Boston Marathon Starting Line – Hopkinton, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Boston Marathon Starting Line

Hopkinton, Massachusetts

This pavement line and accompanying statue commemorates the starting point for the world's oldest annual marathon. 


Hopkinton is a relatively small town around 25 miles slightly southwest of Boston surrounded by other equally small towns in the Metrowest area. However, once a year this town becomes the focal point for national attention as hundreds of thousands of people participate in the Boston Marathon.

The Boston Marathon began in 1897 inspired by the success of the world’s first Summer Olympics a year earlier. The original starting line was located near Metcalf’s Mill in the neighboring town of Ashland but was moved to Hopkinton in 1924.

What began with just 15 runners now draws over 30,000 people yearly with around 500,000 spectators making the Boston Marathon New England’s most-watched sporting event. The emblazoned yellow and blue starting line runs directly across the street next to the town common, redesigned in 2024 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the marathon starting in Hopkinton.

Also located on the town common and next to the starting line is a statue titled “The Starter”. It’s dedicated to George V. Brown, a life-long resident of Hopkinton who served as the starter for the marathon from 1905 to 1937, and he also worked as a manager, coach, and official for the American Olympic Committee for over 30 years.

Every year, thousands of people stop to pay their respects to the man who helped pioneer the marathon and other sporting events across Massachusetts and the United States. Local sculptor Michael Alfano was commissioned to create the statue. It was completed and installed in 2009.

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