HOPKINTON, MA - APRIL 18: The Elite Women's division prepares to start the 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Photo: Tim Bradbury
Photo: Tim Bradbury

Boston Marathon 2016: 5 things to know

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.

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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.

>> See the 2016 race course map

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.

>> See the 2016 finish line map

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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