How to follow your favorite runner

Local News

Fans can keep tabs on their favorite athletes in real time.

Spectators watch as runners begin the 127th Boston Marathon in Hopkinton on April 17, 2023.

Erin Clark/Boston Globe

On April 15, tens of thousands of athletes will descend on Boston and its neighboring communities for the 128th Boston Marathon. As the world’s oldest annual marathon, the race attracts everyone from amateurs to the best runners in the world. 

While many will race, even more will be cheering for their friends, family, celebrities, and elite athletes in person or virtually. For those spectators, the ability to track athletes is crucial. 

If you’re looking for real-time updates on marathon athletes, here’s how fans can live track participants as they race toward the finish line. 

Through the app

The official Boston Athletic Association Racing app is now available for download in the Apple app store and on Google Play. Once again, it will feature live tracking and updates based on 16 checkpoints along the course of the marathon. 

Users can track as many athletes as they would like. It allows tracking not only for the marathon, but for all BAA races this spring. This includes the BAA Invitational Mile and the Boston 5K. The app contains interactive course maps, athlete leaderboards, fundraising totals, and more information. 

The ability for spectators to view details about the money that athletes raise for charity is new this year. Users can view live updates to the amount of money athletes raised and find direct links to their fundraising pages. 

The app is very popular each year, usually rising to the top of sports app charts during April, a BAA spokesperson said. It was downloaded more than 300,000 times last year, and the BAA is expecting to match or surpass that number in 2024. The most-tracked athletes are usually pros or celebrities. 


Athletes can also be tracked using the BAA website. The site will convert into a new format oriented around tracking racers on the morning of April 15. Searchable results, leaderboards, information on splits, and tracking will all be available.

The marathon route snakes through Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston. The BAA offers a town-by-town guide to find the best places to watch the race. Anyone can also access a full spectator guide online 

Coverage of the marathon will air from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. on WCVB. Nationally, the race will air on ESPN2 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The first wave of athletes, the men’s wheelchair division, start their race at 9:02 a.m. The professional male runners begin at 9:37 a.m. and the professional women begin at 9:47 a.m. 

The BAA encourages athletes and spectators to follow @BostonMarathon on Instagram, X, Facebook, Tik Tok. The organization operates another X account, @Boston26_2_Pro, devoted to information about the professional athletes involved. The BAA itself can be followed on all social media platforms.

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