Of the handful of ultra-prestigious marathons around the world, the Boston Marathon definitely lands at the top of the list. Every competitive runner longs to be awarded a medal emblazoned with a unicorn, the event’s official symbol, but many are turned away each year if they lack the incredible run times necessary to land a coveted number. Indeed, you can’t just run any old 5K and expect to get into the Boston Marathon. Entrants have to submit results certified by one of the big governing bodies for the sport, with many qualifying thanks to times achieved at marathons in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia, as well as the previous year’s Boston event. Other marathons also count, as long as the race meets the 26.2 mile criteria.
The Boston Marathon was inspired right into existence by the first modern Olympic Games, held in 1896. The term “marathon” was used to honor the roughly 25-mile run of a soldier all the way from a battlefield to the town of Marathon, Greece. Legend has it that Pheidippides hauled all that way to let the Athenians know that the Persians had been defeated, but then collapsed and died. Sadly, the modern Boston Marathon was rocked by tragedy in 2013 when a pair of brothers planted bombs near the finish line, killing three and injuring hundreds more. The Marathon refused to fall victim to the terrorist attack, however, and has continued every year since with as much or more spirit and pride than ever before.
If you want to gorge on Boston’s legendary lobster and clam chowder, first you have to earn it. How much do you know about the prestigious Boston Marathon? Take this quiz and prove if you have what it takes to go the distance!