Runners, fans prepare for 109th Boston Marathon

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Runners in the Boston Marathon over the years. Note the ~40,000 runner spike in 1996, the 100th running of the race.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The 109th running of the world's oldest annual marathon, the Boston Marathon, will start in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, at noon on Monday, April 18, 2005. The marathon, one of the few marathons that requires entrants to run below certain times in another marathon to enter, is "tough for the runners" because of the late start time, the Monday start date, and the remote start location, according to Don Allison of Cool Running. Despite the entry requirements and hardships, the marathon is expected to draw over 20,000 runners, 500,000 spectators, and 1000 members of the press.

Race director Dave McGillivray told The Boston Globe that, "We're not the fastest course, we're not the biggest field, we're not the richest purse, but we're the most prestigious." The Globe notes that the Chicago Marathon is known for faster times, a purse 50% larger than Boston's, and a field twice as large. Still, in Boston the winning man and woman each receive $100,000 in prize money.

The Boston Marathon is known for the set of four hills that runners hit in Newton, a suburb west of Boston. The fourth hill, known as Heartbreak Hill, occurs at the 21-mile mark.