The course for the Boston Marathon does not meet two of the criteria necessary for ratification of world or American records:
- "The start and finish points of a course, measured along a theoretical straight line between them, shall not be further apart than 50% of the race distance." [i.e., 13.1 miles (21.1 km) for the ~26.2 mile (~42.2 km) marathon distance]
- "The decrease in elevation between the start and finish shall not exceed an average of one in a thousand, i.e. 1m per km." [i.e., 42.2 m for the ~42.2 km marathon distance]
The Boston course has an endpoint about 24.3 miles (39 km) from the start point, and the endpoint is also 459 feet (139 m) lower than the start point.