Boston Marathon

Here are the elevations along the Boston Marathon route

It's mostly downhill... until Heartbreak Hill.

Boston Marathon Heartbreak Hill
Runners climb Heartbreak Hill in the rain during the 2018 Boston Marathon. Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe

No marathon course is easy to run. Boston’s is regarded as one of the most difficult.

The Boston Marathon takes runners downhill for much of the course. The 16-mile mark is where the course’s greatest challenge comes into play at 60 feet above sea level. From there, the next five miles through Newton contain a series of challenges in the form of hills that bring runners as high as 230 feet above sea level once more, before returning downhill at mile 22.

Here is a map of the marathon’s route and a chart displaying the approximate elevation above sea level along the route:


Boston Marathon Route

The Boston Marathon route.

Boston Marathon elevation chart

This chart displays approximate elevation above sea level of the Boston Marathon route.

Here is a complete Boston Marathon course elevation list at each mile marker via’s archives:

Course start: Hopkinton. Elevation: 490 feet.

Mile 1: Hopkinton. Elevation: 360 feet. Net change: -130 feet.

Mile 2: Ashland. Elevation: 320 feet. Net change: -40 feet.

Mile 3: Ashland. Elevation: 236 feet. Net change: -55 feet.

Mile 4: Ashland. Elevation: 180 feet. Net change: -85 feet.

Mile 5: Framingham. Elevation: 205 feet. Net change: +25 feet.

Mile 6: Framingham. Elevation: 180 feet. Net change: -25 feet.

Mile 7: Framingham. Elevation: 155 feet. Net change: -25 feet.

Mile 8: Natick. Elevation: 180 feet. Net change: +25 feet.

Mile 9: Natick. Elevation: 150 feet. Net change: -30 feet.

Mile 10: Natick. Elevation: 170 feet. Net change: +20 feet.

Mile 11: Natick. Elevation: 180 feet. Net change: +10 feet.

Mile 12: Wellesley. Elevation: 165 feet. Net change: -15 feet.

Mile 13: Wellesley. Elevation: 145 feet. Net change: -20 feet.

Mile 14: Wellesley. Elevation: 130 feet. Net change: -15 feet.

Mile 15: Wellesley. Elevation: 160 feet. Net change: +30 feet.

Mile 16: Newton Lower Falls. Elevation: 60 feet. Net change: -100 feet.

Mile 17: Newton. Elevation: 115 feet. Net change: +55 feet.

Mile 18: West Newton. Elevation: 145 feet. Net change: +30 feet.

Mile 19: Newton. Elevation: 130 feet. Net change: -15 feet.


Mile 20: Newton. Elevation: 150 feet. Net change: +20 feet.

Mile 21: Newton – Chestnut Hill. Elevation: 230 feet. Net change: +80 feet.

Mile 22: Boston – Brighton. Elevation: 150 feet. Net change: -80 feet.

Mile 23: Brookline. Elevation: 95 feet. Net change: -55 feet.

Mile 24: Brookline. Elevation: 60 feet. Net change: -35 feet.

Mile 25: Boston – Back Bay. Elevation: 15 feet. Net change: -45 feet.

Mile 26: Boston – Back Bay. Elevation: 10 feet. Net change: -5 feet.

Mile 26.2 – course end: Boston/Copley Square. Elevation: 10 feet. Net change: 0 feet.