patrick and Jessica didn't see each other for more than fifteen days, until she was stable enough to be moved to visit Patrick (their reunion happens much earlier in the movie), and it was another five weeks until they were relocated into a room together at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, after Patrick's fevers and infections subsided . Three years later, Patrick completed the 2016 Boston Marathon, running 26.2 miles as a single-leg amputee. -Boston College News

Does the movie get the details of the bombing and manhunt right?

For the most part, yes. Of course, the biggest deviation from the Patriots Day true story is the presence of fictional police officer Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg).

The Attack: The attack occurred during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. More than 23,000 people participated in the marathon, with thousands more there to cheer them on. At exactly 2:49 p.m. in the afternoon, with the marathon well underway, two pressure-cooker bombs concealed in backpacks exploded approximately 12 seconds apart near the finish line at Boylston Street (see footage of the explosions). Spectators had filled the area to welcome runners and loved ones as they completed the marathon. This section of Boylston Street was meticulously reconstructed on a remote set for the film. The explosions and ensuing chaos in the movie are very accurate to what happened that day.

Identifying the Suspects: The FBI began analyzing hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and honed in on two men, Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A citywide search began for 26-year-old Tamerlan and 19-year-old Dzhokhar. Shortly after the FBI released their images, news broke on April 18 that 27-year-old MIT police officer Sean Collier had been shot in his patrol car and pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital. After killing Collier, the Tsarnaev brothers then carjacked Dun Meng and held him hostage until he was able to escape when they stopped at a gas station. Like in the movie, Meng ran across the street to a convenience store for help. An employee called the police and the FBI was able to pinpoint the location of the vehicle by tracking the GPS signal. Watch the real Dun Meng describe the carjacking.

The Shootout: The authorities located the SUV in Watertown where the two terrorists engaged in a shootout with police. The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was shot eight times in the firefight and then his younger brother Dzhokhar, in an attempt to run over the police holding down Tamerlan, ran over Tamerlan instead and escaped in the stolen SUV (ABC News). Tamerlan died at the hospital a short time later. As police fired at the fleeing SUV, transit police officer Richard Donohue was hit in the groin by a ricocheting bullet and suffered severe blood loss but survived. 28-year-old Boston Police Officer Dennis 'DJ' Simmonds (not shown in the movie) was also wounded and passed away from his injuries almost a year later. The real Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese and Sergeant John MacLellan describe the Watertown firefight.

The Manhunt and Capture: On April 19, an enormous manhunt involving 3,000 to 4,000 law enforcement officers ensued for Dzhokhar as they combed a 20-block area of Watertown. Residents were told to stay indoors and public transportation was shut down. At approximately 6 p.m., Watertown resident David Henneberry discovered Dzhokhar hiding in his boat in his backyard. Police used thermal imaging from a helicopter above to pinpoint his location within the boat. Officers on the ground fired on the boat and launched flashbangs and smoke grenades into it before a badly wounded Dzhokhar surrendered and was taken to the hospital. See images and video from Dzhokhar's capture.

Was there really a debate over making the images of the suspects public?

Yes. "There was a robust debate about making the images public," says former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. "At that point, there had been at least one person misidentified by a newspaper. We didn't know how many people were involved. Who were they connected to? Was there more? So, I supported making the images public, but not before the President leaves." -Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing

Did Katherine Russell, widow of terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev, know about the attack beforehand?

According to Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow, Katherine Russell, she says that she did not know about the attack that her husband and brother-in-law were planning. Patriots Day producer Michael Radutzky defended the movie's stance, stating that multiple sources shared with him information gathered during Russell's interrogation (the official interrogation transcripts have not been released by the FBI). Though she has never been charged with a crime in relation to her husband's act of terror, director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon) says that he questions how a woman could live in a small apartment with the bombers and not realize what they were up to. The movie concludes with updates on the investigation, stating that law enforcement continues to look for information pertaining to Katherine Russell's possible involvement, something that her lawyer says is news to him, implying that it is not true. -Daily Mail Online

Was there evidence that Tamerlan's wife, Katherine Russell, was hoping to be rewarded for being the wife of a martyr?

Yes. In the movie, the interrogator implies that they knew that Katherine Russell had been looking into this. In real life, computer expert Mark Spencer testified at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial that Katherine Russell's computer revealed that she had done searches that included phrases like "rewards for wife of mujahideen [holy warrior]" and "if your husband becomes a shahid [martyr] what are the rewards for you?" The searches were done more than a year before the bombings.

After the Boston Marathon bombing, Katherine texted a friend, "A lot more people are killed every day in Syria [and] other places. Innocent people."

Who were brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

The Tsarnaev brothers were born in the Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and moved to America in 2002 when their parents applied for political asylum in the U.S. The younger brother, Dzhokhar, was a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts' Dartmouth campus. The older Tamerlan married Katherine Russell in 2010 and they had a young daughter. After his promising boxing career had taken a turn, Tamerlan was left unemployed and his radical Muslim ideologies had taken an increasingly militant tone.

At the same time, Dzhokhar seemed to be living the life of a normal college student, going to parties and tweeting about his penchant for alcohol, girls and weed, which are not exactly the typical interests of a Muslim extremist. It is relatively clear that the onset of much of Dzhokhar's radical anti-American views were largely due to the growing influence of his older brother. Like their mother, both believed that 9/11 was an inside job by the U.S. government to create mass hatred for Muslims (they tell this to carjacking victim Dun Meng in the movie). In the weeks before the bombings, Dzhokhar's tweets to his followers reflected the brothers' looming intentions. "If you have the knowledge and the inspiration all that's left is to take action." Those actions, which unfolded on April 15, 2013 at the Boston Marathon, led to Dzhokhar being sentenced to death.

Did slain MIT police officer Sean Collier really have a budding romance with an MIT student?

Did carjacking victim Dun Meng really have the GPS tracking number of his SUV memorized?

Yes. As hard as it is to believe, the real Dun Meng, an app developer, had actually memorized the tracking number of the GPS in his Mercedes SUV. If he hadn't given the number to police, they may never have been able to track down the stolen SUV before the bombers reached Times Square, their next intended target. Like in Patriots Day, Dun Meng was carjacked in the first place because, in an effort to be responsible, he had pulled off the road to type a text message. He says that his time with the bombers is accurately depicted in the film, right down to Dzhokhar asking if there was a jack in the car so he could play his music.

