The 125th Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, Oct. 11, but with some notable changes. For one, this is the first time the race has been held in the fall.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, April’s date for the race was postponed to October. The race was canceled last year because of the pandemic, but they held a virtual race instead. This year, there are only around 20,000 participants while there are typically over 30,000.
Because it’s the first Boston Marathon in person since 2019, before the pandemic began, there are some new rules participants must follow. There’s a rolling start for the first time in the race’s history so that runners can social distance. The Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, where the runners can usually stay, will be closed. Additionally, runners must be vaccinated or have proof of a negative test to participate in the race.
During last year’s virtual race, no one was named an official winner of the race. Therefore, the defending champions are from the 2019 race. Lawrence Cherono of Kenya is the defending men’s champion, while Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia is the defending women’s champion.
When is the Boston Marathon 2021?
- Date: Monday, Oct. 11
- Time: 8 a.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- Live stream: fuboTV
This year’s Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, Oct. 11. The first group out is the men’s wheelchair division, which takes off at 8:02 a.m. ET, and the women’s wheelchair race starts three minutes after.
Starting at 8:30 a.m., the handcycles and duos group will take off. The professional men’s division starts at 8:37, followed by the professional women at 8:45. The last race to take off will be the para athletes division at 8:50 a.m. The rolling start will then begin at 9:00 a.m.
NBC Sports Network’s coverage will begin at 7:30 a.m. ET and conclude at 12:00 p.m. There will be an encore showing of the race on the Olympic Channel at 8:00 p.m. ET. You can also live-stream the Boston Marathon with fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial.
Boston Marathon start times
|Men’s Wheelchair||8:02 a.m.|
|Women’s Wheelchair||8:05 a.m.|
|Handcycles and Duos||8:30 a.m.|
|Professional Men||8:37 a.m.|
|Professional Women||8:45 a.m.|
|Para Athletics Division||8:50 a.m.|
|Rolling starts||9:00 a.m.|
Boston Marathon route 2021
The historical Boston Marathon course stretches 26.2 miles across eight towns. The runners start in Hopkinton, a small town with a population of less than 20,000 people.
From Hopkinton, the participants run on “side” roads going downhill for the most part for the first half of the marathon. But, when they hit Mile 16, the runners must climb up four hills — this is known as “Heartbreak Hill.”
The runners wind up in Boston on Bolyston Street to finish the race.
Boston Marathon weather forecast
During the last few Boston Marathons, participants have been soaked from rain showers. This year’s race could potentially have rain coming down again, but it isn’t predicted to be as heavy as years past.
Otherwise, temperatures will be near the 70s with only five to 10 mph winds.
Boston Marathon qualifying times
List of past Boston Marathon winners
|2019||Lawrence Cherono (Kenya)||2:07:57|
|2018||Yuki Kawauchi (Japan)||2:15:58|
|2017||Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya)||2:09:37|
|2016||Lemi Berhanu (Ethiopia)||2:12:45|
|2015||Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia)||2:09:17|
|2014||Meb Keflezighi (United States)||2:08:37|
|2013||Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia)||2:10:22|
|2012||Wesley Korir (Kenya)||2:12:40|
|2011||Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya)||2:03:02|
|2010||Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (Kenya)||2:05:52|
|2009||Deriba Merga (Ethiopia)||2:08:42|
|2019||Worknesh Degefa (Ethiopia)||2:23:31|
|2018||Desiree Linden (United States)||2:39:54|
|2017||Edna Kiplagat (Kenya)||2:21:52|
|2016||Atsede Baysa (Ethiopia)||2:29:19|
|2015||Caroline Rotich (Kenya)||2:24:55|
|2014||Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia)||2:19:59|
|2013||Rita Jeptoo (Kenya)||2:26:25|
|2012||Sharon Cherop (Kenya)||2:31:50|
|2011||Caroline Kilel (Kenya)||2:22:36|
|2010||Teyba Erkesso (Ethiopia)||2:26:11|
|2009||Salina Kosgei (Kenya)||2:32:16|