Overall Rating
Overall Rating (14 Reviews)
4.9
(14 Ratings)(14 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.1
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4
Inspired by their experience at the 1896 Olympic Games, several members of the Boston Athletic Association founded their own marathon in 1897. The race has been run every year since (though the 1918 edition featured a military relay rather than an individual race) and is now the world’s oldest annual … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Jeff Rohleder
    Jeff Rohleder FIRST-TIMER '17

    Boston was my 6th major and was geeked about doing it. Trained hard and heavy for it so was ready to go. There has to be thousands of reviews for … MORE

    Boston was my 6th major and was geeked about doing it. Trained hard and heavy for it so was ready to go. There has to be thousands of reviews for Boston already so will try to touch on the areas I found unique from other marathons.
    First – weather. Sunny and 70. Toasty but not death defying
    Second – talking to people about their times. When doing Boston you have to remember that you are running with really good runners. After the race talking to people at the hotel in my age group (60 – 64) about their run and having them say the weather really slowed them down to like a 3:30 instead of a 3:20. It is just mind boggling how many good runners there are in Boston.
    Third – security. Visible but just so much more relaxed than NY. Was more like a small marathon with 35,000 people. Expected pat downs and evil eyes but it was all good. Didn’t see the hundreds of police in the crowd but was told by spectators they were there
    Fourth – people. Everybody, volunteers, crowd, hotel all were great

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Kecklund FIRST-TIMER '10

    I enjoyed the crowds and support the community brings out for the participants. Be prepared to be overwhelmed with screaming college girls as you go past Wellesley college. Resist the … MORE

    I enjoyed the crowds and support the community brings out for the participants.
    Be prepared to be overwhelmed with screaming college girls as you go past Wellesley college. Resist the urge to start out too fast as the 1st few miles are downhill, if not You’ll pay for it later

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Mike Sohaskey Apr 14, 2017 at 4:30pm

    Thanks Kelly! Last year was my first Boston and WOW, what an experience. It really does feel like the entire city comes out to support the runners (it helps that it's a local holiday!). And yes, I'd absolutely agree with you re: the temptation to go out too fast, particularly with those hills lurking in the second half. So excited for you – good luck on Monday, and let us know how it goes!

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    KGriffin FIRST-TIMER '09

    This was my first time and this year will be my 5th - awesome experience and great race. It is a parade route the whole way. Loud fans - especially … MORE

    This was my first time and this year will be my 5th – awesome experience and great race. It is a parade route the whole way. Loud fans – especially at the College areas

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Mike Sohaskey Apr 14, 2017 at 4:40pm

    Wow, five Bostons is quite a feat! Hope your hamstring behaves with some help from race day adrenaline, and that Monday is another opportunity for you to soak up the crowds, the energy, the camaraderie, and everything else that makes Marathon Monday so special. Good luck and stay strong Kathy, and we'll be rooting for you every step of the way!

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    Kecklund Apr 14, 2017 at 6:08am

    This will be my 3rd experience. Love the crowds

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    World Traveler REPEAT RUNNER '07

    It took me awhile, but I earned my 1st BQ at the 2006 Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. I had heard so much of "Hearbreak Hill" that I … MORE

    It took me awhile, but I earned my 1st BQ at the 2006 Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. I had heard so much of “Hearbreak Hill” that I put in some serious hill training, and it paid off. The 2007 Boston was the year of the “downpour” of rain. The runners were housed inside the school gym vice the tent on the outside prior to the race – some were questioning if BAA were going to cancel the run, but the answer was no. I have gone to Boston 4 times (2007, 2008, 2009, and 2012 – 2007 was my best; 2008 was the year I suffered a hamstring a week before Boston, but I tried it anyway – and eventually had to drop out early in the race. I earned my last BQ at the Frankfurt Marathon in 2013, but my time was at the bottom of my age standard and I was not selected because of other runners having a faster time for my age group, but I got my BQ.) I love Boston, and even though my times have not been up to par I still aim to earn that next BQ.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    KGriffin Apr 10, 2017 at 4:26pm

    I agree and found it interesting. I am going for my 5th time this year. 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016 and now. However, I suffered a hamstring injury in a 1/2 marathon on 2/26 and haven't ran since. I am going to give it a try - figured the same thing that I could drop out if I need to.