Does the movie use actual surveillance footage?

Yes. In many instances the movie utilizes actual surveillance footage. It complements director Peter Berg's affinity for handheld camerawork, and it is often blended so well into the film that it's hard to tell if we're watching real or recreated surveillance footage.

Did Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese, portrayed by J.K. Simmons, really tackle terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev?

Yes. Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese of the Watertown Police Department indeed played a major role in the real firefight. He had just finished a 16-hour shift and decided to be an extra set of eyes on the carjacking, not knowing he would be arriving to a gunfight. The FBI had located the carjacked SUV by tracking its GPS signal. Like in the Patriots Day movie, Pugliese arrived on the scene and flanked terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They moved quickly toward each other shooting, and when Tamerlan's gun would no longer fire, he threw it at Pugliese and turned to flee. Pugliese ran after him and tackled him to the pavement. As other officers helped to subdue Tamerlan, the terrorist's younger brother Dzhokhar got in the stolen SUV and attempted to run down the officers but ran over his brother instead, adding to Tamerlan's fatal injuries. Pugliese worked closely with the filmmakers to get his role in the shootout right.

"We shot the home scenes at their house," says actor J.K. Simmons, noting details right down to the inclusion of "Jeff's Sauce," Pugliese's own homemade pasta sauce. "The director and producers went above and beyond making sure they got it right," says Pugliese. "When I was on set, many times [Peter Berg] would stop the action, in the middle of shooting, and ask me, 'Jeff, is that how it went down?' "

Did officers really fire at a police vehicle as it left the scene of the Watertown shootout?

Were the real people involved in the making of the movie?

Yes. While fact-checking the Patriots Day movie, we learned that the filmmakers interviewed first responders and many eyewitnesses. They worked with Watertown Sgt. Jeff Pugliese (portrayed by J.K. Simmons), Police Commissioner Ed Davis (played by John Goodman), and Dun Meng, the man that bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev carjacked and held hostage. They came to the set and worked with the actors who portray them. Commissioner Davis commented on the accuracy of John Goodman's portrayal. "Right down to the scarf I was wearing and the jacket I had on. He practiced my accent and sounded just like me" ( They shot scenes at real-life locations, including the former home of Sean Collier, the MIT patrol officer who was killed by the terrorists. The home's pink interior walls were left untouched for the film.

Some of the survivors who were initially against the film changed their minds after seeing it. This included Marc Fucarile (not represented in the movie), who lost his leg in the bombing. "Surprisingly it was really good," he said in an interview on Kirk & Callahan.

The videos below offer a firsthand look at the tragic events that unfolded at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, including footage of the two explosions and their aftermath. Further deepen your knowledge of the Patriots Day true story by watching survivor interviews.

Executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

Graduate student of statistics at Boston University close friend of Lingzi Lu, who died as a result of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Interviews

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital played a critical role in the rehabilitation of many of the most seriously injured survivors of the bombings. They managed the opening of their new facility in the Boston Navy Yard just days after the bombings. Many of their staff were personally affected as they were runners on the Spaulding marathon charity team or were waiting near the finish line to support the team and witnessed the bombings. Our Marathon's WBUR Oral History Project sought to collect a cross-section of interviews from Spaulding staff to chronicle how the rehabilitative care of marathon bombing survivors was an integral part of the city’s response to violence and mass trauma.

Boston Marthon Bombing

It was 2:49 PM during the annual Boston Marathon which took place on April 15, 2013, two bombs went off near the finish line, which was located near Copley Square. The bombs were homemade pressure cookers, and within moments three people were dead, and 264 were injured. Sixteen people lost their limbs as a result. The injured were treated at 27 hospitals and those arriving near the finish line were diverted away from the bomb scene.

The FBI took the lead in trying to find the perpetrators of the bombing. They immediately identified two suspect Zhokahr Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev two brothers born in Krygystan. The FBI released photos of the brothers. Soon after the photos were released the brothers killed a police officer in Massachusetts Institute of Technology police department in a failed attempt to get his gun. They then took Dun Mung hostage after carjacking a car. After forcing him to withdraw money from an ATM Meng escaped and called the police. They immediately focused their attention on Watertown were the brothers were last to see. At 12:10 AM on April 19th a police officer identified the brothers in their car. Police officers arrived on the scene. A firefight ensued. Tamerlan ran out of ammunition and was tackled by a police officer. His brother then took their car and accidentally ran him over. The brother died subsequently at the hospital. One police officer was killed in the exchange, and 16 were wounded. The next night Dzhokhar was found in a boat in the backyard. He was captured. After his capture, Dzhokhar who had immigrated to the US in 2002 seeking political asylum stated that he carried out the attacks in retaliation for American actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. No tie could be found to an external group.

On May 15th Dzhokhar he was tried in Federal Court was sentenced to death for his acts.

Case Study: Boston Marathon Bombing

The Boston Marathon is one of the oldest and largest marathons in the nation. The first Boston Marathon was in 1897 and it now occurs on Patriot's Day (the third Monday in April). The primary organizer is the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) but the race couldn't happen without extensive involvement of government agencies, private and non-profit organizations, and, of course, thousands of volunteers.

More than 26,000 runners register. Before 2014, there were hundreds (or more) of unofficial runners called bandits.

Approximately 500,000 spectators line the 26.2-mile course annually, making the Boston Marathon New England's most widely viewed sporting event, according to estimates by police and public safety officials from the eight cities and towns along the route.

In addition to the marathon, the Boston Red Sox play a home game. With these events and the state holiday, the city is bustling!

The marathon starts in Hopkinton, a rural New England town, and continues through another seven cities and towns, ending at Copley Square in Boston.

Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) Planning

Extensive planning occurs for the annual Boston Marathon and the race (a pre-planned event) is used as an exercise to test and practice many plans. While this case study focuses on MCI (generally a functional annex in the EOP), other plans and annexes are exercised during the annual marathon (i.e., medical surge, mutual aid, communication, statewide interoperability).

