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Boston Marathon
Photograph: Courtesy Greater Boston Convention & Visitors BureauBoston Marathon

Boston Marathon 2023: everything you need to know

Where to go and what to do during the Boston Marathon, including where to cheer and where to eat along the route.

JQ Louise
Written by
JQ Louise

Not only is the Boston Marathon the world’s oldest annual marathon, it’s also one of the toughest. It takes place every year on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday in April. More than 30,000 participants — from world class athletes to eager amateurs looking for a challenge — come to Boston from all over the world to participate, with around 1 million spectators cheering them on. For specific info about the Boston Marathon route and where to watch, check out our guide to the Boston Marathon route. After the race, you can have a drink on behalf of the finishers at one of Boston’s best bars. If watching thousands of runners complete a marathon inspires you to be healthier, check out our list of Boston’s best parks, the best hikes near Boston, and Boston’s best healthy restaurants.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Time Out Market Boston
  • Restaurants
  • Fenway/Kenmore

Looking to see some of the Boston Marathon but also eat and drink well close to the route? Time out market has everything you need for a great Marathon Monday. Choose from our curated food offerings and two top-notch bars. There is plenty of seating—both indoors and on a sun-splashed patio. 

Boston Marathon guide

1. When is the Boston marathon?

The 2023 Boston Marathon is on Monday, Apr 17, 2023 in Boston, MA.

The Marathon starts at Hopkinton, about 32 miles away from Downtown Boston. The starting time for the main Marathon and other races is different.  

The Marathon will have different ‘Waves’ based on the bib numbers assigned to the runners. The first Wave will start at 10 am, followed by Waves 2,3, and 4 at 10:25 am, 10:50 am, and 11:15 am, respectively. Here are the starting times for other races, including the ones for Para Athletes. 


3. Who runs the Boston Marathon?

Who will run the Boston Marathon? 

The field of runners will consist of those who applied in September, a few hundred impressive runners who have finished at least 10 Boston Marathons and others who are representing charities and sponsors. 

The required times for this year’s marathon were the same as last year’s and everyone who applied this time around met the qualifying criteria. The qualifying time requirements, as defined by the BAA, and  used for the 2023 marathon can be found below, broken down by age group.


  • Men: 3 hrs 00 min 00 sec
  • Women: 3 hrs 30 min 00 sec


  • Men: 3 hrs 05 min 00 sec
  • Women: 3 hrs 35 min 00 sec


  • Men: 3 hrs 10 min 00 sec
  • Women: 3 hrs 40 min 00 sec


  • Men: 3 hrs 20 min 00 sec
  • Women: 3 hrs 50 min 00 sec


  • Men: 3 hrs 25 min 00 sec
  • Women: 3 hrs 55 min 00 sec


  • Men: 3 hrs 35 min 00 sec
  • Women: 4 hrs 05 min 00 sec


  • Men: 3 hrs 50 min 00 sec
  • Women: 4 hrs 20 min 00 sec


  • Men: 4 hrs 05 min 00 sec
  • Women: 4 hrs 35 min 00 sec


  • Men: 4 hrs 20 min 00 sec
  • Women: 4 hrs 50 min 00 sec


  • Men: 4 hrs 35 min 00 sec
  • Women: 5 hrs 05 min 00 sec

80 and over

  • Men: 4 hrs 50 min 00 sec
  • Women: 5 hrs 20 min 00 sec

4. The Marathon is the biggest ever this year

It’s going to be a packed run through the city for Boston marathoners in 2023! This year's race, the 127th Boston Marathon, will be the 10th anniversary of the marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, and will have the largest field of participants since 2019. 

With 30,000 participants, the upcoming run is also the second without  a size restriction on the field of runners, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, reports

23,267 applicants officially registered for the marathon during the September registration window, an increase of 300 over last year’s race, which was something of a return to normalcy after the cancellations of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Attend the Marathon Expo
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Hynes Convention Center

5. Attend the Marathon Expo

With more than 200 exhibitors, the Boston Marathon Expo is a premier gathering for the running industry. The general public is invited to join top athletes and running enthusiasts to check out new running products and services. The 2023 Boston Marathon Expo will take place Friday, April 14–Sunday, April 16 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center at 900 Boylston St. in Boston. More info here.

  • Things to do

Whether you choose to watch the marathon at the starting line, the finish line, or somewhere in between, the Boston Marathon route has many unique viewing spots. Help the runners make it up Heartbreak Hill, cheer with the kids at Boston college, mingle with Red Sox fans at Kenmore Square, or watch as runners cross the finish line.

Experience “Scream Tunnel”
Photograph: Creative Commons/Ericshawwhite

7. Experience “Scream Tunnel”

Head to this Wellesley College spot where supporters turn the volume up to 11. It’s halfway through the race, so runners will need a big push. You’ll also see students with decorative signs displaying encouraging messages.

  • Things to do
  • Sport events
  • Fenway/Kenmore

The annual Patriots’ Day game (first pitch: 11:05am) is a special Red Sox tradition and part of the holiday’s festivities. It’s the only morning game on MLB’s schedule, and takes place as thousands of runners hit the streets for the Boston Marathon. The area around Fenway is buzzing all day, but even more so as fans exit the game in time to see the runners pass the Citgo sign.

Watch at a bar along the route
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Sophie P.

10. Watch at a bar along the route

Plenty of popular bars along the route will be showing the marathon on TV and/or offering specials. The energy is always high as patrons cheer on the runners with drinks in hand. Check out The Publick House, Pour House, or Bukowski Tavern.

Grab a bite to eat near the route
Photograph: Courtesy Deuxave/Andy Ryan

11. Grab a bite to eat near the route

Cheering for all those runners can work up an appetite. Fenway in particular is a great place to eat during the race. From Hojoko and Blue Ribbon Sushi to Sweet Cheeks and Tasty Burger, the options are many. Once in the Back Bay, go fancy at spots like Deuxave or Uni, or celebrate like you just ran 26.2 miles with a big-ticket meal at Abe & Louie's.

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