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The Boston Marathon you’ve never heard of

The Boston UK Marathon has been held the day before the Boston (Massachusetts) Marathon since 2016. Unlike its namesake, it is perfectly flat

No luck qualifying for Boston? Not to worry, as the British say–there’s a lovely marathon in the UK with the same name, and you don’t need to qualify. The town of Boston, Lincolnshire has been hosting a marathon the day before the big one since 2016 (this year’s edition, the third in history, is Sunday, April 14). So you could fly there, come home and brag that you ran the Boston Marathon, and it wouldn’t even be a fib.

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Or, if you’re qualified, you could run Boston twice in the same weekend. Fly to Lincolnshire, run the Boston UK Marathon on Sunday, April 14, then fly to the US and run the B.A.A.’s version the next day. So many possibilities!


Map: Boston UK Marathon site

Launched in 2015 by orthopaedic consultant Harish Kurup, the original idea was to hold the marathon on the same day as its American namesake, but local road closure laws permit marathons on Sundays or public holidays only, and therefore the date was established as the Sunday before the third Monday in April (Patriots’ Day in the US, the day Boston is always run).

The first event was held on April 17, 2016, and had 286 finishers. In three years it has grown to more than 1,000 participants, mainly from the surrounding area but also from other countries (including, in 2018, Canada, the US, China and Austria). 

Photo: Boston UK Marathon site

Boston UK Marathon is certainly one of the flattest marathons in the UK, featuring a total elevation gain of 32 feet, or 9.8m. The course meanders through the villages and countryside east of the town. A half-marathon and a 5K fun run are also offered on the same day. 

Boston UK pays homage to Boston, Mass. but rightly points out that the inspiration is reciprocal: “without the inspiration of the people of Boston England, Boston Massachusetts would not exist, and without the inspiration of the latter, there may not be a Boston UK.”

The race is not an official Boston qualifier.


For more information, consult the race website or Facebook page.