Your In-Depth Guide to the Boston Marathon 2024

Live the excitement and adrenaline at the Boston Marathon this April 15, 2024!

Ever felt the exhilarating rush of adrenaline when you sprint past your limits, conquering one challenging mile after another? Then it’s time to set your sights on the Boston Marathon 2024.

Excitement is already brewing for the Boston Marathon, one of the world marathon majors and oldest annual marathons with a history tracing back to April 19, 1897. This year’s 128th Boston Marathon promises to be another exciting affair, filled with world-class runners, high prize money, enthusiastic supporters, and a dynamic urban backdrop. Whether you’re seeking a test of your endurance, looking to champion a worthy cause, or merely yearning to cheer on an array of determined marathon participants, there’s no event quite like this one.

Join us as we unfold the Boston Marathon journey, from the initial buzzer to the grand finale of the closing ceremony.

How To Qualify for the Boston Marathon?

1. Check Boston Marathon Qualifying Times

With such a high participant turnout, not all can be accepted into the Boston Marathon.  In response to the large number of participants, the Boston Marathon has established a Qualifier Registration. This system necessitates that athletes adhere to specified time standards, which are directly proportional to their respective ages and gender.

So “how to qualify for Boston Marathon?” To be part of this prestigious race, men between the ages of 18 to 34 need to cross the finish line of a marathon in less than 3:00:00, while women in the same age category must complete it within 3:30:00 or less.

While the qualifier registration for the prestigious Boston Marathon 2024 officially kicked off in 2023 within Athletes Village, it’s never too early to start preparing for what the next one holds in store. Also, the Official Charity Program of the Bank of America Boston Marathon is already accepting applications for the April 2024 sporting event. Athletes with an interest in combining their love for running and charity work have a chance to participate in this esteemed race.

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For an in-depth look at qualifying standards and related info, click here.

2. Register Online

Make your way to the Boston Athletic Association’s official website to accurately fill out their online registration form upon acquiring the Boston Marathon results. Be certain that every bit of data you provide is as current as possible.

3. Pay the Entry Fee

For U.S. residents, the registration fee for qualifying contenders is set at 230 USD, while international competitors will be charged a slightly higher fee of 235 USD. As participants are registering, they’ll have the option to purchase a registration protection plan. This is important to note as your registration fee will not be processed until after you have been officially accepted into the Boston Marathon.

Meanwhile, each participant stepping up to the challenge of running the Boston Marathon for an Official Charity is required to raise a minimum of $5,000 in donations.

Which Areas of Boston Does the 2024 Marathon’s Route Cover?

The Boston Marathon winds its way through a span of 26 miles and 385 yards across a mixture of steep inclines and flat stretches, all the way from Hopkinton, Massachusetts to Boston’s Copley Square. This year, participants will forge their path on the same course that has been used in recent editions.

Check out this Boston Marathon Route Maps for easier navigation:

Why is Heartbreak Hill Important in the Boston Marathon?

As we dive deeper into the details of the route, there’s an infamous Boston area we can’t overlook – Heartbreak Hill. Serving as the final and steepest hill in a sequence of four, this challenging stretch can be found in the upscale, green suburb of Newton between Mile 20 and 21.

You might be surprised to learn that Heartbreak Hill isn’t the steepest or tallest hill on the marathon course. In fact, it rises only 88 feet over a distance of .4 miles and is located near Boston College. A casual walk or jog along this stretch of the route might leave you wondering what all the fuss is about. Nevertheless, for marathon runners, Heartbreak Hill often poses the greatest challenge of the entire race. This is because it appears late in the marathon, often catching runners off guard when their energy levels and endurance are already flagging.

With the above in mind, it’s time to amp up your training regime and mental preparations, ensuring you’re fully ready to overcome this challenge.


When Does the Boston Marathon Start?

“When is the Boston Marathon?” you may ask. The event is all set to happen on April 15 2024. However, the kick-off times vary based on the distinct category of each participant.