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    World Traveler Apr 11, 2017 at 3:29am

    Congratulations on your 5th! I'm sorry to hear about the hamstring, but it looks like you have given your hamstring some time to do some healing (2 months) - I'm guessing you will be able to finish it from start to finish - I will be cheering for you. If you don't mind me saying, or recommending, and you may have already thought of it - take a wrap/strap with you to help keep the muscle somewhat tight. If u feel it flaring up - stop - don't do like I did and try pushing it - it took me awhile to recover. All my best for a successful run, and completion, at Boston.

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    KGriffin Apr 11, 2017 at 7:00am

    Thank you. Yes I agree if I do attempt it I am not going to push it unfortunately I know from experience that will just set me up for many more weeks of not being able to run at all and I am signed up for another marathon 6 weeks later. Thanks for the advice.

     
    Profile photo of Donn Raymond
    Donn Raymond FIRST-TIMER '07

    I ran a marathon in 2006, with the only goal of qualifying and running at Boston. The expo was the most awesome experience. So many runners, so many things to … MORE

    I ran a marathon in 2006, with the only goal of qualifying and running at Boston. The expo was the most awesome experience. So many runners, so many things to look at and buy. I had never experienced anything like it, and I think I ended up going to the expo 3-4 times. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for the big race was not so great. The night before the marathon, the forecast was for heavy precipitation overnight. The temperatures in the low 30’s. In other words, the forecast was from several inches of rainfall with a possibility of 2 feet of snow. For the first time in years, runners were warned that the Boston marathon MIGHT be cancelled if the precipitation was snowfall. The organizers did a great job keeping runners alerted, even throughout the night I would turn on the local stations and get updates. Fortunately, it rained, and rained, and rained, and by the time I got to the start of the race, I was soaked, thoroughly, and the temperatures hovered in the mid 30’s, so I was cold.
    Like a miracle though, about 15 minutes before the start of the race, the skies cleared, the rain stopped, the temps raised ever so slightly. It was the most perfect of running conditions. That is, if you were able to stay dry. I wasn’t.
    The course was nonetheless thrilling. The history, the crowd support, everything I had ever read about Boston, every known group along the course, they were all there. I had wasted a lot of energy shivering before the race, but it did not matter, I had a great time running Boston. My time wasn’t the best, but the atmosphere and enjoyment was fantastic. This is a race I will definitely run again, someday.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    CAZALA FIRST-TIMER '16

    Memorable atmosphere throughout this hilly course. What a wonderful "Patriots' Day" between Hopkinton and Boylston Street in Boston. A very special day with this touching popular enthusiasm, to encourage all … MORE

    Memorable atmosphere throughout this hilly course. What a wonderful “Patriots’ Day” between Hopkinton and Boylston Street in Boston.
    A very special day with this touching popular enthusiasm, to encourage all runners. Favorable weather conditions from the sunny streets of Hopkinton.
    I will keep in mind this unique brotherhood of runners, spectators, not to mention all those volunteers willing to help us and support us at all times.
    The race was very difficult for me, a delicate preparation for a hilly route with a headwind, but what a joy to lead on Boylston Street and cross the finish line of the 120th Boston Marathon.
    Boston Marathon will remain a wonderful memory for my 5th WMM with this iconic race, birthplace of the marathoners of “modern times”.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    Profile photo of Mike Sohaskey
    Mike Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '16

    BOTTOM LINE: Boston is a pretty cool race. And Tyrannosaurus rex was a pretty cool lizard. Boston is hands-down (and it’s not close) the coolest race in the country, if … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: Boston is a pretty cool race. And Tyrannosaurus rex was a pretty cool lizard. Boston is hands-down (and it’s not close) the coolest race in the country, if not the world. Chicago has a similar feel in terms of race magnitude, community support/civic pride and an historic sports venue in Wrigley Field, but Boston is without rival. And unfortunately, the Cubs’ season typically ends well before race day in early October (oh no he di’int!).

    So if you’re fast enough to run Boston, do it — early & often. If you’re on the cusp of being fast enough to qualify, train your butt off now before they tighten the qualifying standards again. And if you’re simply counting on attrition to qualify when you’re 80, hit up some family/friends/unguarded piggy banks and raise the $5,000 minimum needed to enter as a charity runner. No matter how you get to Boston (short of cheating the system and calling attention to yourself on Facebook), you won’t regret the effort.

