Step Up and Run: The Ultimate Guide to Conquering the 2023 Boston Marathon!

Step Up and Run: The Ultimate Guide to Conquering the 2023 Boston Marathon!

The Boston Marathon, which has a rich history, is highly cherished by the city. GBH News reporters were present throughout the day of the marathon. You can read our coverage of Marathon Monday and the events leading up to it here. If you’re curious about the winner, take a look at our results page.


Toni Cabo normally works as an educator for young children in Brooklyn, New York. However, on Monday, she traveled to Boston to participate in her first 26.2-mile marathon. Cabo spoke to GBH’s All Things Considered about her experience, discussing her opinion on Heartbreak Hill (which she believes was overhyped) and revealing the support her students provided her prior to the race. Check out our interview with a “typical” marathon runner (even though such a thing hardly exists) in either written or audio format.

Toni Cabo shows off the hat with phrases from her students ahead of the 2023 Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023. She ran the course in 4 hours and 38 minutes.


Although it was not as eventful as 2018, the Boston Marathon on Monday was yet another rainy day on the course. However, the runners’ spirits remained high despite the wet conditions, as the marathon continued its journey towards healing, a decade after the bombing incident. Sean Hicks, who participated in the Boston Marathon in 2013 and has completed the race eight times, thinks that the city’s resilience after the tragedy played a crucial role in the marathon’s growth.

Even after a decade, the energy of the Boston Marathon bombing is still palpable when returning to the site, according to Hicks in an interview with GBH News on Sunday. More people are now invested and knowledgeable about the event, even those who were not previously interested in running or paying attention to the marathon. When someone mentions “Boston Strong,” it carries a deeper meaning and significance. GBH News’ Esteban Bustillos was present at the marathon and reported on the event from the finish line.


At 4:00 p.m., Henry Richard completed the Boston Marathon for the second consecutive year. He is the elder brother of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who lost his life in the marathon bombing a decade ago. Henry and some other runners participated in the marathon to raise funds for the Martin Richard Foundation. The foundation donates to nearby youth programs and other charitable organizations in memory of Martin.


Athletes shouted in victory, fell onto their knees, lifted their country’s banners and grinned for the camera upon finishing the extensive 26.2-mile route.


Zdeno Chára, the former captain of the Bruins, completed the race with a time of 3:38:23 after announcing his participation last month. He ran the race to raise funds for The Hoyt Foundation and the Thomas E. Smith Foundation. Other renowned personalities who finished the race include Monica Rakitt, formerly known as Monica Puig, an Olympic gold medalist and former tennis professional, who completed the race in 3:49:47. Two ex-Red Sox players, Brock Holt and Ryan Dempster, are still on the challenging course while the current Red Sox team just resumed playing after a prolonged rain delay at Fenway.


This afternoon, Boston experienced a brief period of heavy rainfall. Annie Shreffler from GBH was present on the bridge that overlooks the finish line, where she captured the scene on camera.


Despite the marathon runners continuing to run the course, the Boston Red Sox are being affected by the rain on Patriots’ Day. The game against the Los Angeles Angels, which is a home game for the Red Sox, has been delayed by two innings due to the weather.


This year, 27 runners participating in the Boston Marathon made headlines before the race began as they registered under the nonbinary category, which was previously not allowed by the Boston Athletic Association for in-person races. Out of almost 30,000 runners, these 27 individuals are competing as nonbinary runners. The top three nonbinary finishers were Americans Kae Ravichandran, Cal Calamia, and Matthew Powers. Ravichandran was the first to cross the finish line, completing the marathon in 2 hours, 38 minutes, and 57 seconds.


The smooth execution of the Boston Marathon hinges on the tireless efforts of numerous volunteers. Ashley Cronin, a resident of Brookline, and Michelle Thach, who hails from the North End, work as medical assistants at Beth Israel. As part of the blanket distribution squad, they have volunteered to distribute blankets to the incoming runners. Their task involves preparing to handle hundreds of blankets throughout the day.

Ashley Cronin (right) of Brookline and Michelle Thach of the North End, volunteers on the Blanket Distribution squad and prepping to cover incoming runners on April 17, 2023.


Diego Lopez from GBH is currently located in Cleveland Circle, where he is witnessing the passage of runners from the previous waves near the 22nd mile mark.


Kenya’s Hellen Obiri emerged as the winner in the women’s category, completing the race with a time of 2:21:38 as she crossed the finish line on Boylston Street. Amane Beriso from Ethiopia trailed just behind her. Throughout the race, a bunch of runners stuck together until Obiri broke away on Hereford Street.


As the women’s race nears its end, a group of four marathon runners comprising Amane Beriso from Ethiopia, Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia, Hellen Obiri from Kenya and Lonah Salpeter from Israel are closely positioned together. Meanwhile, Emma Bates, the American runner, has fallen behind by a few seconds, as the quartet extends their lead.


