Here’s what you need to know about the 127th Boston Marathon, one of the city’s more-than-a-century-old traditions that brings world-class athletes, an air of excitement and standstill traffic to Greater Boston.

When is the 2023 Boston Marathon?

This year’s Boston Marathon is on Monday, April 17.

What is the Boston Marathon route?

The 26.2-mile route starts in Hopkinton and makes its way through suburbs, all the way to the finish line by the Boston Public Library and Copley Square. Although it starts slightly downhill, the notorious hills around Newton make it one of the more difficult marathons for distance runners.

After crossing the starting line on East Main Street in Hopkinton, runners follow Route 135 as they traverse through Ashland, Framingham, Natick and Wellesley. There, the marathon follows Route 16 and Commonwealth Avenue through the hills of Newton and up Heartbreak Hill. It turns onto Chestnut Hill Avenue through Cleveland Circle, then takes Beacon Street into Brookline and through Kenmore Square. As they come into Back Bay down Commonwealth Avenue, runners take a right on Hereford Street and a left on Boylston Street, and finally cross the finish line in Copley Square.

Find recommended spectator spots along GBH News' Boston Marathon route map below. Looking for ways to get here? Open the left menu and check the box next to "parking and transit" for suggestions.

How do runners qualify for the Boston Marathon?

To run the Boston Marathon, athletes must qualify by beating a certain time at another major marathon, with qualifying times determined by a runner's gender and age. That strict qualification requirement sets Boston apart from other worldwide races, many of which have lotteries for runners who don’t meet qualifying times. Registration happened in September.

The other way to run the marathon is as part of the charity program, which requires you to raise substantial money for a local charity: a minimum of $5,000.

Who’s running the 2023 marathon?

This year, 30,000 runners are expected to make the journey from Hopkinton to Copley Square. The Boston Athletic Association, the nonprofit behind the race, said that this year will be the “fastest and most decorated Boston Marathon across all of our divisions in race history.”

The Boston Marathon attracts some of the biggest global stars in running, and this year is no exception. Among the elite athletes on the men’s side are: Eliud Kipchoge, a runner from Kenya who’s taking on Boston for the first time after winning two Olympic gold medals for the marathon and setting the marathon world record; Evans Chebet, the reigning 2022 champion from Kenya; and Benson Kipruto, the 2021 winner who is also from Kenya.

In the men’s wheelchair division, American Daniel Romanchuk is back to defend his title. He will be challenged by Marcel Hug, the reigning Paralympic marathon gold medalist and world-record holder.

On the women’s side, Desi Linden, the American who won in 2018, will be running along with previous champions Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat and Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa.

The women’s wheelchair division field will feature Switzerland’s Manuela Schär, who has won Boston four times; Australia’s Madison de Rozario, the 2020 Paralympic gold medalist; and American Tatyana McFadden, who has won Boston five times.

The Para division will feature Lisa Thompson and Liz Willis, who both won titles in their division last year.

How much money do athletes win in the Boston Marathon?

The top 10 men and women finishers in the open division will be awarded prize money, ranging from $5,500 for those in 10th place to $150,000 for the man and woman who come in first. The top three men and women in the masters division, for runners over age 40, are awarded $1,500, $2,500 and $5,000 for third, second and first place, respectively.

In the wheelchair division, the top 10 men and women finishers will also receive prizes, ranging from $750 to a top award of $25,000.

This will be the third year that prize money will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in each of the five Para Athletics Divisions for athletes with vision, upper-limb and lower-limb impairments. The top racers in each division will receive $1,500, the second-place finishers $750 and the third-place finishers $500.

There are also $50,000 prizes for any athlete who sets a new course record in either the open or wheelchair divisions.

What changes are being made for the 2023 race?

This year marks the first year that runners will be able to register as nonbinary for the in-person race, following races like Chicago and New York that have previously added that option. Athletes who register as nonbinary for the Boston Marathon will not be eligible for division prizes.