MCI are events with injuries that may exceed the normal response capability and have the potential to quickly exhaust resources. MCI's include events that:

  • Happen with some level of frequency (transportation accidents and severe weather events such as a tornado, shown below) and
  • Are unpredictable (terrorist bombings and nuclear accidents)

MCI plans are designed to coordinate a systematic and effective medical response to treat the highest number of casualties with the resources available in order to minimize loss of life, disabling injuries, and human suffering. In other words, to do the greatest good for the greatest number. Effective MCI plans minimize duplication of effort and maximize coordination of resources (including personnel, facilities, supplies, medicines, and equipment).

Revisit the public health and health care preparedness capabilities. Number 10 is medical surge - a key capability for a mass casualty incident.

Review Medical Surge Capability for:

According to US Department of Health and Human Services "Medical surge capacity refers to the ability to evaluate and care for a markedly increased volume of patients—one that challenges or exceeds normal operating capacity. The surge requirements may extend beyond direct patient care to include such tasks as extensive laboratory studies or epidemiological investigations. the integration of additional resources (whether standby, mutual aid, State or Federal aid) is difficult without adequate management systems. Thus, medical surge capacity is primarily about the systems and processes that influence specific asset quantity."

Examples of Planning Considerations

Provide primary care to current and, possibly, surge patients.

  • Ability to act as an alternate care or emergency dispensing site
  • Continuity of service
  • Provision of multi-cultural/multi-lingual and/or mental health support during response or recovery

Emergency Medical Service

Evaluate injuries, initiate triage, and provide patient transport.

  • Personal protection
  • Decontamination (people and equipment)
  • Patient distribution and tracking systems
  • Assistance with search and rescue or evacuation

Rapidly treat and manage current and surge patients.

  • Available beds, staff and other resources
  • Isolation and quarantine
  • Decontamination
  • Security
  • Patient tracking, triage and treatment

Manage current patients or residents and, possibly, surge or relocated patients.

  • Ability to act as an alternate care site
  • Evacuation or shelter-in-place options
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Communication with families

Implement core public health activities including information sharing, epidemiologic investigation, and mass prophylaxis or vaccination.

  • Communication systems (i.e., Health Alert Network)
  • Continuity of operations
  • Incident command
  • Fatality management
  • Mental health needs for recovery

Go to page 4 in the Florida Department of Health document Hospital Medical Surge Planning for Mass Casualty Incidents to read more about MCI planning assumptions. This document was prepared for hospitals but many of the assumptions apply to the other disciplines.


According to reports compiled from the Terrorist Attack Archives at the Terrorism Research Center, 758 terrorist events were staged in 45 countries in 2005 and more than half were bombings. From our text "These data indicate that both small scale and large scale bombing activities occur on a regular basis in US….". In a twenty year study (1983 – 2002) there were:

As described in the CDC Surge Capacity for Terrorist bombings, explosions can produce instantaneous havoc resulting in numerous casualties with complex, technically challenging injuries not commonly seen after natural disasters.

Content �. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Kathleen MacVarish, Boston University School of Public Health with the assistance of Elizabeth Faye.

Boston Marathon bombing of 2013

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Boston Marathon bombing of 2013, terrorist attack that took place a short distance from the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. A pair of homemade bombs detonated in the crowd watching the race, killing 3 people and injuring more than 260.

Running in Defiance

Spring comes late to Boston. Most years, the day of the Marathon is one of the first when the air feels soft and world is green. After the long New England winter, it's something of a holy day—roads and businesses shut down, and people rediscover their city. It’s not just that Bostonians love their hometown and their sports. They also love their history: The Marathon has a rich tradition as a leveler of class and a vehicle for activism. Its 117 years tell the story of one of America’s oldest cities.

When the marathon was founded in 1897, Boston was a patchwork of immigrant communities, a society stratified by ethnicity and class. Yankee intellectuals had already begun to formulate eugenic theories about the inherent lowliness of the “violent” Irish and “feeble-minded” Italians meanwhile, those groups usually kept to themselves. But Marathon Day transcended these animosities. While many popular sports of the time, like baseball and golf, were reserved for college men, marathon running was embraced by the working class, and participants ran the gamut, from Irish to Italian to Swedish to native-born Yank. Meanwhile, the sidelines brought together Brahmin and bricklayer.

“It was an excuse to party. It was a free show,” says Lawrence Kennedy, a historian working on a book about the Marathon. “It was so unusual, just the oddity of these guys running around, basically in their underwear. There was this sort of pride… This quirky Boston psyche.”

At the time, doctors labeled long-distance running unhealthy, and most people viewed any builder or factory man who would waste his energy running through the city streets as “just nuts,” Kennedy says. But from the start, there was something irresistible about the marathoners. A 1932 Globe article describes how one champion, known as “Bricklayer Bill,” succeeded even though he had “'bummed' his way to Boston, and on the eve of the race slept on a pool table in the South End.” Asked fifteen years later to describe the lure of the race, Bill mused, “All Marathon runners are dreamers we are not practical.” And from the start, there was something intensely American about the marathon, which was established on Patriots' Day to commemorate Massachusetts’ most famous battle. It was a way for immigrants to prove their Americanization. “Boston, to see the name in print, to hear it spoken, sends my blood racing as does the sounds of ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’” the Irish-descended Bill told the Globe. He famously sewed an American flag to his bandanna when he ran the race during the First World War.

Once a way for New England’s mistreated poor to demonstrate what seemed like superhuman ability, the marathon became a siren call for a more diverse group of Americans who wanted to push themselves to the limits. John J. Kelley, a college-educated schoolteacher, became the first middle-class American winner in 1957. He would later write that he had argued with his Boston University track coach about the value of long-distance running. When he died in 2011, the Boston Athletic Association commemorated his love of the Marathon as a “striving for excellence for its own sake.”

As the Marathon was gaining popularity in the mid-twentieth century, women and minorities were increasingly demanding equal rights. And the Boston course became one place for them to prove their equality. A pioneering ultrarunner of the 1920s, Arthur Newton, had famously remarked that blacks would never have the physical or mental fortitude for distance running. Ted Corbitt, a record-breaking American marathoner and one of the first African-Americans in distance running, proved him wrong when he completed his first marathon at Boston in 1951. Years later, he would remember getting stopped by police as he trained in New York City, asked what he could possibly be doing. “I did feel as if they were just doing their job,” he said. “It was a part of the culture I grew up in and we don't get a choice as to the times we live in. I don't have any lingering anger and I didn't choose to be an advocate. I just wanted to run.”