Evans Chebet from Kenya has successfully defended his title by winning the men’s category of the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:05:54. This is his second consecutive win after his victory in 2022. Tanzanian runner Gabriel Geay secured the second position, followed closely by Benson Kipruto from Kenya.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 17: Evans Chebet of Kenya crosses the finish line and takes first place in the professional Men’s Division during the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge, widely regarded as the best of all time, finished in fourth place. Esteban Bustillos of GBH witnessed Chebet’s impressive display of strength as she crossed the finish line.



In an unexpected turn of events, the elite men’s race seems to be witnessing a potential upset, with Eliud Kipchoge falling behind. There was speculation that Kipchoge could become the first runner to achieve the elusive two-hour time in an official marathon, but it appears that he may not achieve this feat. It’s worth noting that this is Kipchoge’s first time participating in the Boston Marathon.


The game between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels in Boston has been postponed due to light rain.


The professional races for both men and women are becoming increasingly competitive.


Running has been a source of healing for many survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing 10 years ago, including Robert Wheeler, who was a first-time competitor and had just finished the marathon when the first bomb went off. Despite the trauma he experienced, Wheeler continued running and found solace in it after the attacks. He will be participating in his ninth Boston Marathon this year. Trauma experts suggest that running can aid in the processing of difficult emotions, and many survivors of the bombing have continued to engage in this activity as a means of healing. Survivors have reported that the act of running, as well as returning to the marathon course, has played a significant role in their recovery.

According to Wheeler, athletes usually possess a strong inner drive, commonly known as “fire,” which can be fueled by past trauma. He explained that trauma can either completely destroy a person or be used as a tool to motivate and inspire them to rebuild and grow. In the article titled “At the intersection of running and trauma, these marathoners find healing,” individuals who have experienced trauma have found solace and healing through running.


The female wheelchair category of the Boston Marathon has been won by Susannah Scaroni, an American athlete, who achieved a time of 1 hour, 41 minutes and 45 seconds. This marks her initial victory in the Boston Marathon.

Susannah Scaroni of the United States crosses the finish line and takes first place in the professional Women’s Wheelchair Division during the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.



Switzerland’s Marcel Hug emerged victorious as he completed the men’s wheelchair division by crossing the finish line on Boylston Street. With an unofficial time of 1:17:06, he managed to surpass his own course record, making his win even more impressive.

Marcel Hug crosses the finish line to win the Boston Marathon wheelchair division on April 17, 2023.

Diego Lopez from GBH observed the athletes in wheelchairs at Cleveland Circle, which was close to the 22nd mile.


Hopkinton no longer has professional women residing within its boundaries.


The men’s professional marathon has commenced from Hopkinton, and all attention is on Eliud Kipchoge. Kipchoge, who is considered by many as the marathon’s G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time), has achieved two Olympic gold medals, four first-place finishes at the London Marathon, four more at the Berlin Marathon, and one each in Tokyo and Chicago. Speculations are rife that he could be the first runner to break the two-hour time in an official marathon. It’s Kipchoge’s first time running the Boston Marathon this year.

Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya points to the clock after crossing the finish line of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge after 1:59:40 in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. He is the first human ever to run a marathon under two hours. Ronald Zak / AP

According to Mark Carroll, who is the head coach of the Boston Athletic Association’s High Performance Team, there is a possibility of a sub-two-hour marathon happening in an official setting soon. Carroll acknowledged that Eliud Kipchoge had already achieved it on a closed course with pacemakers, proving that it is possible in a controlled environment. He further stated that witnessing a two-hour marathon in a world marathon major may not be too distant.


The 127th Boston Marathon has begun with the start of the men’s and women’s wheelchair races from Hopkinton.

Women’s wheelchair athlete Manuela Schar (W101), of Switzerland, breaks from the starting line with others during the 127th Boston Marathon, Monday,


Get a glimpse inside the Athlete’s Village located in Hopkinton, where tens of thousands of runners are preparing themselves.


The city of Boston continues to mourn and the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing are still recuperating even a decade after the tragic event. Callie Crossley describes the four twisted spires made of bronze that stand tall at the Boylston Street finish line, serving as a poignant reminder of the lives lost in an instant. Although the memorial serves as a promise to never forget, some individuals are unable to move on as the emotional and psychological impact of the event remains with them. While they may not show any physical signs of injury, the invisible scars of trauma continue to haunt them.


Many runners have different preferences on what to eat the night before a marathon. For instance, some prefer to consume more carbohydrates, while others may opt for a food item such as pizza, as was the case with Jeremie Dernott.


The weather in Boston during April can be unpredictable, ranging from hot temperatures to snow and freezing rain. Today’s climate is chilly and damp, with morning temperatures in the 40s projected to rise to the 50s, and there is a possibility of rain during the middle of the day. As runners start their race from the finish line, they will witness the prevailing weather conditions.


