2:50 p.m.: Runners continue to pour across the finish line, presenting a colorful spectacle to the hundreds of thousands of spectators gathered along the course. Each runner has his or her own story. Take Scott Driver, age 66, of Seattle, who BAA officials said in a press note is believed to be the first person ever to ride a Harley Davidson across the US just to run the Boston Marathon.
2:47 p.m.: Boston Marathon weekend is expected to mean a $88.5 million boost to the Greater Boston economy, according to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitor Bureau. Included in that figure is an estimated $46.5 million spent by runners and their guests, and $15 million spent by the 500,000-700,000 spectators gathering along the 26-mile course.
2:40 p.m.: The Boston Marathon is well known as a competition for individual runners, but it's a team competition, too. In last year's race some 2,500 of the 22,000 official runners were members of clubs entered in one of four divisions -- men's and women's open, and men's and women's masters (over 40). Teams are scored based on the cumulative times of their top three finishers. Defending champs are the Pacers Racing Team of Virginia in the open men's division, Greater Boston Track Club in the open women's division, Whirlaway Racing Team of Massachusetts in the masters men's division and Forerunners Track Club of Florida in the masters women's division.
2:35 p.m.: Men -- Here are the top 10 men's finishers:
1. Hailu Negussie, Ethiopia, 2:11:45
2. Wilson Onsare, Kenya, 2:12:21
3. Benson Cherono, Kenya, 2:12:48
4. Alan Culpepper, US, 2:13:39
5. Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, Kenya, 2:14:30
6. Timothy Cherigat, Kenya, 2:15:19
7. Benjamin Kipchumba, Kenya, 2:15:26
8. Andrew Letherby, Australia, 2:16:38
9. Mohamed Ouaadi, France, 2:16:41
10. Peter Gilmore, US, 2:17:32
2:30 p.m.: Women -- Here are the top 10 women's finishers:
2:22 p.m.: Women -- Madina Biktagirova of Russia ran a stellar race to win the women's master's division in 2:32:41. The 40-year-old was fifth overall among women. Firaya Sultanova-Zhdanova, also Russian, finished second among masters, finishing 11th overall in 2:41:05.
2:20 p.m.: Men -- 46-year-old Joshua Kipkemboi of Kenya just crossed the finish line in 2:19:28 to take the men's masters division (over age 40). He finished 15th overall.
2:15 p.m.: The major races are over, but runners will continue to cross the finish line for four or five more hours.
2:13 p.m.: Men -- Alan Culpepper of the United States has finished fourth in 2:13:38, the best Boston Marathon by an American man in many years.
2:12 p.m.: Men -- Hailu Negussie has won the men's division of the Boston Marathon in 2:11:45. Wilson Onsare will finish second, and Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot third.
2:08 p.m.: Men -- Hailu Negussie has turned onto Boylston Street. He has a big lead and will very shortly win the Boston Marathon in his second try.
2:05 p.m.: Men -- Hailu Negussie is in control of the men's race with a mile to go. American Alan Culpepper is in fifth place.
2:02 p.m.: Women -- Catherine Ndereba told interviews at the finish line that she dropped behind early in the race because her legs felt heavy. Later, she said, she felt better and was able to pick up the pace and catch Elfenesh Alemu.
2:00 p.m.: Men -- Hailu Negussie continues to lead the men's race as they pass 23 miles. Meanwhile, Catherine Ndereba is on the winner's podium listening as the national anthem of Kenya is played to the crowd. She has tears in her eyes.
1:58 p.m.: Women -- Elfenesh Alemu has crossed the finish line in second place for the second straight year. She finished in 2:27:03.
1:56 p.m.: Women -- Catherine Ndereba has just entered the record books as the first woman to win four Boston Marathons. Her time was 2:25:13, nearly a minute slower than last year. After lifting her arms to the heavens she hugged her husband, Anthony Maina.
1:55 p.m.: Women -- Catherine Ndereba is poised to win her fourth Boston Marathon. She is on Boylston Street.
1:52 p.m.: Men -- Hailu Negussie is pulling away as the lead runners head down Beacon Street in Brookline. He has opened a 50-yard lead on Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot.
1:48 p.m.: Women -- Catherine Ndereba continues to look strong in the women's race. She has lost contact with Elfenesh Alemu, who is struggling, but remains in second place. Bruna Genovese of Italy is in third.
1:46 p.m.: Men -- Hailu Negussie is making a move in the men's race, and taking 2003 champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot with him. They have just passed Boston College.
1:44 p.m.: Men -- The men passed 20 miles in 1:40:42, with Hailu Negussie of Ethiopia in front of a pack of four runners that also includes defending champion Timothy Cherigat.
1:42 p.m.: Women -- Catherine Ndereba's strong move in the Newton hills has given her a commanding lead. She is well on her way to her record fourth straight win.
