?The Boston Marathon is the oldest continuously held long-distance race in America. When was it first held?
•In 1897 John Graham, Boston Athletic Association team manager, laid out the first marathon course in a horse and buggy. He had been inspired by the Olympic marathon held the previous year in Greece.
?How many entered the first marathon and who won it?
•There were 15 runners. J. J. McDermott of New York was first over the finish line in two hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.
?Who won the Boston Marathon the greatest number of times?
•Boston Proofreader Clarence DeMar won it seven times, once three times in a row, between 1911 and 1930.
? What was the most bizarre incident of the marathon?
•In 1907 Tom Longboat, an Onondaga Indian from Ontario, won by reaching the Framingham railroad crossing in time to sprint across the tracks ahead of a mile-long freight that stalled the rest of the field. He quaffed champagne en route.
?This year the Patriot's Day race will have a new finish line. Instead of turning into Exeter Street off Commonwealth Avenue, the runners will swing up Hereford Street into Boylston Street. Is this the first change in the course?
•No. The course has been changed seven times, mostly because of the construction of new roads, which changed the official distance of 26 miles 385 yards.
?Prior to 1946 Americans won the race 35 times and Canadians 13 times. Which countries have won since that year?
•Finland has won six times; Japan three; Korea twice; Greece, Canada, Sweden, Guatemala, the U.S., Yugoslavia and Belgium each once.