To catch the marathon race from the comfort of your home, simply tune in to WCVB channel 5. Coverage will commence at 4 in the morning and run throughout the day, airing also on ESPN from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The athletes will depart from Hopkinton in groups, with the first wave starting at approximately 9 a.m. and the last one departing around 11 a.m., providing ample excitement for the duration of the day. The race’s leading contenders are expected to reach the finish line at approximately 11:45 a.m. and 12 p.m., respectively.


The marathon course spans 26.2 miles and commences in Hopkinton, proceeding through suburban areas until its conclusion in Boston. Despite an initial descent, the arduous hills surrounding Newton render it one of the more challenging marathons for long-distance runners.

The marathon course starts on East Main Street in Hopkinton and proceeds along Route 135, cutting through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley. Moving forward, the runners follow Route 16 and Commonwealth Avenue as they go through the hills of Newton and tackle Heartbreak Hill. The course then takes a turn onto Chestnut Hill Avenue, passing through Cleveland Circle and Beacon Street in Brookline, and eventually reaching Kenmore Square. Upon entering Back Bay via Commonwealth Avenue, the runners turn right onto Hereford Street and left onto Boylston Street, where they finally cross the finish line at Copley Square.


Over a hundred golden retrievers gathered in Boston to pay tribute to Spencer, the official Boston Marathon dog, and Penny, who passed away in February. Spencer was known for his therapeutic presence and encouragement to runners during the marathon. The dogs welcomed runners and visitors at the finish line and congregated at Boston Common. The Massachusetts Golden Meetups, responsible for coordinating the event, contributed a percentage of their sales of “Golden Strong” bandanas towards research for canine cancer.

Taylor Hosner from Michigan poses with golden retrievers at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 16, 2023.


The bombings that occurred during the marathon a decade ago are now an integral part of Boston’s history. Today, two permanent markers stand at the locations where the blasts occurred. However, the items that were once part of the temporary memorial have been mostly forgotten. Despite being preserved indefinitely and available to the public, a significant portion of the objects from the memorial are now stored at the Boston City Archives in West Roxbury. This unremarkable, single-story building is situated near a Home Depot on the southwestern edge of Boston.

In the archives’ vast storage area, one can discover nearly all of the flat items that made up the temporary memorial, such as drawings, cards, notes, flags, race bibs, police patches, and whiteboards with messages of support and condolences from Boston and beyond. The bulkier items, such as the running shoes that were adorned with messages and became a symbol of the memorial, are kept elsewhere but are still available for public viewing upon request.


Cyclists Peter Cheung (left) and Daniel Day (right) take part in a training ride in advance of Sunday night’s midnight marathon ride

Every year prior to the Boston Marathon, a large number of bikers gather at the starting line in Hopkinton to participate in an unsanctioned event: a midnight ride that spans the marathon’s 26.2 mile route. Although biking the marathon route has been a practice for many years, it was after 2009 when a group of Boston University students took a ride, that it became a more regular tradition. One of the bikers, Greg Hum, stated that they all shared a love for biking but not for running.

Our intention was to engage with the remarkable Boston custom, but we had no desire to participate actively. Therefore, we chose to commute via train with our bicycles and cycle our way back from the marathon during the nocturnal hours.


A special marker that sits just past the Boston Marathon finish line commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the marathon bombing.

On April 15, 2013, the Boston Marathon bombings occurred, which had a lasting impact on what the race signified for the city. A decade later, a multitude of individuals congregated at the finish line to pay tribute to those affected by the tragedy. In addition, a fresh marker was unveiled on Boylston Street. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about how the individuals she interacted with before and after the event lamented their losses but looked ahead to the future. “That’s the way things are done in Boston. This tenth anniversary is a reminder of what we lost, but it also highlights what we gained together,” she stated.


The Boston Marathon is just about to start and Bryant McArthur, a runner from Portland, Oregon, was captured by Liz Neisloss from GBH taking a photo of his fellow marathoner, Erin Genova from North Redding, Mass, at the finish line. According to Genova, she has participated in the Boston Marathon for 12 times, while this will only be McArthur’s second time.


The Make Way for Ducklings statue in Boston Public Garden has been prepared and adorned for the marathon.


Rachel Heller is running the Boston Marathon for the nonprofit Metro Housing Boston. She and Morning Edition co-host Jeremy Siegel tried to beat the Green Line from Boston Univeristy East to Packard’s Corner.

A few days prior to the 2023 Boston Marathon, Jeremy Siegel from GBH’s Morning Edition took part in a unique competition: a race against the MBTA’s Green Line. Accompanied by two marathon runners, he aimed to beat the train and assess if it was feasible to do so. With the MBTA carrying out line inspections and repairs, causing slow zones, Jeremy, who is not a super-fast runner, wanted to test whether it would be more convenient to run on foot than use a Charlie Card.

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