Boston Marathon Results: What's The Fastest-Ever Recorded Time?

The Boston Marathon, which is usually held in April every year, was rescheduled to take place on October 11 in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The historic race is the world's oldest annual marathon. The first race was held back in 1897, which saw John J. McDermott of New York win the 24.5-mile event in two hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds (2:55:10), according to the Boston Athletics Association (BAA).

In 1924, the length of the course was extended to 26 miles, 385 yards to meet the Olympic standard and the starting line was moved west from Ashland to Hopkinton.

The Fastest-Ever Recorded Time at the Boston Marathon

The fastest time for the Boston Marathon was set in 2011 by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya who finished the men's race in 2:03:02.

Mutai's time was the fastest marathon ever at the time, shaving about a minute from the previous world record, then 2:03.59, and set by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin back in 2008.

However, Mutai was not officially recognized in 2011 as the new world record holder as he was aided by a tailwind on a hilly course with too much downhill from start to finish, Reuters reported at the time in April 2011.

"Boston marathon performances cannot be ratified as world records as the course does not satisfy two of the criteria for world records," USA Track and Field told Reuters at the time.

Mutai's unofficial world record time has since been shattered by others, with the latest being fellow Kenyan runner, Eliud Kipchoge, the current world's fastest runner.

Kipchoge set the record for the fastest ever marathon back in 2018 by finishing the Berlin Marathon at 2:01:39.

Geoffrey Mutai wins the 2011 Boston Marathon.
Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya celebrating after winning the men's division of the 2011 Boston Marathon. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Other Boston Marathon Records

Back in 1947, the Boston Marathon recorded its first-ever world's best time, with Korean runner Yun Bok-suh finishing the race at 2:25:39.

The first woman to run in the Boston Marathon as an unofficial participant was Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb, who ran the race in 1966.

It wasn't until 1972 that women were allowed to officially run the Boston Marathon, with American Nina Kuscsik winning the race that year with a time of 3:10:26.

Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia marked the fastest time in the history of the women's race, finishing the marathon with a time of 2:19:59 back in 2014.

In April 2018, American Desiree Linden and Japanese runner Yuki Kawauchi both set records. Linden was the first U.S. woman in 33 years to win the women's race, while Kawauchi was the first Japanese winner of the men's race since 1987.

To date, runners from the U.S. have won the Boston Marathon 35 times, includes 29 times for the men's race and six times for the women's division.

Runners in the 2016 Boston Marathon.
Runners near the finish line on Boylston Street during the 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images