Thousands of people in Massachusetts laced up their running shoes Monday morning to participate in the 120th annual Boston Marathon. Here are some things to know about the race:
World's oldest marathon celebrates 120 races
Inspired by the marathon held at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, the Boston Athletic Association launched its first marathon with 15 participants on April 19, 1897. Originally called the American Marathon, the course started at Metcalf's Mill in Ashland and ended at Irvington Street Oval near Copley Square in Boston.
Monday's race is the 120th and the 48th consecutive Boston Marathon to fall on a Monday, according to organizers. It is deemed the world's oldest annual marathon.
The race has historically fallen on Patriots' Day, a state holiday in Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin that commemorates the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.
Thousands expected to watch race
Each year the marathon brings hundreds of thousands of spectators into Boston. Organizers expect 1 million spectators to line the 26.2-mile course Monday. In addition, 9,000 volunteers will be on hand.
The 26.2-mile course runs through eight cities and towns.
More than 30,000 to participate in race
According to the Boston Athletic Association, 30,740 people registered for this year's race. Of those, 54 percent are men and 46 percent are women.
The competitors come from 99 countries and 57 U.S. states and territories. The numbers make this year's marathon the third largest in the history of the race behind the 1996 marathon, which saw 38,700 participants, and the 35,670 people who ran the 2014 marathon.
The youngest participant in this year's marathon is Paul Goldfinger, of Newton, Massachusetts, who is 18 years, 2 months and 18 days old, WFXT reported. The eldest is 84-year-old Jules Wilker, of Medford, New York.
Marathon estimated to pump $182M into economy
Organizers expect the 2016 marathon to generate $182 million for the local economy, the highest amount ever. The previous record was set in 2014, when the marathon brought in $175.8 million, organizers said.
The marathon's top 15 finishers will split an $830,500 prize, with an additional $220,000 up for grabs if records are broken. The prize money is funded by John Hancock Financial Services, the marathon's principal sponsor.
Organizers expect more than $28 million to be raised for a variety of nonprofit organizations. Over the past 30 years, the Marathon has raised more than $230 million for nonprofits.
Supplies by the numbers
What does it take to get the Boston Marathon going? According to the Boston Athletic Association, this year's event called for:
400 rolls of paper towels
65,000 feet of electrical cable
1.4 million paper cups
108,000 safety pins
30,000 feet of fencing
50,000 drywall screws
10,000 pairs of medical gloves
35,000 gallons of bottled water
39,575 Mylar blankets
25,000 feet of ribbon
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