Not long after, in 1966, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon. She ran it bibless and unsanctioned, year after year. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to run the marathon as a numbered entry—she registered as “K.V. Switzer” and was given a bib before officials realized what was happening. One irate race organizer tried to physically wrestle her off the course in the middle of the race, which, she told me, had been “the worst thing that happened at Boston” until the bombing yesterday. The officials’ response showed her that “maybe [women] didn’t have the appreciation and respect for our capabilities that I thought we had. I was bound and determined to prove it and change women’s lives through the very simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.” Yesterday’s terror, she added, is so painful because “the marathon is a powerful force for good.” And, in fact, when Boston became the first major marathon to admit women in 1972, others followed suit.

While these skirmishes for equal rights helped make the Marathon a national event, it has always been, in its own way, a local occassion. Nothing mirrors the state of Boston better than the state of the Marathon, especially in recent decades. As the city worked to turn itself into a world-class metropolis in the eighties—a project set in motion by legendary Mayor Kevin White—it was clear the Marathon, too, must raise its profile. In 1986, the city and the B.A.A. found a sponsor, the Boston-based finance firm John Hancock, to institute the cash prizes that have since attracted the highest caliber runners. Boston and its marathon have experienced their renaissance hand-in-hand—one may not have been possible without the other.

Yesterday, events at the Marathon once again changed the course of history in Boston. Unlike the residents of New York, D.C., and L.A., the people in America’s tenth-largest metropolitan area did not really think their city was a high-profile target. As many have said in the last twenty-four hours, Marathon Day will never be the same. But it’s worth noting that the competitors at Boston have run the famous course in defiance before: in defiance of class, race, and gender, not to mention physical limitations. Next year's runners will have a point to prove—and by putting one foot in front of the other, they’ll do just that.

Correction: The Boston Marathon was first run in 1897, not 1896.

Timeline of events in 2013 Boston Marathon bombing

A timeline of events related to the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured 260 others on April 15, 2013. A federal jury on Wednesday convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who defenders say was influenced by his older brother, Tamerlan.

March 2011: Russian FSB intelligence security service gives FBI information that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a follower of radical Islam.

June 2011: FBI closes investigation after finding nothing to link Tamerlan Tsarnaev to terrorism.

Sept. 12, 2011: Bodies of three men are found in Waltham, Massachusetts, with their throats slit and marijuana sprinkled over them.

Late 2011: U.S. officials add the Tsarnaevs' mother to a federal terrorism database after Russia contacts CIA with concerns they were religious militants about to travel to Russia. She later says she has no links to terrorism.

January 2012: Tamerlan arrives in Russia, where he spends time in two predominantly Muslim provinces, Dagestan and Chechnya.

July 2012: Officials in Dagestan say Tamerlan applies for a new passport but never picks it up. Russian officials say they have him under surveillance but lose track of him after the death of a Canadian man who had joined an Islamic insurgency in the region.

July 17, 2012: Tamerlan returns to U.S.

November 2012: Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Cambridge says Tamerlan has an outburst that interrupts a sermon about it being acceptable for Muslims to celebrate American holidays.

January 2013: Islamic Society says Tamerlan has a second outburst after a sermon that includes praise for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

April 15, 2013: Bombs go off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

April 16, 2013: Federal agents say the bombs were made from pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and other shrapnel, but they still don't know who detonated them or why.

April 17, 2013: President Barack Obama signs emergency declaration for Massachusetts and orders federal aid to supplement local response.

April 18, 2013: Investigators release photos and video of two suspects and ask for public's help identifying them. Later that night, Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier is shot to death in his cruiser by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They steal an SUV at gunpoint from a Cambridge gas station. The driver is held for about a half-hour, then released unharmed.

April 19, 2013: Tsarnaevs have an early morning gunbattle with authorities who have tracked them to Watertown. Tamerlan, who is run over by his younger brother, dies. Dzhokhar escapes, and at around 6 a.m., authorities tell residents of Boston and surrounding communities to stay indoors. All mass transit is shut down. That order is lifted around 6:30 p.m., just before authorities trace Dzhokhar to a Watertown backyard, where he is found hiding in a boat and taken into custody.

April 22, 2013: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, injured in the shootout, is charged in his hospital room with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

April 30, 2013: Two friends of Dzhokhar's are charged with attempting to destroy evidence by disposing of a backpack and laptop computer taken from his room after they found he was a suspect in the bombing. Another is charged with lying to investigators.

May 9, 2013: Tamerlan Tsarnaev is secretly buried in Virginia after a weeklong search for a cemetery willing to take the body.

May 22, 2013: An FBI agent in Orlando, Florida, fatally shoots Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Tamerlan's, after he lunges at law enforcement officials questioning him about the Waltham killings. Officials say that before he died, he had agreed to give a statement about his involvement.

July 10, 2013: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty to 30 federal charges.

July 23, 2013: Marc Fucarile is the last survivor of the bombings to leave the hospital.

Jan. 30, 2014: Prosecutors announce they will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar.

April 15, 2014: Ceremonies and events mark the anniversary of the attacks.

April 21, 2014: The 2014 Boston Marathon features a field of 36,000 runners, 9,000 more than 2013 and the second-biggest field in history.

May 30, 2014: Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, of Quincy, is arrested on charges of obstructing the investigation by deleting information from his computer and lying to investigators.

June 18, 2014: Tsarnaev's lawyers file first of several requests to move the trial to Washington, D.C.

July 21, 2014: Azamat Tazhayakov, a college friend of Dzhokhar's, is convicted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for agreeing with another friend to get rid of a backpack and disabled fireworks they took from his dorm room three days after the attack.

July 22, 2014: Stephen Silva, believed to have provided the gun used by the Tsarnaevs to kill Collier, is arrested on drug and weapons charges.

Aug. 22, 2014: Dias Kadyrbayev, 20, pleads guilty to impeding the investigation by removing incriminating evidence from Dzhokhar's dorm room.

Sept. 24, 2014: Judge grants delay and pushes start of trial to Jan. 5, 2015.

Oct. 28, 2014: Robel Phillipos, 21, of Cambridge, is convicted of lying to federal agents about being in Dzhokhar's room.

