Let me start this by giving a shout out to the city of Boston- you are wild. Thank you.
As a New Yorker, we get excited about the NYC marathon each fall. However, you can go about your life without even knowing there is a marathon passing through 5 boroughs. When I arrived in Boston the Saturday before the race, you knew something was up. The hype leading up to Marathon Monday was all over the city! This was both mine and Pam’s first experience spectating the Boston Marathon and it won’t be our last. From starting line weather to finish line photos, the whole weekend was a blast.
We also need to take a step back to appreciate how amazing it is to qualify for Boston. One does not simply run the Boston Marathon, first you must run another marathon fast enough to be eligible to sign up. After marathon number one, it becomes a rolling entry based on your age and race time… and this year you had to be about 5 minutes faster than the BQ time for our age group to even get in. CRAZY. Another quick reminder: I did not run the Boston Marathon and a BQ is not on my to-do list… maybe it’s on Pam’s lol.
Boston is a point-to-point course which can make it challenging to spectate. The NYC course loops through the boroughs and makes it easy to hit our #PamPoints; however, Boston starts 26.2 miles outside of the city in Hopkinton and heads straight back in. After reading other blog posts, perusing the official race website, and seeking advice of friends who have spectated in previous years, we set out to do what some called impossible… see our girl, Kim, at 3 different points along the course. Three #KimPoints?! Seems wild… here are my best tips to see your athletes along the race course!
How to Spectate the Sh!t out of the Boston Marathon.
1. Grab a course map. Know what your runner’s pace is going to be & which wave they are starting in. Match each mile with the time of day they are expected to pass that mile marker.
2. Download the following apps to your phone:
- Boston MBTA train time- find out when the commuter rail is leaving South Bay station in the morning & also what times it heads back to the city.
- MBTA ticket app- purchase a $15 Marathon Monday all day pass. Not only will this save you a few bucks, but you won’t lose your ticket.
- Official Boston Marathon app- track all your runners in one place! You can also see your current location to know when they are getting close to you.
- Uber AND Lyft – because you may want to compare prices.
3. Here was our plan of attack:
- Commuter rail pretty much follows the marathon course all the way out. Depending on what time your train is scheduled to arrive/ your stop, you can see the elite men & women cruise past you. We took it out to Ashland which is the 5k mark. The train station is about 1 mile from the race course so plan your walk time in! We had plenty of time to see the elites and ring that cowbell before Kim came cruising through.
- That morning, we scheduled an Uber to drive us from #KimPoint1 to #KimPoint2 because the trains are fairly infrequent heading back to the city. Basically, these athletes are cruising so you just need to be faster than them. We decided on Wellesley Square (mile 13) based on when the train could pick us up again & get us to Mile 24 before Kim.
- Take the commuter rail to Landsdowne (right by Fenway Park) then walk back along the course route towards Mile 24 to see our girl! *Disclaimer: the train was delayed and packed at Wellesley Square & we ended up on an extra train which was about 20 minutes behind.
4. Plan your meeting spot. The family reunion area can be a hot mess. Plan with your runner ahead of time where you guys can meet outside of that area to avoid the congestion. Also, make reservations for post race beers and food- you’re going to be hungry after all that cheering!
5. More cowbell. Be prepared, races are BYOC.
I want to recap all the details and amazing moments we had over the weekend, but it’s something you just have to experience. Take the time to soak it all in! We went to a baseball game, had pasta dinners, did a shake out run, and met Instagram friends IRL lol! Instead of detailing 3 days of adventures, I will leave you with a slew of pictures which speak for themselves.
Do you have any tips for cheering on your friends in Boston?! Share them below!!