More than 25,000 runners were registered to participate in the 116th Boston Marathon, which began this morning in Hopkinton.
The race crosses 26.2 miles of Massachusetts and finishes in Boston's Copley Square. The first Boston Marathon was run on April 19, 1897, with a 15 member field and a distance of 24.5 miles, according to the Boston Athletics Association website. In 1927 the race was lengthened to the full distance in accordance with Olympic standards.
The current mens' record is held by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, from Kenya, who ran the 2010 race in just under two hours and six minutes. The womens' record is helf by Margaret Okayo, also of Kenya, who ran the 2002 race in just over two hours and twenty minutes.
Many have tackled this and other marathons, some running year after year. According to the B.A.A., John A. Kelley started a record 61 Boston Marathons and finished 58. He first competed in 1928, and won the race in 1935 and 1945.
While the 2012 field may be somewhat lessened by the unseasonably warm weather, crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon - or any marathon - is a goal for many.