Division/ Boston Marathon Start Time

  • Military March – 6:00 AM ET
  • Men’s Wheelchair – 9:02 AM ET
  • Women’s Wheelchair – 9:05 AM ET
  • Handcycles & Duos – 9:30 AM ET
  • Professional Men – 9:37 AM ET
  • Professional Women – 9:47 AM ET
  • Para Athletics Division – 9:50 AM ET
  • Wave 1 – 10:00 AM ET
  • Wave 2 – 10:25 AM ET
  • Wave 3 – 10:50 AM ET
  • Wave 4 – 11:15 AM ET

How to Get There?

For Runners

  • For every participant involved, taking the B.A.A. official buses is the suggested method to reach the starting line in Hopkinton on the day of the race. The process for boarding these buses will be set in motion on Charles Street, nestled between the picturesque Boston Common and the Public Garden. Remember, it’s a must for all runners to have their unique bib numbers handy when boarding the buses.

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For Spectators

  • If you’ve got plans to enjoy the Boston Marathon on April, particularly close to the finishing line, it’s highly advisable to steer clear from driving into the city yourself. The most feasible way to commute is through public transportation, specifically the T (Boston’s subway system). The upside? The MBTA or the T and commuter rail offers convenient connections to most of the Marathon’s route. Additionally, Branch C of the T’s Green Line conveniently traces a significant portion of the marathon pathway, and you’ll find several stops along the Commuter Line’s Framingham/Worcester Line within walking distance of the marathon’s route.

Parking Options for the Boston Marathon

Getting a parking slot in Boston during the marathon week and Patriots Day might be tough. However, several parking facilities are strategically located around the area for your convenience.

  • It’s noteworthy to mention that the Half Marathon’s official parking facility is the Clarendon Street Garage located at 100 Clarendon St, Boston, MA 02116, United States. Conveniently found at the Back Bay MBTA Station, it provides easy access to the Orange Line which leads directly to Forest Hills. This is also just around a mile away from the starting line at Franklin Park, guaranteeing easy and hassle-free transportation for all runners.
  • Participants have the opportunity to use a limited amount of parking spots at the 52 and 80 South Street lots in Hopkinton as well.
  • On the morning of the race, spectators can find limited parking options at Hopkinton State Park. Simply enter 164 Cedar St, Hopkinton, MA 01748, United States into your preferred navigation app to locate the starting point.

The Best Places to Experience the Boston Marathon

If you’re planning on supporting a friend or family member, or simply wish to partake in a lively atmosphere, there are numerous fantastic locations throughout the 26.2-mile course where you can experience the thrill of the marathon.

Starting line

Now, you may not get a comprehensive view of the race from the starting point, but Hopkinton offers an unrivaled sense of excitement, anticipation, and potential like no other spot on the course. If you plan to witness the race from Hopkinton, it is strongly advisable to arrive early.


Ashland presents a unique mix of experiences. For those who prefer less crowded spaces, securing a spot in Ashland is pretty simple.

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Boasting a bustling crowd of spectators, Framingham stands unique, particularly given its convenient location next to the Framingham commuter rail stop. Nevertheless, it’s likely the most advantageous location in the initial part of the route to catch a glimpse of your loved ones or favorite runners.


As you inch towards the finish line, the town hubs become more bustling with spectators. The lively crowds of Natick Center at the 10-mile mark are always a joyous sight to behold. On the contrary, the West Natick rail stop enjoys a serene ambiance and offers a more distinct standing position.

Newton/Heartbreak Hill

Undoubtedly, runners often need the most support on the Newton Hills segment of the race. This challenging section starts roughly around the 17-mile point and concludes between the 20 and 21-mile markers, just slightly before reaching Boston College.

Boylston Street

If you’re determined to watch the thrilling finale along Boylston Street and greet the people who have crossed the finish line, brace yourself for hefty crowds. Without question, it’s a location pulsating with profound emotions, as the athletes, propelled by sheer adrenaline, triumphantly reach the end of the race.