Nov. 25, 2014: Federal judge rejects a request from lawyers for Tsarnaev to order prosecutors to turn over evidence about his older brother's possible participation in the Waltham slayings.

Dec. 18, 2014: Tsarnaev appears in court for first time since his July 2013 arraignment.

Jan. 5, 2015: Jury selection begins in Tsarnaev's trial.

March 4, 2015: Tsarnaev's lead defense attorney, Judy Clarke, declares in opening statements: "It was him."

April 6, 2015: Prosecutors and defense present closing statements.

April 7, 2015: Jury begins deliberating verdicts.

April 8, 2015: Jury convicts Tsarnaev will weigh possible death sentence in forthcoming penalty phase of trial.

5 of the Worst Weather Days in Boston Marathon History

When the wind, rain, and heat played a big factor on Patriots&rsquo Day.

Because running 26.2 miles over a course with lots of ups and down isn&rsquot daunting enough, Mother Nature often likes to contribute to the challenge of the Boston Marathon. Here are five times the Patriots&rsquo Day weather was especially uncooperative. We hope for this year&rsquos runners that 2019 won&rsquot need to be added to the list.

Drenching rain, high winds, and temperatures in the upper 30s made for apocalyptically atrocious running conditions. More than half of the professional fields dropped out. Des Linden and Yuki Kawauchi survived the best. Linden&rsquos winning time was the slowest in the women&rsquos race since 1978, Kawauchi&rsquos the slowest on the men&rsquos side since 1976 (see below).

The recorded temperature on the course peaked at 89 degrees during the hottest Boston in many years. The men&rsquos and women&rsquos winning times were both nine minutes slower than the year before, when the race was held on a cool day with a prevailing headwind.

Drop-outs and visits to the medical tents spiked along with the temperature. Medical workers could have been even busier&mdashon race weekend, runners were offered the option of deferring their entry to the following year. More than 4,000 entrants did so.

A Nor&rsquoeaster blew through Boston the night before and prompted rumors that the race would be canceled. Heavy winds and driving rain peaked early on race morning.

Conditions improved after that, but still, this was far from a day for PRs (or spectating, for that matter). Lidiya Grigoryeva&rsquos winning time of 2:29:18 was the slowest since 1985. Men&rsquos winner Robert Cheruiyot ran 2:14:13, the slowest men&rsquos winning time since 1976 and almost seven minutes slower than the course record he set the previous year.

Make it hotter than in 2012 and cover the course when there aren&rsquot aid stations every mile, and you&rsquoll get a taste of the 1976 race. At its peak, the temperature topped out at 100. More than 40 percent of the 1,900-runner field dropped out of what became known as the &ldquorun for the hoses,&rdquo so called because of residents along the route offering impromptu water stops.

Jack Fultz (seen here) won the men&rsquos race in 2:20:19, probably the last time any man will win Boston with a 2:20 or slower. Two years later, on a more amenable day, Fultz finished fourth in 2:11:17.

Wait, what does the weather have to do with this iconic image?

As you probably know, in 1967 Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to finish Boston as an official entrant. Race official Jock Semple tried&mdashunsuccessfully&mdashto remove Switzer from the course once he realized that the &ldquoK&rdquo in the name of entrant &ldquoK.V. Switzer&rdquo stood for Kathrine.

Race-day weather included sleet and wind. To stay warm and dry, Switzer wore a hooded sweatshirt, a sartorial choice that also happened to help conceal her gender when her number was checked by cold, distracted race officials. The raw weather may have hampered that day&rsquos marathoners, but it also may have contributed to a seminal moment in women&rsquos running.


The Boston Marathon was first run in April 1897, having been inspired by the revival of the marathon for the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Until 2020 it was the oldest continuously running marathon, [6] and the second longest continuously running footrace in North America, having debuted five months after the Buffalo Turkey Trot. [7]

On April 19, 1897, ten years after the establishment of the B.A.A., the association held the 24.5 miles (39.4 km) marathon to conclude its athletic competition, the B.A.A. Games. [3] The inaugural winner was John J. "JJ" McDermott, [4] who ran the 24.5 mile course in 2:55:10, leading a field of 15. The event was scheduled for the recently established holiday of Patriots' Day, with the race linking the Athenian and American struggles for liberty. [8] The race, which became known as the Boston Marathon, has been held every year since then, even during the World War years & the Great Depression, making it the world's oldest annual marathon. In 1924, the starting line was moved from Metcalf's Mill in Ashland to Hopkinton Green and the course was lengthened to 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) to conform to the standard set by the 1908 Summer Olympics and codified by the IAAF in 1921. [9]

The Boston Marathon was originally a local event, but its fame and status have attracted runners from all over the world. For most of its history, the Boston Marathon was a free event, and the only prize awarded for winning the race was a wreath woven from olive branches. [10] However, corporate-sponsored cash prizes began to be awarded in the 1980s, when professional athletes refused to run the race unless a cash award was available. The first cash prize for winning the marathon was awarded in 1986. [11]

Walter A. Brown was the President of the Boston Athletic Association from 1941 to 1964. [12] During the height of the Korean War in 1951, Brown denied Koreans entry into the Boston Marathon. He stated: "While American soldiers are fighting and dying in Korea, every Korean should be fighting to protect his country instead of training for marathons. As long as the war continues there, we positively will not accept Korean entries for our race on April 19." [13]

Bobbi Gibb and Kathrine Switzer Edit

The Boston Marathon rule book until after the 1967 race made no mention of gender, [14] nor did the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) exclude women from races that included men until after the 1967 Boston Marathon. [15] A separate women's race was not established at the Boston Marathon until 1972. Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb is recognized by the race organizers as the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon in 1966. Gibb's attempt to register for that race was refused by race director Will Cloney in a letter in which he claimed women were physiologically incapable of running 26 miles. [16] Gibb finished the 1966 race in three hours, twenty-one minutes and forty seconds, [17] ahead of two-thirds of the runners.

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who registered for the race using her official AAU registration number, paying the entry fee, providing a properly acquired fitness certificate, and signing her entry form with her usual signature 'K. V. Switzer', was the first woman to run and finish with a valid official race registration. [14] As a result of Switzer's completion of the race as the first officially registered woman runner, the AAU changed its rules to ban women from competing in races against men. [15] Switzer finished the race despite an infamous incident in which race official Jock Semple repeatedly assaulted her in an attempt to rip off her race numbers and eject her from the race. [14] [18] In 1996 the B.A.A. retroactively recognized as champions the unofficial women's leaders of 1966 through 1971. In 2015, about 46 percent of the entrants were female.