"So I think we can take this moment to celebrate, but we also have to recognize that it isn't the end, there's still so much ahead of us," Jake Fedorowski, the author of the “The Guide to Non-Binary Inclusion in Running,” told GBH News when the policy was announced in September. "I'm confident that Boston is committed to that work … this is just kind of one of those initial but still very important steps."

In January, the BAA announced a new policy that will allow pregnant and postpartum runners who qualified for the marathon to defer to future years. “Women who are entered in a BAA race and want to expand their family will be able to do just that without giving up a chance to participate at a future BAA event,” said Jack Fleming, the president and CEO of the BAA.

Continuing its policy from last year, runners from Russia and Belarus are not allowed to enter the race under their country.

How can I watch the Boston Marathon on TV?

You can watch the marathon at home by tuning into WCVB channel 5. Race coverage starts at 4 a.m. and goes through the evening. It will also air on ESPN from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Athletes leave Hopkinton in waves, starting around 9 a.m. and through 11 a.m., so there is plenty of action all day. The front runners are expected to cross the finish line around 11:45 a.m. and 12 p.m., respectively.

How can I stream the Boston Marathon?

WCVB will live stream the race on its digital platforms and app. Sister stations WMUR, WMTV and WPTZ will also stream the marathon on their respective digital platforms.

A live stream will also be available on Very Local Boston. Streamers can find Very Local in the app store for mobile devices as well as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV and Samsung TV (2019 and later models).

How can I watch the Boston Marathon in person?

Spectators are encouraged to line the 26.2-mile course. Among the more popular viewing spots are the Scream Tunnel at Wellesley College, Heartbreak Hill, which culminates around mile 21 at Boston College, and of course, the finish line on Boylston Street.

If you’re in the city, the MBTA is the best way to get around that day. Check and make sure individual stations are open when it gets close to Marathon Monday: the Copley stop on the Green Line, for one, will be closed all day.

Spectators should expect to go through security checkpoints to access certain areas, like Copley Square. Bags will be inspected at these checkpoints, and items like backpacks and weapons aren't allowed.

Officials from Boston Police, Transit Police, State Police, the FBI and more will also be stationed along the route.

For more details on watching in person, check out the BAA’s spectator guide.

Can I track someone in the race?

If you want to track someone along the route, the BAA puts out a free BAA Racing App that you can use to track their bib number as they make their way to Boston. The 2023 version can be downloaded from the App Store for iPhone users or Google Play for Android users.

How Boston Police are preparing for marathon Monday

Regardless of how you get to the race route, expect a police presence and be ready to pass through security checkpoints.

Officials from Boston Police, Transit Police, State Police, the FBI and more will be stationed along the route, and there will be checkpoints where spectators will need their bags inspected.

Law enforcement leaders also encourage spectators to speak up if they see anything suspicious at this year's Boston Marathon. The FBI said it is not aware of any specific or credible threats to the race, but officials still recommend attendees remain aware.

"Check your cellphone settings and make sure that your phone can receive emergency and public safety alerts to ensure that you receive any urgent public safety messages," MEMA acting director Dawn Brantley said during an April 13 press conference. "This is a good idea every day and not just on marathon Monday."

How old is the Boston Marathon?

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest continually run marathon, and considered by many to be the most prestigious. It started in 1897 with just 18 people, and now tens of thousands of people from around the world participate each year.

This year will be the 127th marathon. It is usually run on the third Monday in April, which in Massachusetts is Patriots’ Day — the state holiday that commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord during the Revolutionary War. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the marathon, and last year marked the first time in three years that the marathon was run on Patriots’ Day.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, when explosions at the finish line killed three people and injured hundreds more. The city will commemorate the anniversary with a remembrance event and service projects for One Boston Day.

What other events will be happening the weekend of the 2023 race?

The BAA 5k will be held on the morning of Saturday, April 15, and is expected to draw 10,000 runners to downtown Boston. Runners start on Charles Street between the Public Garden and Common, and make a loop through Back Bay.

April 15 also marks One Boston Day, which has been observed every year since the 2013 bombings.

Keeping with tradition, the Red Sox will have a home game on April 17, against the Los Angeles Angels. The game starts at 11:10 a.m.