The Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon and one of the most well-known races, is ready for its 115th running (literally) on Monday morning, Patriots' Day.
The runners cover the 26.2 miles in the 2011 Boston Marathon, starting in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, down Route 135, through Ashland, Framingham and Natick. Through the "scream tunnel" that is the girls from Wellesley College, into Newton and up Heartbreak Hill, nearly a half-mile climb that sadistically comes with just six miles remaining before turning left onto Beacon Street. Through Kenmore Square -- and past Fenway Park -- a right onto Hereford Street, a left onto Boylston and then, finally, the finish line.
Locally, it will be aired in its entirety on WBZ-TV (Channel 4), while nationally it can be found on Universal Sports.
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (Kenya; not to be confused with Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, a fellow Kenyan who won the Boston Marathon in 2003 and 2006-08) is the defending champion on the men's side (he set the course record last year, running a 2:05:52). On the women's side, Ethiopia's Teyba Erkesso will look to defend her title.
An American has not won the race, on either side, since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach crossed the tape first in 1985; Greg Meyer was the last American male to win, in 1983. But the United States has a pair of potential winners in 2011: Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher.
Hall, 28, is the U.S. record holder in the half marathon with a time of 59:43. He finished fourth at Boston last year and third in 2009 and in 2008, he won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon, with a time of (2:09:02; his personal best is 2:06:17). Goucher, a 32-year-old from Portland, Oregon, finished third in both the 2008 New York City Marathon and 2009 Boston Marathon.
2011 BOSTON MARATHON RACE DAY SCHEDULE
9:00 a.m. Mobility Impaired Participants Start
9:17 a.m. Push-Rim Wheelchair Division Start
9:22 a.m. Handcycle Participants Start
9:32 a.m. Elite Women's Start
10:00 a.m. Elite Men's Start & Wave One
10:20 a.m Wave Two
10:40 a.m. Wave Three
5:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony