2026 Boston Marathon
April 20, 2026
The 2026 Boston Marathon is an annual road running event held on the streets of greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts, traditionally held on Patriots’ Day – the third Monday in April. The event is the world’s oldest annual marathon, first held in 1897 and has grown into one of the most well renowned running events in the world, being one of the six World Marathon Majors. The Marathon attracts 500,000 spectators each year and regularly has over 30,000 participants.
How do I enter the 2026 Boston Marathon?
Entrants to the Boston Marathon have to meet a set of qualification standards to be eligible to run. They must be aged 18 and have previously run a full marathon certified by a national governing body, usually within a 18 month period beforehand and within the qualifying standard time. Qualifying standards for the 2020 race were:
|18-34||3hrs 00min 00sec||3hrs 30min 00sec|
|35-39||3hrs 05min 00sec||3hrs 35min 00sec|
|40-44||3hrs 10min 00sec||3hrs 40min 00sec|
|45-49||3hrs 20min 00sec||3hrs 50min 00sec|
|50-54||3hrs 25min 00sec||3hrs 55min 00sec|
|55-59||3hrs 35min 00sec||4hrs 05min 00sec|
|60-64||3hrs 50min 00sec||4hrs 20min 00sec|
|65-69||4hrs 05min 00sec||4hrs 35min 00sec|
|70-74||4hrs 20min 00sec||4hrs 50min 00sec|
|75-79||4hrs 35min 00sec||5hrs 05min 00sec|
|80 and over||4hrs 50min 00sec||5hrs 20min 00sec|
The registration window usually opens in the September before the race in April, with the entry fee for the 2020 event being $205 for United States residents and $255 for international residents. You can view the latest registration information through the official website here.
2026 Boston Marathon Course Details
The Boston Marathon starts in the rural town of Hopkinton and finishes on Boylston Street in Boston. The course follows route 135, route 16 and route 30 passing through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline before entering Boston. The marathon is considered one of the most challenging, with the four Newtown hills culminating in Heartbreak Hill between mile 20 and 21 causing the most difficulty.
Other notable features of the course include “Scream Tunnel” at Wellesley College, a 400 metre stretch where students from the women’s college cheering on participants. It is also tradition for the Boston Red Sox to play a home game at Fenway Park starting at 11:05am, with fans entering Kenmore Square once the game finishes to cheer runners into the final mile.
How do I get to Boston?
Airport: Logan International Airport is Boston’s primary airport, with flights to a number of destinations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Caribbean, Africa , Asia and Europe.
Thinking of flying to Boston? Search & book your flights through Skyscanner here.
Train: Boston is served by four intercity rail services – the Acela Express and Northeast Regional services to and from New York City and Washington, D.C, the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago and the Downeaster to Portland, Maine. Further information is available on the Amtrak website here.