The First Boston Marathon And Its Incredible History

September 21, 2021

April 19, 1897, marked the first Boston Marathon, the godfather of modern marathons that eventually spread to nearly every major city in the world. The inaugural Boston Marathon came a year after the first modern marathon ever, held during the Athens Olympics the year before and inspired by the historic race that dates back to 490 B.C and the Greek soldier Pheidippides. That tireless soldier ran directly from the battle of Marathon to Athens, delivering news of the Greek’s victory over the Persians. Over 2,000 years later Boston began a tradition that continues today. Over the course of its influential history, the Boston Marathon witnessed many incredible firsts. These are her stories.

The athletes have come a long way from the late 19th century. (getty)

The Boston Marathon times have dropped precipitously since its inception. You can see why.

After much deliberation, their course ran through many suburbs before entering the city toward the latter half of the race. They also measured rather poorly, ending with a 24.5-mile road race. Roughly 10 years later they did course correct to the standard 26 miles and 385 yards in 1908.