The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon run in the American city of Boston, on Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April.
It is one of the oldest and most popular professional marathons in the world. Athletes from around the world brave the hilly route and the unpredictable weather of New England to participate. The marathon starts at noon in Hopkinton, and from there the participants follow a distance of 42,195 km on hilly roads to downtown Boston, where the finish line is near Copley Square in front of Boston's public library. Runners start in three different categories: wheelchairs, men and women.
On average, about twenty thousand runners participate in the Boston Marathon. Runners must first qualify in other marathons before they can participate. In 1996, when the hundredth Boston Marathon was run, the qualification requirements were lifted for a year for the occasion. The number of participants that year was 38,000.
On the day of the marathon, Patriot’s Day, there is always a home game of the Boston professional baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, which starts at eleven in the morning at Fenway Park, which is on the marathon route. When this race is over, it is a tradition that all spectators leave the stadium to cheer on the marathon runners for their final kilometers.