Countdown to Boston: 10 fun facts, by Jessica Sebor – ESPN via

With less than a week until the 2013 Boston Marathon, it’s time to floss your knowledge with some fun facts to impress your marathoning friends.

• The Boston Marathon is iconic for a reason — it’s both the oldest (dating back to 1887) and the fastest (median time of 3:44) marathon in the country.

• Approximately 500,000 spectators line the marathon’s course each year — that number represents 80 percent of Boston’s population.

• Women were officially excluded from the race until 1972. Kathrine Switzer famously entered as “K.V. Switzer” in 1967 and was nearly stopped by race official Jock Semple. Switzer dodged his grabby hands and ran on to cross the finish line in 4 hours and 20 minutes.

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