Rosie Ruiz, the impostor Edit

In 1980, Rosie Ruiz crossed the finish line first in the women's race. Marathon officials became suspicious when it was discovered that Ruiz did not appear in race videotapes until near the end of the race. A subsequent investigation concluded that Ruiz had skipped most of the race and blended into the crowd about one mile (1.6 km) from the finish line, where she then ran to her false victory. Ruiz was officially disqualified, and Canadian Jacqueline Gareau was proclaimed the winner. [19] [20]

Participant deaths Edit

In 1905, James Edward Brooks of North Adams, Massachusetts died of pneumonia shortly after running the marathon. [21] In 1996, a 61-year-old Swedish man, Humphrey Siesage, died of a heart attack during the 100th running. [22] In 2002, Cynthia Lucero, 28, died of hyponatremia. [23]

2011: Geoffrey Mutai and the IAAF Edit

On April 18, 2011, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya won the 2011 Boston Marathon in a time of 2:03:02:00. [24] Although this was the fastest marathon ever run at the time, the International Association of Athletics Federations noted that the performance was not eligible for world record status given that the course did not satisfy rules that regarded elevation drop and start/finish separation (the latter requirement being intended to prevent advantages gained from a strong tailwind, as was the case in 2011). [25] The Associated Press (AP) reported that Mutai had the support of other runners who describe the IAAF's rules as "flawed". [26] According to the Boston Herald, race director Dave McGillivray said he was sending paperwork to the IAAF in an attempt to have Mutai's mark ratified as a world record. [24] Although this was not successful, the AP indicated that the attempt to have the mark certified as a world record "would force the governing bodies to reject an unprecedented performance on the world's most prestigious marathon course". [26]

2013: Bombing Edit

On April 15, 2013, the Boston Marathon was still in progress at 2:49 p.m. EDT (nearly three hours after the winner crossed the finish line), when two homemade bombs were set off about 200 yards (180 m) apart on Boylston Street, in approximately the last 225 yards (200 m) of the course. The race was halted, preventing many from finishing. [27] [28] Three spectators were killed and an estimated 264 were injured. [29] Entrants who completed at least half the course and did not finish due to the bombing were given automatic entry in 2014. [30] In 2015, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the perpetrators of the bombing, was found guilty of 30 federal offenses in connection with the attack and was sentenced to death. His brother Tamerlan was killed by police. [31]

2014: Women's race disqualification Edit

Bizunesh Deba of Ethiopia was eventually named women's winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon, following the disqualification of Rita Jeptoo from the event due to confirmed doping. Deba finished in a time of 2:19:59, and became the course record holder. Her performance bested that of Margaret Okayo, who ran a time of 2:20:43 in 2002. [32]

2016: Bobbi Gibb as grand marshal Edit

In the 2016 Boston Marathon, Jami Marseilles, an American, became the first female double amputee to finish the Boston Marathon. [33] [34] Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to have run the entire Boston Marathon (1966), was the grand marshal of the race. [35] The Women's Open division winner, Atsede Baysa, gave Gibb her trophy Gibb said that she would go to Baysa's native Ethiopia in 2017 and return it to her. [36]

2020 cancellation Edit

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Boston Marathon was initially rescheduled from April 20 to September 14. [37] It was the first postponement in the history of the event. [38]

On May 28, 2020, it was announced that the rescheduled marathon set for September 14 was canceled. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said of the decision to cancel the race, "There's no way to hold this usual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity. While our goal and our hope was to make progress in containing the virus and recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or any time this year." [39]

In its place, the B.A.A. announced plans to have a virtual race so that the tradition can continue in a safe manner. [40] This became the first year in the race's 124 year history that the event was canceled, and the second time it has been modified, the first time being in 1918, when the race was changed from a marathon to a military relay race because of World War I . Entrants to that year's marathon may have the option to get either a refund or automatic entry to 2021.

2021: Further COVID-19 impact Edit

On October 28, 2020, the B.A.A. announced that the 2021 edition of the marathon would not be held in April organizers stated that they hoped to stage the event later in the year, possibly in the fall. [41] In late January 2021, organizers announced October 11 as the date for the marathon, contingent upon road races being allowed in Massachusetts at that time. [42] In March, organizers announced that the field would be limited to 20,000 runners. [43]

Qualifying Edit

Boston Marathon
qualifying standards
(effective for 2020 race) [44]
Age Men Women
18–34 3 h 00 min 3 h 30 min
35–39 3 h 05 min 3 h 35 min
40–44 3 h 10 min 3 h 40 min
45–49 3 h 20 min 3 h 50 min
50–54 3 h 25 min 3 h 55 min
55–59 3 h 35 min 4 h 05 min
60–64 3 h 50 min 4 h 20 min
65–69 4 h 05 min 4 h 35 min
70–74 4 h 20 min 4 h 50 min
75–79 4 h 35 min 5 h 05 min
≥80 4 h 50 min 5 h 20 min

The Boston Marathon is open to runners 18 or older from any nation, but they must meet certain qualifying standards. [45] To qualify, a runner must first complete a standard marathon course certified by a national governing body affiliated with the World Athletics within a certain period of time before the date of the desired Boston Marathon (usually within approximately 18 months prior).

In the 1980s and 1990s, membership in USA Track & Field was required of all runners, but this requirement has been eliminated.