    Not surprisingly, Race Director Dave McGillivray said it best when asked what he does for a living: “I help raise the level of self-esteem and self-confidence of tens of thousands of people across America every year.” Now THERE’S an elevator pitch.

    PRODUCTION: Spot-on flawless, from start to finish. Every race of any size could learn a lot simply by standing on the sidelines observing Boston Marathon weekend. McGillivray and his team are master choreographers, and it’s almost laughable (& unfair) to compare any other marathon to Boston. The genius of the production is that it’s airtight and yet never in your face to spoil the experience. And unlike Berlin, the porta-potties in Boston had toilet paper! The only potential downside to race weekend was the overcrowded expo… but even that can be avoided by waiting until Sunday afternoon to attend. Four thumbs up (I’m borrowing my wife’s) on a job masterfully done.

    SWAG: No finisher’s medal outside the Olympics is more coveted or more instantly recognizable than the unicorn earned by Boston Marathon finishers. I was awestruck as the friendly B.A.A. volunteer hung the blue-&-gold ribbon around my neck, and that was when the reality of my achievement really hit home.

    In addition, the official Adidas long-sleeve race shirt isn’t your typical wear-once-and-donate race tee, but like the medal itself a classic blue & gold that fits well and which I can imagine wearing until the sleeves fall off. Everything about this marathon screams “attention to detail”, even if Adidas has (for better or worse) boldly steered away from the classic color scheme and gotten a bit sassier with the colors of its celebration jackets in recent years. I definitely didn’t envy the women their teal-&-pink jacket this year (look it up if you don’t believe me).

    For a more detailed narrative plus a few tips & tricks for Boston Marathon weekend, check out my blog post at http://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2016/04/27/boston-marathon-race-report/

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    ReginaMcw REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Boston is the most amazing marathon living up to all the hype! From the expo to the course to the crowd. You will NEVER have another experience like this. It … MORE

    Boston is the most amazing marathon living up to all the hype! From the expo to the course to the crowd. You will NEVER have another experience like this. It was raining with headwind with cold weather, but it was so worth it. Small children out there holding their hands out for you, folks honking their horns, never a dull moment on the course. What a memorable race day!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    peonysnail FIRST-TIMER '11

    If you can't qualify, find a charity to run for so that you can experience this race at least once in your running career. Then throw the phrase "Right on … MORE

    If you can’t qualify, find a charity to run for so that you can experience this race at least once in your running career. Then throw the phrase “Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston” around with swagger.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    jimmynam FIRST-TIMER '15

    As someone who just barely qualified for the Boston Marathon, this race was a long time coming. With the months of training before my qualifier, it was just about two … MORE

    As someone who just barely qualified for the Boston Marathon, this race was a long time coming. With the months of training before my qualifier, it was just about two years since I started seriously planning on participating in this race. Boston and the neighboring towns really embraces the race and its participants. They make you feel like a running rockstar. I would definitely return to the event. Here are some of my comments and observations:

    So many runners, it can be overwhelming. The race staging area is so crowded with runners and their support team. With the qualifying process, it seems that there are more fit athletes preparing for the race. And the way they assign race bibs based on qualifying times, everyone seems to be sizing people up based on the color and number of their bib. The official adidas windbreaker is worn all over the place – the whole hubbub of the Expo was a bit much for me. If I return, I would probably just order my official adidas merchandise online and skip the lines at the expo.
    Getting to the race start in Hopkinton seemed to work well. It just requires people to start leaving Boston on buses as much as four hours before the race. You just really need to plan your nutrition and hydration. The cold weather this year also required you to prepare for sitting for a few hours before the race in the outdoors. They had nutrition and hydration available along with a few hundred honey huts – with nervous runners waiting in line about 10 deep.
    Once they called your wave to the start corral, it was about a half mile walk to the line. People would start surrendering their warm clothes and water bottles. Hold on to your gear as long as possible, but once the wave starts you will cross the start line in minutes. There are 8 corrals in each wave. It took less than 5 minutes to get 7500 runners passed the start.
    With everyone around me with similar qualifying times, it just seemed like there were always runners around me. And when I started fading in the last few miles, I felt like hundreds of people were passing me. It was nice having mile markers, kilometer markers and it was always clear when you were entering a new town. You just knew you were making progress towards the finish.
    The aid stations were set up first on the right side of the road and further up on the left side.
    And it was always Gatorade in the front and Water in the back. This allowed for less jostling for hydration. There was only one stop at mile 17 for Clif gels. But some regular spectators were offering orange slices along the course. And there were about three stations that were offering Vaseline.
    After the race, you get your water, medallion, space blanket poncho and snack bag. Walking across the Boston Common to pickup your after race gear bag and catch the T back to our rented flat in Cambridge was the toughest segment of the race. It was brutal, it looked like Zombie-land with walkers moving slowly across the park. It took me 40 minutes to cover that 1/2 mile stretch – so painfully cold. The T was offering free rides for the racers. And walking back to the flat, people in cars would stop and offer congratulations. Although, it would have been better if they offered me a ride. Anyway, just a great experience. But I think running the marathon with my wife and friends just made the event more like a holiday. I can’t wait to go back again with more of my friends.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    anawoj REPEAT RUNNER '08

    As the marathon banners hanging around the city read, "there's nothing quite like Boston" pretty much sums it up. The history and enthusiasm amongst runners for the Boston Marathon extends … MORE

    As the marathon banners hanging around the city read, “there’s nothing quite like Boston” pretty much sums it up. The history and enthusiasm amongst runners for the Boston Marathon extends around the globe, and the event seems to get more popular each year. The energy in the city is palpable at the pre-race Marathon Expo and Pasta Party, and it all becomes real when you make the long bus ride from Boston Common out to the small town of Hopkinton on Patriots’ Day morning… your one-way ticket to the starting line. Held on a Monday in the middle of April (aka “Marathon Monday”), the weather runners experience during the Boston Marathon can vary widely… from cold, windy, and raining to hot and humid. I’ve experienced both, and it’s the one variable you can’t easily account for in your training. The relentless hills will give your quads a good workout, but the crowd support is among the best (if not the best) you’ll experience in any marathon… Boston Marathon spectators love this event and turn out in droves regardless of the weather conditions. They are especially boisterous at Wellesley College, Boston College, Boston University, and pretty much the entire last mile leading up to the Finish Line at Copley Square… enough to give you a boost of adrenaline if your body is starting to hurt. Making the final turn from Hereford Street onto Boylston Street with the Finish Line in sight is a very uplifting moment, and it makes the months or years of preparation all worth it. The B.A.A. also puts on a great post-race party, so the fun is not over when you cross the finish line!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    rfrimmel REPEAT RUNNER '14

    This was my 3rd Boston and did it for charity. I had to go there to support all those who where killed, injuried or didnt finish the race last year. … MORE

    This was my 3rd Boston and did it for charity. I had to go there to support all those who where killed, injuried or didnt finish the race last year. The BAA did a tremendous job in putting on a world class race with all the necessary security. The crowds were great and more supportive than ever. Improvements in getting out of the finish line area was appreciated. I hate being corralled after race

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
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    3

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    rfrimmel FIRST-TIMER '10

    Boston is the ultimate race for any racer. It has very special meaning to those of us who try for years to qualify and finally do. It is worth the … MORE

    Boston is the ultimate race for any racer. It has very special meaning to those of us who try for years to qualify and finally do. It is worth the many hours of training to get there. The course is lined with fans. It is extremely well organized. Heartbreak Hills is not the monster people make it to be. Watch the video at the expo hall and you’ll get good insight to the course and strategy to run it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    MKullander FIRST-TIMER '11

    Getting to run Boston is like a victory lap and with the crowds cheering the entire way it is a race to enjoy (not to PR). The huge quantity of … MORE

    Getting to run Boston is like a victory lap and with the crowds cheering the entire way it is a race to enjoy (not to PR). The huge quantity of runners and the hours of waiting from the waiting in lines to get on a bus, getting to the site and waiting hours to start..there is no way you will be at your best time. (Unless you are an Elite) Just enjoy yourself. Although all went smoothly…it was slow and long due to the # of racers. Bring an extra breakfast!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
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    5
    SWAG
    2

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