Tune In from Anywhere

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Boston to witness the marathon in person. With the power of the web, you have the convenient option to stream this event from wherever you may find yourself in New York City or Hawaii. Here are some of the platforms you can use to catch the action and watch Boston Marathon 2024 live:

  • Live Local Coverage: WCVB CHANNEL 5
  • Live National Coverage: ESPN

International Broadcasters: 

  • FloSports
  • SMG
  • MediaMax
  • ESPN Brazil
  • Eurosport India
  • Eurosport
  • Astro
  • Supersport
  • Olympic Channel

Fuel Up: Restaurants Near the Boston Marathon Route

Whether you’ve laced up your running shoes or been cheering from the sidelines, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Lucky for you, an array of dining spots are conveniently located around the area.

TJ’s Food and Spirits

Location: 355 W Union St, Ashland, MA 01721, United States

If you’re among the enthusiastic spectators and find yourself near the commencement of the route, be sure to check out TJ’s Food and Spirits in Ashland. A tempting breakfast menu awaits you with offerings of egg sandwiches and delectable French toast. As the day progresses, they are doubling the excitement with an outdoor barbecue featuring mouthwatering chicken tenders, juicy cheeseburgers, and flavorful sausage subs, among others. But the fun doesn’t stop there; once the rush of the race has passed, the restaurant will return to its regular function allowing patrons to order from their standard menu.

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Location: 900 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02115, United States

Just a stone’s throw from the climactic finish line on Boylston Street, you’ll find the French gem that is Rochambeau. Here, marathon onlookers can enjoy the restaurant’s expansive outdoor patio and indulge in a specially-designed marathon menu. Feast on the likes of steak tartare, hearty Bolognese, and classic steak frites. What’s more, the locale offers prime viewing of the marathon runners. So a word to the wise – be sure to arrive early to secure prime seating!

Tasty Burger’s Back Bay

Location: 145 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116, United States

This prime spot is just a stone’s throw away from the race’s end point. It’s not uncommon to spot some participants manning the counter post their marathon conquest.

Marathon-Ready Stays: Best Hotels Along the Boston Marathon Route

Once you’ve soaked up the electrifying atmosphere of the 2024 Boston Marathon, indulged in the joy of spectators’ cheers, and the resilience of the runners, or bravely graced the historic course yourself, rejuvenation beckons. Lucky for you, Boston is home to a myriad of hotels.  Enter a sanctuary where tranquil ambiance and luxurious amenities exemplify the city’s well-known hospitality, providing the perfect place to revive and replenish your energy.

Consider one of the following hand-picked accommodation options from the Boston Marathon’s official Hotel list. Book your reservations through Tripster to score significant savings.

Beyond the Miles: The Fan Fest Party Experience

Located in the heart of Copley Square Park, Fan Fest stands as a vibrant assembly point where you get to meet and engage with the official sponsors of the Boston Marathon. It doesn’t stop there, gear up for some gratifying live music and interesting conversations with former champions and distinguished guests.

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Embrace the exciting energy of race week at Fan Fest where you’ll get a chance to rub shoulders with past Boston Marathon champions who beat the course records. With the upbeat rhythm of live music and a range of entertaining events in store, you’ll surely have fun! What’s more, there’s a last-minute race clinic to make sure you’re fully ready when the start signal goes off.

Admission to Fan Fest is free of charge, and everyone is invited to partake in the merriment.


  • April 14: 12:00 PM–8:00 PM
  • April 15: 10:00 AM–8:00 PM
  • April 16: 10:00 AM–4:00 PM

Catch the Excitement of the Boston Marathon 2024

Revel in the excitement, embrace the emotion, and be a part of the experience that is the Boston Marathon 2024.

Dashing far beyond the confines of a mere race, this awaited event swoops in as more than a marathon – it’s an all-encompassing festival! After all, the field size for the event is always around 30,000 participants, so expect huge happenings. This annual affair is an experience that goes beyond the ordinary with attractions that’d set your heart racing and entertainment that’s nothing short of exhilarating. So, revel in the thrill of participation or soak up the electric atmosphere as a spectator.

Mark your calendars to not miss historical moments!


Start Date:

April 15, 2024

End Date:

April 15, 2024



City of Boston

Boston, MA 02201 United States


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Written by Anne Joyce Raymundo

Anne is a Filipino writer who formerly managed and created marketing strategies and materials for numerous websites and eCommerce platforms. Now, her voice...

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