Qualifying standards for the 2013 race were tightened on February 15, 2011, by five minutes in each age-gender group for marathons run after September 23, 2011. [46] Prospective runners in the age range of 18–34 must run a time of no more than 3:05:00 (3 hours 5 minutes) if male, or 3:35:00 (3 hours 35 minutes) if female the qualifying time is adjusted upward as age increases. In addition, the 59-second grace period on qualifying times has been completely eliminated for example, a 40- to 44-year-old male will no longer qualify with a time of 3:15:01. For many marathoners, to qualify for Boston (to "BQ") is a goal and achievement in itself. [47] [48]

An exception to the qualification times is for runners who receive entries from partners. About one-fifth of the marathon's spots are reserved each year for charities, sponsors, vendors, licensees, consultants, municipal officials, local running clubs, and marketers. In 2010, about 5,470 additional runners received entries through partners, including 2,515 charity runners. [49] The marathon currently allocates spots to two dozen charities who in turn are expected to raise more than $10 million a year. [50] In 2017, charity runners raised $34.2 million for more than 200 non-profit organizations. The Boston Athletic Association's Official Charity Program raised $17.96 million, John Hancock's Non-Profit Program raised $12.3 million, and the last $3.97 million was raised by other qualified and invitational runners. [51]

On October 18, 2010, the 20,000 spots reserved for qualifiers were filled in a record-setting eight hours and three minutes. [52] The speed of registration prompted the B.A.A. to change its qualifying standards for the 2013 marathon onward. [46] In addition to lowering qualifying times, the change includes a rolling application process, which gives faster runners priority. Organizers decided not to significantly adjust the number of non-qualifiers.

On September 27, 2018, the B.A.A. announced that they were lowering the qualifying times for the 2020 marathon by another five minutes, with male runners in the 18-34 age group required to run a time of 3:00:00 (3 hours) or less and female runners in the 18-34 age group required to run a time of 3:30:00 (3 hours, 30 minutes) or less in order to qualify. [44]

Race day Edit

The race has traditionally been held on Patriots' Day, [53] a state holiday in Massachusetts, and until 1969 that was every April 19, whichever day of the week that fell on. From 1969 to 2019, the holiday was observed on the third Monday in April [54] and so the marathon date was correspondingly fixed to that Monday, often referred to by local residents as "Marathon Monday". [55]

Starting times Edit

Through 2005, the race began at noon, (wheelchair race at 11:25 a.m., and elite women at 11:31 a.m.), at the official starting point in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. In 2006, the race used a staggered "wave start", where top-seeded runners (the elite men's group) and a first batch of up to 10,000 runners started at noon, with a second group starting at 12:30. The next year the starting times for the race were moved up, allowing runners to take advantage of cooler temperatures and enabling the roads to be reopened earlier. The marathon later added third and fourth waves to help further stagger the runners and reduce congestion. [56] [57] [58]

The starting times for 2019 were: [59] [60]

  • Men's Push Rim Wheelchair: 9:02 a.m.
  • Women's Push Rim Wheelchair: 9:04 a.m.
  • Handcycles and Duos: 9:25 a.m.
  • Elite Women: 9:32 a.m.
  • Elite Men: 10 a.m.
  • Wave One: 10:02 a.m.
  • Wave Two: 10:25 a.m.
  • Wave Three: 10:50 a.m.
  • Wave Four: 11:15 a.m.

Course Edit

The course runs through 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) of winding roads, following Route 135, Route 16, Route 30 and city streets into the center of Boston, where the official finish line is located at Copley Square, alongside the Boston Public Library. The race runs through eight Massachusetts cities and towns: Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston. [61]

The Boston Marathon is considered to be one of the more difficult marathon courses because of the Newton hills, which culminate in Heartbreak Hill near Boston College. [62] While the three hills on Commonwealth Avenue (Route 30) are better known, a preceding hill on Washington Street (Route 16), climbing from the Charles River crossing at 16 miles (26 km), is regarded by Dave McGillivray, the long-term race director, as the course's most difficult challenge. [63] [64] This hill, which follows a 150-foot (46 m) drop in a 1 ⁄ 2 mile (800 m) stretch, forces many lesser-trained runners to a walking pace.

Heartbreak Hill Edit

Heartbreak Hill is an ascent over 0.4 miles (600 m) between the 20- and 21-mile (32- and 34-km) marks, near Boston College. It is the last of four "Newton hills", which begin at the 16-mile (26 km) mark and challenge contestants with late (if modest) climbs after the course's general downhill trend to that point. Though Heartbreak Hill itself rises only 88 feet (27 m) vertically (from an elevation of 148 to 236 feet (45 to 72 m)), [65] it comes in the portion of a marathon distance where muscle glycogen stores are most likely to be depleted—a phenomenon referred to by marathoners as "hitting the wall".

It was on this hill that, in 1936, defending champion John A. "Johnny" Kelley overtook Ellison "Tarzan" Brown, giving him a consolatory pat on the shoulder as he passed. This gesture renewed the competitive drive in Brown, who rallied, pulled ahead of Kelley, and went on to win—thereby, it was said, breaking Kelley's heart. [66] [67]

Records Edit

Because the course drops 459 feet (140 m) from start to finish [26] and the start is quite far west of the finish, allowing a helpful tailwind, the Boston Marathon does not satisfy two of the criteria necessary for the ratification of world [68] or American records. [69]

At the 2011 Boston Marathon on April 18, 2011, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya ran a time of 2:03:02, which was the fastest ever marathon at the time (since surpassed by Eliud Kipchoge's 2:01:39 in Berlin 2018). However, due to the reasons listed above, Mutai’s performance was not ratified as an official world record. Bezunesh Deba from Ethiopia set the women's course record with a 2:19:59 performance on April 21, 2014. This was declared after Rita Jeptoo from Kenya was disqualified following a confirmed doping violation. [70]

Other course records include:

  • Men's Masters: John Campbell (New Zealand), 2:11:04 (set in 1990)
  • Women's Masters: Firiya Sultanova-Zhdanova (Russia), 2:27:58 (set in 2002)
  • Men's Push Rim Wheelchair: Marcel Hug (Switzerland), 1:18:04 (set in 2017)
  • Women's Push Rim Wheelchair: Manuela Schär (Switzerland), 1:28:17 (set in 2017)
  • Men's Handcycle: Tom Davis (United States), 0:58:36 (set in 2017)
  • Women's Handcycle: Alicia Dana (United States), 1:40:22 (set in 2018)

On only four occasions have world record times for marathon running been set in Boston. [ citation needed ] In 1947, the men's record time set was 2:25:39, by Suh Yun-Bok of South Korea. In 1975, a women's world record of 2:42:24 was set by Liane Winter of West Germany, and in 1983, Joan Benoit Samuelson of the United States ran a women's world record time of 2:22:43. In 2012 Joshua Cassidy of Canada set a men's wheelchair marathon world-record time of 1:18:25.

