So You Want To Run Boston

This race is like no other in the world. The energy. The nerves. The preparation. It is one of the most memorable experiences you will have as a runner.

Here are a few tips for first timers.

1. Entry Into The Race

Registration for this years Boston Marathon will open on Monday, September 10, 2018 at 10 AM. The Boston Athletic Association will use the same process to register qualified open runners as it has used in recent years, allowing the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group to register first.

The 123rd Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 15, 2019. Registration for the 2019 Boston Marathon will be held entirely online at www.baa.org. The qualification window for the 2019 Boston Marathon began on Saturday, September 16, 2017.

2. The Expo

Where: The John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center (900 Boylston Street, Boston)

You will need to bring: Your ID and runner passport

Things You Don’t Want to Miss: There will be lines but you definitely want to take some pictures with the photo ops. This is a once in a lifetime race!

You will regret not buying a celebration jacket. It’s such an accomplishment to run Boston, trust me when i say, you will want the jacket.

 3. Where To Stay

There are a lot of opinions about the best place to stay in Boston for the marathon. Do you stay near the start and have easy access to the start line on race day? Do you stay near Fenway Park where a lot of celebrating and after parties happen? Or do you stay near the Finish with the ease of walking to your hotel from the finish line.

Our answer: Stay near the finish line. This past year it was freezing cold rain and had the most hypothermia cases in the history of the marathon. The best thing ever, if you’re staying close to the finish line, is knowing you’re only a brief walk to your warm hotel room and a hot shower! Another good thing to know is, once you finish the race you have to keep walking because the roads have barricades for quite a while.  The good news is, once you exit the barricades you can literally see our hotel, the Boston Park Plaza. To book a discounted room there, click here.

4.  Pre-Race Dinner

Advice: book your restaurant reservation weeks in advance. Most likely, you will want a quick, healthy meal with plenty of carbo-loading. There is a Maggiano’s that does exactly that right across the street from our hotel, the Boston Park Plaza. You can reserve to sit with other runners if you book through F4A and some of the newbies can sit next to experienced marathoners and get all of the helpful tips they may need. The marathon does offer a pre-race dinner that you will need tickets for as well that alot of first timers like to join. We will warn you that this dinner has long lines, and doesn’t offer the best of options but can be a good way to meet other runners.  

5. Getting to the Race

The BAA offers school buses that pick up from Charles Street between the Public Garden and Boston Common that take runners to the start beginning at 6 AM and is staggered based off of your wave. This option is free but there are some setbacks. Long lines, no heat/ac on the buses, and no bathrooms on the buses. This is why many runners opt for our bus. A coach bus that offers bathrooms on it, air conditioning or heat (depending on the weather/ temperature) and will let you stay on the bus until race time. Year after year, we have been praised for offering this service but these buses are on a first come, first served basis and are in high demand. The best way to guarantee your spot with us is to also book your hotel and it will be considered a package deal!

6. The Course

The race starts in Hopkinton, and the beginning of the race is mostly downhill. From miles 4-12, there are rolling hills mixed in and by mile 12.5, you reach the Wellesley college crowd that will definitely get your energy back. From the halfway mark to mile 15, you’ll experience a couple more hills and start preparing your legs for Heartbreak Hill. Everyone knows about Heartbreak Hill but there are so many people cheering you on and people who have mentally prepared for it, that many don’t consider this hill the hardest part of the race. By mile 21, you will hit Boston college and start running downhill again but the hills aren’t over. At mile 25, there is one last hill to remember and then by mile 26, you will have finished your first ever Boston marathon! You did it!

7. The After Party

B.A.A. hosts the after-party at Fenway Park, from 6:30 PM to 10pm. If you are staying at the Park Plaza, upon finishing the race, you will enter the hotel to a crowd of more cheering and congratulating. The bar is open for a nice drink after the race or the pub next door is also a good option for a fish and chips and a beer ( FYI: we found out this year, they do to-go orders if you just want to eat it in the quiet of your room!) However, you want to celebrate, do it! You deserve it.

If you have any other questions regarding the marathon or other helpful advice, feel free to reach out to Ali@Fit4Adventure.com.  We’ve done this trip to Boston for 18 years now … so we know what you like!

Check out our other blog posts