As one of the oldest and one of the most exciting running events in the world, the Boston Marathon retains a special spot in the heart of most runners and is considered one of the toughest road marathons in the world. The main marathon categories for the 2018 Boston Marathon will be the full marathon (42.2 Km), the half marathon (21.1 Km), a 10K run and 5k run, with individual categories for men and women. To know more about the event you can check their official website.

To qualify for the Boston Marathon, the athletes must meet time standards which correspond to their age and gender. The qualifying time for the race categories remains the same, where registration takes place on “rolling admission” basis, beginning with the fastest qualifiers. Here’s a look at why the 122nd Boston Marathon is a special one:

In Celebration

This year the marathon is scheduled to take place on April 16, 2018, and will be celebrating a Year of Service towards America, the BAA mission and the community. A ceremony of passing the baton will be held along the course in memory of the 1918 Boston military relay race. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of this relay, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has selected 16 people from five branches of the Ss Military to pass a baton during the 2018 Boston Marathon.

The Route

The Boston Marathon course follows a point-to-point route from Hopkinton to Boston and is certified per the guidelines set forth by the IAAF and USA Track and Field. The historic 2018 Boston course starts on Main Street Hopkinton and follows Route 135 through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley to where Route 16 joins Route 135.

Here it passes through Newton Lower Falls to Commonwealth Avenue, turning right at the fire station onto Commonwealth which is Route 30. Runners continue on Commonwealth through the Newton Hills, onto Chestnut Hill Avenue to Cleveland Circle. Then come Beacon Street, Kenmore Square, and Commonwealth Avenue, before the course turns right onto Hereford Street then left onto Boylston Street before the runners finish near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.

The Rewards

John Hancock Financial Services have been the principal sponsors for the Boston Marathon since 1986. The prize money for the 2018 Boston Marathon is $50,000 for the top finishers. $48,500 will be awarded to the Top 10 runners, the top three in the masters division, and the top three in the push rim wheelchair division. The prizes are equally distributed according to gender and as per the results for the various categories. Non-monetary rewards such as medals and completion certificates will be given to participants who complete the race on net time.

Special Playlist

The sponsors John Hancock have teamed up with Spotify to let all the participants of the 2018 Boston Marathon access to the favourite music of elite athletes. The Athletes contributing to the project include four-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan, who also holds the American women’s record on the Boston course; 2014 winner Meb Keflezighi; and Tatyana McFadden, a Paralympics gold medalist and four-time Boston Marathon champion. Along with the music, the athletes have also recorded advice that will keep the runners motivated to reach the finish line.

Pre-Race Dinner

To help the participants fuel up on delicious foods and partake in the camaraderie there will be a Pre-race dinner that will take place at the Boston City Hall Plaza. The dinner will feature a buffet of foods ideal for runners along with some live entertainment.

Post-Race Party

Boston Marathon Mile 27 or the last mile, will feature a presentation of the day’s champions, DJ, dance floor, and raffle prizes along with a Samuel Adams stall. All runners will receive a complimentary ticket to the Post-Race Party in their bib-number packet, distributed at Bib-Number Pick-Up at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo.

Aid Stations

Runners unable to finish the race may stop for assistance and direction at one of the 26 American Red Cross first aid stations along the course. Sweep buses pick up runners at every Red Cross station with drop-off at the Finish Area medical tent. Porta potties will be located at the water stations and other locations along the course. The 2018 Boston Marathon will also have energy gel and drink stations powered by Poland Spring Water, Clif Shot Energy gel and Gatorade drinks set up along the course beginning at Mile 2.

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