1:40 a.m.: Women -- Among the celebrities in this year's race is former Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Kerri Strug, best known for her grit and determination at the 1996 Olympic games when she secured the gold medal for the US women's team by competing on the vault with a sprained ankle. She's running Boston for the second time, having clocked 4:14:31 in 2004.
1:37 p.m.: Women -- Catherine Ndereba is pulling away in the women's race as she heads down the backside of Heartbreak Hill.
1:34 p.m.: Men -- Hailu Negussie of Ethiopia has taken the lead as the runners pass Newton City Hall. Timothy Cherigat, Benson Cherono, and Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot have gone with him.
1:32 p.m.: Men -- The men went through the 18-mile checkpoint in 1:30:45, led by defending champion Timothy Cherigat. Stephen Kiogora, who led for much of the race, has reportedly stopped running.
1:28 p.m.: Men -- A pack of six has taken the lead in the men's race. Among them are defending champion Timothy Cherigat, and 2003 champ Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot. Alan Culpepper has fallen about 30 yards back.
1:26 p.m.: Women -- Catherine Ndereba has just passed Elfenesh Alemu on Heartbreak Hill to take the lead in the women's race.
1:24 p.m.: Men -- The lead pack of men have entered Newton and are picking up the pace. They just ran their fastest mile of the race so far, 4:44.
1:20 p.m.: Women -- Elfenesh Alemu passed through the 30K mark in 1:43:19. She still has a lead on defending champion Catherine Ndereba, but the gap has closed to nine seconds.
1:19 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Here are the top finishers in the men's wheelchair race:
1. Ernst Van Dyk, South Africa, 1:24:11
2. Krige Schabort, South Africa, 1:30:03
3. Franz Nietlispach, Switzerland, 1:30:34
1:18 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Here are the top finishers in the women's wheelchair race:
1:16 p.m.: Men -- The men's race has tightened up, with a pack of 10 runners now at the front as they head out of Wellesley into Newton. Stephen Kiogora still leads by a step or two. The chase pack also includes America's best hope in the men's race, Alan Culpepper.
1:15 p.m.: Prizes for the winners of the men's and women's open races have been increased this year from $80,000 to $100,000 each. World and course records will be rewarded with hefty bonuses. Second-place finishers will win $40,000, third-place winners will get $22,500. Men's and women's wheelchair champs will receive $15,000, up from $10,000 last year. Winners of the masters divisions (over age 40) will win $10,000. All in all, sponsor John Hancock Financial Services has put up $575,000 in prize money.
1:12 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Cheri Blauwet, injured in a farm accident when she was a baby, has repeated as champion of the women's wheelchair division. The Stanford medical student finished in 1:47:45.
1:10 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Cheri Blauwet is less than a mile from winning the women's wheelchair race.
1:06 p.m.: Women -- Catherine Ndereba is closing fast on Elfenesh Alemu, the leader in the women's race as they head into the Newton hills. Ndereba now trails by about 30 seconds, having made up 10 seconds in the last mile.
1:05 p.m.: Men -- Ken Saxton of Huntington Beach, Calif., is racing in his second Boston Marathon. But unlike the other 20,000-plus competitors Saxton will run the entire 26.2 miles in bare feet. Saxton, 49, calls himself America's premier barefoot roadrunner, and believes wearing shoes in not natural. "There is nothing in our evolutionary, or creationist, or whatever history you believe in, that prepares our bodies or feet for shoes," he says.
1:03 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Krige Schabort has finished second in the men's wheelchair race. Cheri Blauwet is cruising well and headed to a repeat victory in the women's race.
12:58 p.m.: Men -- Leaders Stephen Kiogora and Khalid El Boumlili are nearing Wellesley College. They have just crossed the 12 mile mark and have a 30-second lead on a huge pack of 25 or 30 runners.
12:54 p.m.: Women -- Elfenesh Alemu is making a move in the women's race as she and Nuta Olaru head into Newton. She has a 15-yard lead. The chase pack of Catherine Ndereba, Gete Wami and others has closed by 10 seconds in the last two miles.
12:50 p.m.: Men -- The men's leaders are in downtown Natick, near the 10 mile mark. Stephen Kiogora is still in front, with Khalid El Boumlili close by in second, and Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot third.
12:49 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Ernst Van Dyk has won the men's wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon in decisive fashion -- his record fifth win in a row. His finish time was 1:24:11.
12:47 p.m.: Men -- American Alan Culpepper is among the leaders of the men's race. He is currently 8th. Stephen Kiogora is leading.
12:45 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Ernst Van Dyk is cruising into Boston well ahead of the men's wheelchair field. He appears on his way to victory, though he won't break the record he set in winning last year. In the women's race, defending champion Cheri Blauwet has made a move on Hearthbreak Hill and has a substantial lead on Diane Roy and Sandra Graf.
