Fifty years ago Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb put on a hoodie and started running in what was a men-only marathon. She finished the race paving the way for the thousands of women who are participating in this year’s Boston Marathon. Approximately 30,000 participants are expected with both the men’s and women’s fields without clear favorites making for an exciting 26.2 miles. Here’s everything you need to know about the Monday race and how to watch runners battle with Heartbreak Hill.
Start Times: The first wave of racers takes off at 8:50 a.m. EDT with mobility-impaired participants. They will be followed by the men’s push-rim wheelchair participants at 9:17 a.m. EDT and the women’s push-rim wheelchair participants at 9:19 a.m. EDT. Handcyclers take off at 9:22 a.m. EDT followed by the elite women at 9:32 a.m. EDT. The elite men and wave one take off at 10 a.m. EDT followed by waves two, three and four every 25 minutes.
Live Steams: The Boston Athletic Association has a free live stream of the event that kicks off at 9:15 a.m. EDT that you can watch here. If you’re watching on an iPhone or another iOS device scroll to the bottom of this page to watch. A finish line live stream is available here. For viewers outside of the U.S., click here for viewing options.
Race Route and Road Closures: The legendary race starts outside Boston in the suburb of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and follows Route 135 passing through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton and Brookline before entering the heart of Boston with the finish line on Boylston Street near Copley Square.
If you’re in Boston and planning to watch the race, here’s a list of road closure times. Officials are expecting as many as 1 million spectators this year. Here’s a list of tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Department, which asks that spectators not carry backpacks and big bags following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Some of the best spots to watch the race include the start line in Hopkinton, Commonwealth Avenue in Newton, Chestnut Hill where runners could always use extra cheering at the location of the infamous Heartbreak Hill and Kenmore Square (just be sure to get there early to snag a spot).
Tracking Runners: This year’s race doesn’t have clear favorites, according to Runner’s World. On the women’s side Caroline Rotich of Kenya will be vying for another title while on the men’s side Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia is looking for a repeat. Key challengers to watch on the women’s side include Tiki Gelana, Buzunesh Deba and Tirfi Tsegaye. On the men’s side watch out for Sammy Kitwara, Lemi Berhanu Hayle and Stephen Chebogut.
If you’re following a specific runner you can download the official marathon app here or enter the information including bib number here. You can also get race updates through the official marathon Twitter account, @BostonMarathon or by texting RUNNER to 234567 (charges may apply).
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) April 5, 2016
Final Results: Final results will be available on the official Boston Marathon website here.