One of the eight Massachusetts towns making up the Boston Marathon route. The others are Hopkinton, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and Boston.

Boston Athletic Association:

Nonprofit that organizes the Boston Marathon. Established in 1887, the B.A.A. is among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs.

Charity program:

One way for runners to gain entry into the Boston Marathon. Participants run on behalf of non-profit organizations. Since launching in 1989, the program has grown to support as many as 30+ charities each year. In 2014, marathoners raised $38.4 million.

Dave McGillivray:

Race director of the Boston Marathon. He runs the course every year after the race is over.


Top American runners to watch in this year’s race are 2014 defending champion Meb Keflezighi on the men’s side and Massachusetts’ native Shalane Flanagan on the women’s side.


Located on Boylston Street in front of the Boston Public Library. As they proceed through the finish area, marathoners will receive the following items: medals, heat sheets, water and gatorade and food.


Runners can check a change of clothing on the morning of the Boston Marathon.

Heartbreak Hill:

A 0.4-mile ascent along the Boston Marathon course, between miles 20 and 21, where marathoners are likely to hit the wall.


Suffering from an injury does not mean you can defer, transfer or receive a refund.


Iconic item from race sponsor Adidas. This year’s version, which is dubbed “Night Flash,” is deep violet with orange accents. Participants, officials, residents and tourists alike sport this “Celebration Jacket.”

Kathrine Switzer:

First female to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry.

Long’s Jewelers:

One of the booths at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo. Others include CLIF Bar, Gatorade and Stonyfield.

Marty Walsh:

Boston mayor who will give an official greeting at the pre-race dinner.

Nina Kuscsik:

First official female Boston Marathon champion after the Amateur Athletics Union permitted female entry in 1971.


Four Olympic champions have won Boston. Joan Benoit Samuelson is the only American to win Boston and she did it twice –  in 1979 and 1983.

Patriots’ Day:

Civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. The Boston Marathon has been held on this day since its inception in 1897.


Window for the 2016 Boston Marathon opened on September 13, 2014.

Record field size:

The Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 had 38,708 entrants. Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, this field size stood for seven years as the largest in marathon history.

Scream Tunnel:

An area of the course where Wellesley College students hold signs and cheer loudly for marathoners.


Located at miles 3, 7, 10, 12, 18 and 23.5, as well as at every water and Red Cross station.

Unauthorized participants:

Strictly prohibited. The B.A.A. reserves the right to remove any marathoner who is not displaying an official bib.


Receive a Boston Marathon commemorative pin, Adidas volunteer jacket and an entry to the post-race party (if over the age of 21).

Wheelchair division:

Recognition of this area of competition in 1957 made the Boston Marathon the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division.

X –

The roman numeral for 10 which is the number of years JetBlue has been the official Boston Marathon airline.

Year 2012:

When the 500,000th finisher in the 116-year history of the Boston Marathon crossed the finish line.

Zero-waste zone:

The pre-race dinner will use compostable utensils and plates to help keep the Boston Marathon events as green as possible.


By Nichols