12:42 p.m.: Women -- The women have passed the halfway point in Wellesley Center in 1:12:11.
12:39 p.m.: Women -- The women's leaders are passing Wellesley College, home of the famous "Scream Tunnel" of enthusiastic students. They are nearing the halfway point of the race. Elfenesh Alemu is looking strong, while Nuta Olaru appears to be struggling a bit. They have a lead of more than a minute on the rest of the pack.
12:37 p.m.: Men -- Khalid El Boumlili and Stephen Kiogora have a 150- to 200-yard lead on a big pack as the men enter Natick. They are on a 2:11:00 pace.
12:34 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Ernst Van Dyk is continuing to press the pace in the men's wheelchair race as they passed the 20-mile mark in Newton. Krige Schabort is in second place, well back. Among the women, Cheri Blauwet and Diane Roy are tied after 17 miles.
12:31 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- The last runners have just cleared the starting line, 31 minutes after the gun went off.
12:30 p.m.: Men -- Stephen Kiogora of Kenya leads the men's race as they enter downtown Framingham. Khalid El Boumlili is right with him.
12:25 p.m.: Women -- Nuta Olaru of Romania and Elfenesh Alemu of Ethiopia were well in front of the women's race as they passed the 10-mile mark in Natick. They are on pace to run 2:23:00, which would be personal bests for both. They have a lead of more than a minute on a chase pack led by defending champion Catherine Ndereba.
12:20 p.m.: Women -- Nuta Olaru led the women through the 8 mile mark in 43:55. Khalid El Boumlili led a large pack of men through three miles in 15:25.
12:16 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- While her husband Curt toils on the mound at Fenway Park in what is traditionally the season's only morning start, Shonda Shilling has just crossed the starting line as one of four Red Sox wives running in the Boston Marathon. Joining her is Dawn Timlin, wife of relief pitcher Mike Timlin, Kathryn Nixon, wife of outfielder Trot Nixon, and Stacy Lucchino, wife of Sox CEO Larry Lucchino. This is the second Boston for Dawn Timlin, who finished last year with time of 4:29:28, will be braving the course for the second time. Timlin, Nixon and Lucchino are running for the Dana-Farber Marathon Team. Schilling is running for the Shade Foundation.
12:12 p.m.: Men -- Stephen Kiogora led the men through the two-mile checkpoint in 10:22.
12:11 p.m.: Men -- The lead men are running in a huge pack, with Stephen Kiogora a step ahead. Kiogora was the leader for much of the early going in 2004.
12:08 p.m.: Women -- Nuta Olaru of Romania led the women's field through the 10K split in 34:05, well off record pace.
12:05 p.m.: Women -- Nuta Olaru is still leading the women's race as they pass through downtown Framingham. Elfenesh Alemu is right with her. Lyubov Morgunova has dropped back to the trailing pack.
12:05 p.m.: The Boston Marathon is well known as a competition for individual runners, but it's a team competition, too. In last year's race some 2,500 of the 22,000 official runners were members of clubs entered in one of four divisions -- men's and women's open, and men's and women's masters (over 40). Teams are scored based on the cumulative times of their top three finishers. Defending champs are the Pacers Racing Team of Virginia in the open men's division, Greater Boston Track Club in the open women's division, Whirlaway Racing Team of Massachusetts in the masters men's division and Forerunners Track Club of Florida in the masters women's division.
12:06 p.m.: Women -- Nuta Olaru led the women's race through five miles, in a time of 27:30.
12:05 p.m.: All four major division champions are returning to defend their titles. Catherine Ndereba is attempting to become the first four-time champion of the women's race. Fellow Kenyan Timothy Cherigat seeks to repeat among the men. Ernst Van Dyk can make history by winning his fifth straight men's wheelchair race. Cheri Blauwet is hoping to start a streak with a repeat win in the women's wheelchair.
12:01 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Ernst Van Dyk is continuing to outpace the men's wheelchair field, though his time is behind the pace of his world record race last year.
Noon: In Hopkinton -- The main body of the Boston Marathon is now under way. The elite men are sprinting down Hopkinton's East Main Street, a steep downhill, trying to stay clear of the 20,000 runners just behind them. It will be a few minutes before the last official runner crosses the start line.
11:59 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- Walter Brown II will be the official starter of the main race, an honor which traditionally falls to a member of the Brown family. His grandfather was involved in the creation of the Boston Marathon, and his father was president of the BAA for many years in addition to founding the Boston Celtics and coaching the 1936 US Olympic hockey team.
11:58 p.m.: Men -- The huge pack of 20,000 runners is poised on the starting line.
