Boston Marathon 2022: start time, how to watch on UK TV, route, qualifying times, and when were bombings?

The Boston Marathon is one of six World Marathon Majors (image: Getty Images)The Boston Marathon is one of six World Marathon Majors (image: Getty Images)
The Boston Marathon is one of six World Marathon Majors (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images
The world’s oldest marathon is running its 126th edition on Easter Monday with participants ending up in the historic eastern US city

While you’re tucking into your Easter eggs and enjoying your bank holiday on Easter Monday, around 30,000 runners will be sweating it out at the Boston Marathon 2022.

The world’s oldest marathon - and one of the six World Marathon Majors - is returning just six months after it staged its 125th edition as the world running calendar begins to rest itself following the Covid pandemic.

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The Boston Athletics Association, which organises the race, claims 2022’s competition will be the fastest ever with multiple Olympic champions and medalists taking part.

Unusually for a city marathon, the Boston Marathon begins in the countryside (image: Getty Images)Unusually for a city marathon, the Boston Marathon begins in the countryside (image: Getty Images)
Unusually for a city marathon, the Boston Marathon begins in the countryside (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

So who will be running - and how can you follow the action?

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the Boston Marathon?

The Boston Marathon is a 26.2 mile race that takes place annually in the eastern US city of Boston.

Started in 1897, it is one of six Abbott World Marathon Majors alongside: Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

These events form an overall championship for elite male and female runners and men and women wheelchair athletes.

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The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest marathon competition and is returning for its 126th race (image: Getty Images)The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest marathon competition and is returning for its 126th race (image: Getty Images)
The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest marathon competition and is returning for its 126th race (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Amateur runners can also take part and, if they complete all six events, receive special recognition for their achievement.

Currently, just 731 amateur runners have achieved the feat.

To be able to run the Boston Marathon, runners have to meet certain qualifying times.

These range from three hours for men aged 18 to 34 and five hours 20 minutes for women aged over 80-years-old.

Due to the size of the field being restricted, participants in 2021 had to run an average of seven minutes 47 seconds below their age category’s qualifying time to guarantee a place.

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This system differs from the London Marathon, where you can run if you’re successful in a ballot - or if you’re raising money for charity.

What is the Boston Marathon course?

Unusually for a city marathon, the Boston Marathon starts in the rural town of Hopkinton and takes in the settlements of Ashland, Framingham, Natick and Wellesley before crossing the Charles River into Boston itself.

The Boston Marathon finishes in the centre of the eastern US city of Boston (image: Getty Images)The Boston Marathon finishes in the centre of the eastern US city of Boston (image: Getty Images)
The Boston Marathon finishes in the centre of the eastern US city of Boston (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

While it doesn’t take in the main tourist sites like the London Marathon, the Boston Marathon ends in Copley Square near the famous Boston Public Library.

What happened in the Boston Marathon bombing?

Sadly, the Boston Marathon will always be remembered for being the target of a bombing in 2013.

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Just as the bulk of amateur racers were approaching the finish line on a packed Boylston Street, two blasts went off around 12-seconds apart killing three and injuring 260 people.

The bombs contained pellets and nails and were housed within pressure cookers that had been concealed in backpacks.

The explosions were so powerful that one of the lids of the pressure cookers was found on a nearby rooftop.

Both weapons had been planted by brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

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The 2013 Boston Marathon ended in tragedy when three people died and 260 were injured by two explosions (image: Getty Images)The 2013 Boston Marathon ended in tragedy when three people died and 260 were injured by two explosions (image: Getty Images)
The 2013 Boston Marathon ended in tragedy when three people died and 260 were injured by two explosions (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The pair went on the run, shooting and killing a police officer at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology three days later before Tamerlan was himself shot and killed by police.

The following day Dzhokhar was found seriously wounded hiding in a boat close to where police had shot his brother.

He was sentenced to death in 2015 - a ruling that was overturned in 2020 but then reinstated by the Supreme Court on 4 March 2022.

This year, one of the people injured by the Boston Marathon Bombings - Adrianne Haslet, who lost her left foot in the blast - will be running the event for the first time since the attacks.

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Which elite athletes are competing in the Boston Marathon?

The Boston Athletic Association says the women’s and men’s fields for this year’s race are the fastest it has ever named.

Tokyo Olympics champion Peres Jepchirchir from Kenya, as well as US bronze medalist Molly Seidel will be competing in the women’s event on the 50th anniversary of the first women’s competition at the race.

Paralympic marathon gold medalist Madison de Rozario will also be taking part.

In the men’s event, 11 of the field have run sub-two hour six-minute marathons.

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Benson Kipruto will be looking to defend his Boston Marathon crown (image: Getty Images)Benson Kipruto will be looking to defend his Boston Marathon crown (image: Getty Images)
Benson Kipruto will be looking to defend his Boston Marathon crown (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Last year’s winner Benson Kipruto of Kenya will be hoping to repeat his victory, but will be up against six other former winners: Lawrence Cherono (2019), Yuki Kawauchi (2018), Geoffrey Kirui (2017), Lemi Berhanu (2016), and Lelisa Desisa (2013 & 2015).

There is some British interest in this year’s Boston Marathon.

While there are no runners from Great Britain in the men’s race, the women’s event has two British athletes - Charlotte Purdue and Ali Lavender.

Purdue is in good form having secured a personal best time of two hours 23 minutes and 26 seconds at the London Marathon in October 2021.

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There are three Brits to look out for in the wheelchair races.

In the women’s race, Shelly Woods will be flying the flag for Great Britain.

And in the men’s event, Simon Lawson and Johnboy Smith will be taking part.

How can you watch Boston Marathon 2022 on UK TV?

Unlike the London Marathon, the Boston Marathon is not going to be on free-to-air television here in the UK.

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For those keen to catch the action, you will have to have a Eurosport subscription.

What time does the Boston Marathon start?

The Boston Marathon kicks off from 9.02am US Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) - 2.02pm UK time - with the men’s wheelchair event.

This field is then followed by the women’s event a few minutes later.

At 9.37am (EDT) - 2.37pm UK time - the elite men’s race kicks off, followed by the women’s at 9.45am (2.45pm UK time).

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Para-athletes take the start at 9.50am (2.50pm) followed by the waves of the public race.

This is when each wave starts from:

  • Wave one: 10am (3pm)
  • Wave two: 10.25am (3.25pm)
  • Wave three: 10.50am (3.50pm)
  • Wave four: 11.15am (4.15pm)

You can track your friends and relatives who are taking part in real time by visiting the Boston Athletic Association website.

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