In 2007, astronaut Sunita Williams was an official entrant of the race, running a marathon distance while on the International Space Station, becoming the first person to run a marathon in space. She was sent a specialty bib and medal by the B.A.A. on the STS-117 flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. [71] [72]

The race's organizers keep a standard time clock for all entries, though official timekeeping ceases after the six-hour mark.

The Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit, organized sports association that organizes the Boston Marathon and other events. [3] [73]

In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition. [4] Bob Hall wrote race director Will Cloney to ask if he could compete in the race in his wheelchair. Cloney wrote back that he could not give Hall a race number, but would recognize Hall as an official finisher if he completed the race in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. Hall finished in 2 hours and 58 minutes, paving the way for the wheelchair division. [74]

Handcyclists have competed in the race since at least 2014. Starting in 2017, handcyclists are honored the same way runners and wheelchair racers are: with wreaths, prize money, and the playing of the men's and women's winners' national anthems. [75]

In addition to the push rim wheelchair division, the Boston Marathon [76] also hosts a blind/visually impaired division and a mobility impaired program. Similar to the running divisions, a set of qualifying times has been developed for these divisions to motivate aspiring athletes and ensure competitive excellence. In 1986, the introduction of prize money at the Boston Marathon gave the push rim wheelchair division the richest prize purse in the sport. More than 1,000 people with disabilities and impairments have participated in the wheelchair division, while the other divisions have gained popularity each year. [77] In 2013, 40 blind runners participated. [78]

The Boston Marathon Memorial in Copley Square, which is near the finish line, was installed to mark the one-hundredth running of the race. A circle of granite blocks set in the ground surrounds a central medallion that traces the race course and other segments that show an elevation map of the course and the names of the winners. [79] [80]

Spectators Edit

With approximately 500,000 spectators, the Boston Marathon is New England's most widely viewed sporting event. [4] About 1,000 media members from more than 100 outlets received media credentials in 2011. [81]

For the entire distance of the race, thousands line the sides of the course to cheer the runners on, encourage them, and provide free water and snacks to the runners.

Scream Tunnel Edit

At Wellesley College, a women's college, it is traditional for the students to cheer on the runners in what is referred to as the Scream Tunnel. [82] [83] For about a quarter of a mile (400 m), the students line the course, scream, and offer kisses. The Scream Tunnel is so loud runners claim it can be heard from a mile away. The tunnel is roughly half a mile (0.8 km) prior to the halfway mark of the course. [84] [85]

Boston Red Sox Edit

Every year, the Boston Red Sox play a home game at Fenway Park, starting at 11:05 a.m. When the game ends, the crowd empties into Kenmore Square to cheer as the runners enter the final mile. This tradition started in 1903. [86] In the 1940s, the Red Sox from the American League and the Boston Braves from the National League (who moved to Milwaukee after the 1953 season) alternated yearly as to which would play the morning game. In 2007, the game between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was delayed until 12:18 p.m. due to heavy rain. The marathon, which had previously been run in a wide variety of weather conditions, was not delayed. [87] The 2018 game hosting the Baltimore Orioles was postponed into May due to rain. [88] And 2020 saw the game not played resulting from the pandemic.

Dick and Rick Hoyt Edit

12.8 miles on the Marathon course on April 16, 2012

Dick and Rick Hoyt are one of the most recognized duos each year at the Boston Marathon. [89] Dick is the father of Rick, who has cerebral palsy. While doctors said he would never have a normal life and thought that institutionalizing Rick was the best option, Dick and his wife disagreed and raised him as an ordinary child. Eventually, a computer device was developed that helped Rick communicate with his family, and they learned that one of his biggest passions was sports. "Team Hoyt" (Dick and Rick) started competing in charity runs, with Dick pushing Rick in a wheelchair. Dick and Rick have competed in 66 marathons and 229 triathlons (as of August 2008). Their top marathon finish was 2:40:47. The team completed their 30th Boston Marathon in 2012, when Dick was 72 and Rick was 50. [90] They had intended the 2013 marathon to be their final one, but due to the Boston Marathon bombing, they were stopped a mile short of completing their run, and decided to run one more marathon the following year. They completed the 2014 marathon on April 21, 2014, having previously announced that it would be their last. [91] In tribute to his connection with the race, Dick Hoyt was named the Grand Marshal of the 2015 marathon.

Bandits Edit

Unlike many other races, the Boston Marathon tolerated "bandits" (runners who do not register and obtain a bib number). [92] They used to be held back until after all the registered runners had left the starting line, and then were released in an unofficial fourth wave. They were generally not pulled off the course and mostly allowed to cross the finish line. [92] For decades, these unofficial runners were treated like local folk heroes, celebrated for their endurance and spunk for entering a contest with the world's most accomplished athletes. [93] Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray was once a teenage bandit. [94]

Given the increased field that was expected for the 2014 Marathon, however, organizers planned "more than ever" to discourage bandits from running. [95] As of September 2015 the B.A.A. website states:

Q: Can I run in the Boston Marathon as an unofficial or "bandit" runner? A: No, please do NOT run if you have not been officially entered in the race. Race amenities along the course and at the finish, such as fluids, medical care, and traffic safety, are provided based on the number of expected official entrants. Any addition to this by way of unofficial participants, adversely affects our ability to ensure a safe race for everyone. [96]

Costumes Edit

A number of people choose to run the course in a variety of costumes each year. [97] [98] During the 100th running in 1996, one runner wore a scale model of the Old North Church steeple on his back. Old North Church is where the signal was lit that set Paul Revere off on his midnight ride, which is commemorated each year on the same day as the Marathon. During the 2014 marathon, runners and spectators were discouraged from wearing "costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body," for security reasons following the 2013 bombing. However, state authorities and the Boston Athletic Association did not outright ban such costumes. [99]

Ondekoza- Taiko drummers Edit

Starting in the mid 1970s, the members of the group from Japan, Ondekoza would run the marathon and right after finishing the run would start playing the Taiko drums at the Finish Line. They have repeated the tradition several times in the 70s and 80s. the 700 lb drum would be set up at the finish line to encourage the runners finishing the marathon. Bill Rodgers was a guest on Sado Island and ran marathons in Japan with Ondekoza members. The group ran as well the NYC marathon and LA Marathon and ran 10000 miles of the perimeter of the United States from 1990-1993, that was managed by Ondekoza member Marco Lienhard.

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