I sent this to my family to let them know exactly what is the Boston Marathon. I can't remember where I found it but it's concise and made me a bit nervous considering how much I hate running hills. My bum wasn't built for incline running... yet that is of course!
"The next Boston Marathon will be on April 18, 2011, according to tradition on Patriots’ Day. About 25,000 people are expected to contend, cheered on by 500,000 spectators.
The Boston Marathon ranks as one of the most prestigious running events in the world. This honourable position is attained thanks to the long history of the race, the challenging course and the fact that you have to qualify to register as an official participant. In order to qualify, every runner must have finished a certified marathon within a certain time frame determined by the age of the runner. The qualifying standard is high enough to make qualifying for Boston – also known as ‘to BQ’ – quite an achievement in itself.
The legendary course of the Boston Marathon has been the same throughout most of the history of the race. The route follows 42.195 km of winding roads from rural Hopkinton to urban Boston, and it is renowned for its level of difficulty. Shortly after the 25k mark, the road starts going up a series of hills, named the Newton Hills. These hills never reach truly high elevations, but their position after 25 km of downhill running, when glycogen stores are likely to have run out, can break even the toughest runner. The last of the four hills is known as Heartbreak Hill.
The Boston Marathon is one of five members of the World Marathon Majors, consisting of marathons in Berlin, Chicago, London and New York, apart from the one in Boston. For registration in the Boston Marathon and further information, please follow the link to the official site here. "