The 117th running of the Boston Athletic Association's historic Boston Marathon will be Monday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m. and the fabled event will include several local veteran marathoners and other area runners who will participate for the first time.

The local Boston Marathon qualifiers include: David Bates, 26, Tenants Harbor; Kirby F. Davis, 28, Camden; Douglas C. Johnstone, 64, Camden; Amanda R. Labelle, 29, Rockland; Scott F. Layton, 37, Rockport; Carol S. Manley, 58, Washington; Emily H. McDevitt, 48, Camden; Joanie L. Rhoda, 59, Washington; Ellen R. Spring, 60, Thomaston; Andrea Wilhelm, 32, Lincolnville; Eric Kangas, 51, Camden; and Theresa L. Withee, 46, Rockland.

Spring is a veteran of the 26.2-mile event, while several of the others, including Johnstone, Withee and Labelle, have participated in the marathon before. In fact, in recent years, Withee has crossed the course barefoot.

Bates, Johnstone, Labelle and Spring all qualified for last year's Boston Marathon, as well as the year before. Kangas has also qualified for the event several times in recent years.

The Boston Marathon is one of the most time-honored athletic traditions, not only in the Northeast, but in the country as runners from all over the world use the iconic race as a measuring stick for their talents.

Spring, who will run the route as part of the 550 Dana-Farber Marathan Challenge teammates to help conquer cancer, has been participating in the Boston Marathon for nearly two decades, as this year's race will be her 19th straight and 21th overall.

The event annually draws about 25,000 runners from around the world. In 2011, 26,907 were registered and 26,655 participated in 2012. The course stretches from Hopkinton Center to Boylston Street in Boston.

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's most prestigious road racing events. The BAA manages the American classic, which is sponsored by John Hancock Financial Services. The Boston Marathon has distinguished itself as the pinnacle event within the sport of road racing by virtue of its traditions, longevity and method of gaining entry into the race (via qualification).

To qualify to run the Boston Marathon, entrants must run a qualifying time at a certified marathon. Qualifying times are determined by a runner's age on the date of the Boston Marathon in which they will be participating.

Fun marathon facts

According to The Boston Glob Magazine, the following are facts about the historic race:

• Women were not allowed to race officially until 1972, but, in 1966, Roberta Gibb became the first woman to win Boston unofficially.

• Famous for its hills, the Boston Marathon actually is mostly a descent, from 475 feet above sea level to 16 feet above.

• Marathon entry fees, sponsorships and royalties fund 100 percent of the BAA's $11 million annual budget.

• With an estimated 500,000 spectators, the marathon is by far New England's best attended single-day sporting event.

• It takes 397 school buses to shuttle runners to the starting line.

• Now arguably the world's most popular marathon, the Boston race never attracted more than 285 entrants until 1963 and did not break 1,000 until 1968. At the 100th running, in 1996, there were 38,708 runners.

• Runners come from all 50 states and more than 60 countries.

• Until around 1960, race organizers required all participants to undergo a physical examination the morning of the marathon.

• The winner of the first Boston Marathon, in 1897, was John McDermott, an Irish-born New Yorker, who finished in 2:55:10 — nearly seven minutes faster than the runner-up.

• Boston is the oldest existing marathon, but the first was nine months before, from Stamford, Conn. to Manhattan, New York.

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