11:57 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- This is the first Boston Marathon since the death of the legendary Johnny A. Kelley last October at age 98. Kelley started 61 Boston Marathons, and finished a record 58 of them. He won twice, in 1935 and 1945, finished second a record seven times, and was in the top 10 a total of 18 times. There have several tributes to Kelley already, including the retiring of bib number 61 in his honor, and several more are planned during the day, including a hymn and a moment of silence in his honor before the starting gun goes off.
11:56 p.m.: Women -- Elfenesh Alemu of Ethiopia and Nuta Olaru of Romania have opened up a significant lead in the women's race. They are about a minute behind the course record, but have a several hundred yard lead on defending champion Catherine Ndereba and the rest of the field.
11:54 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- The women's wheelchair race is a three-way contest at this point, with defending champ Cheri Blauwet, Diane Roy and Sandra Graf in neck-and-neck
11:50 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- The elite men are lined up on the starting line as the pre-race festivities continue. We've just had a flyover by Air Force jets and a Massachusetts state trooper has sung the national anthem.
11:49 p.m.: Women -- Lyubov Morgunova continues to lead the women's race, but defending champion Catherine Ndereba is right with her, in second place.
11:44 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- The men's wheelchairs are in Framingham, just past the 10K mark. Ernst Van Dyk is so far in front that the second place competitor, Krige Schabort, is not in sight.
11:42 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- The 20,000 runners who aren't elite women are now lining up by bib number in a series of corrals behind the starting line in Hopkinton -- a process called "staging." This year, half the field will line up on Grove Street, the other half, including the elite men, on Main Street (Rte. 135).
11:39 p.m.: Women -- A pack of four women
are in the lead just before the two-mile mark. The frontrunner is Lyubov Morgunova of Russia, followed by Nuta Olaru, and Elfenesh Alemu.
11:34 p.m.: Wheelchairs -- Four-time men's wheelchair champ Ernst Van Dyk has a big early lead. Franz Nietlispach is second, and Krige Schabort third.
11:33 p.m.: Women -- American Kim Fitchen-Young, of California, has sprinted out to an early lead, followed closely by a large pack of the world's best women runners.
11:31 a.m.: Women -- The elite women runners are off! Defending champion Catherine Ndereba is looking for a record fourth-straight win. She'll be challenged by a good field, including Elfenesh Alemu and 2003 champion Svetlana Zakharova.
11:29 a.m.: Women -- The elite women runners are on the starting line. For the second year the top-seeded women will have a separate start. The 60 or so world- and national-class women runners will begin their race at 11:31. The separate start, which debuted in 2004, makes it easier for both participates and spectators to follow what is happening in the women's race.
11:28 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- Three-time Boston champion Uta Pippig, celebrating her first Patriots Day as an American citizen, will be the official starter for the elite women's race. Pippig, who does color commentary on the race for Boston's WBZ-TV, won from 1994-1996 when she was still a citizen of her native Germany. She became an American on July 3, 2004, in a ceremony on Boston's Esplanade.
11:27 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- This year's women's field includes 10 runners who competed in last year's Athens Olympic Marathon. Four of them finished in the top 10: Catherine Ndereba of Kenya was second, Elfenesh Alemu of Ethiopia was fourth, Svetlana Zakharova of Russia was ninth, and Bruna Genovese of Italy was 10th.
11:25 a.m.: Wheelchairs -- The wheelchair racers are off, on their way to Copley Square in Boston. Because the race begins with a steep downhill, the BAA has been using what it calls a "controlled start" since 1988, the year after a chain-reaction crash dumped several athletes (including the eventual men's champ) from their chairs. The racers are paced for the first half mile, until the course levels out.
11:22 a.m.: Wheelchairs -- The 39 wheelchair athletes are lined up at the start. The gun for their race goes off at 11:25, 20 minutes earlier than in past years. The wheelchair start time was moved back to accommodate a separate start introduced this year for "elite" women.
11:18 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry will be the official starter of the wheelchair division race, which begins in seven minutes. Kerry has been a strong supporter of the Boston Marathon's wheelchair division since the early 1980s. His daughter Vanessa is in this year's field of runners.
11:15 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- The wheelchair athletes are assembling at the start. The men's field is led by four-time winner Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa, who set a world record of 1:18:27 in winning Boston last year. He'll be challenged by Franz Nietlispach, Tomasz Hamerlak and Alan Bergman, among others. Among the women, defending champion Cheri Blauwet is the favorite.
11:14 a.m.: In Hopkinton -- The Boston Marathon is well known as a competition for individual runners, but it's a team competition, too. In last year's race some 2,500 of the 22,000 official runners were members of clubs entered in one of four divisions -- men's and women's open, and men's and women's masters (over 40). Teams are scored based on the cumulative times of their top three finishers. Defending champs are the Pacers Racing Team of Virginia in the open men's division, Greater Boston Track Club in the open women's division, Whirlaway Racing Team of Massachusetts in the masters men's division and Forerunners Track Club of Florida in the masters women's division.