Overall Rating
Overall Rating (92 Reviews)
4.8
(92 Ratings) 🏆 (92 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.8
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.4
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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H (°F)  64  73  66  51  51
L (°F)  44  48  43  40  37
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Recent reviews

    johnbizzell REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Always a great race. Plenty of volunteers and plenty of spectators. This was my 4th and definitely the hottest. Never know what weather Boston will bring! MORE

    Always a great race. Plenty of volunteers and plenty of spectators. This was my 4th and definitely the hottest. Never know what weather Boston will bring!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    alyxpearce19 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Conditions and injuries made this a rough race for me, but I am honored to have run the oldest marathon. The crowds were good and the volunteers were amazing. Don't … MORE

    Conditions and injuries made this a rough race for me, but I am honored to have run the oldest marathon. The crowds were good and the volunteers were amazing. Don’t let Heartbreak hill scare you, it’s not that bad, the real killer is the downhill start.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    LaurieC REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Boston is an amazing race. So honored to go. It was a warm day and lot of people on the course. The crowd support was the best ever. I am … MORE

    Boston is an amazing race. So honored to go.
    It was a warm day and lot of people on the course. The crowd support was the best ever. I am already looking forward to going back next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    Ironeagle51 FIRST-TIMER '24

    I participated as a Charity Runner and it was an amazing experience. The Expo is nothing special. The Pop-up shops along Newbury street are where all the brands are and … MORE

    I participated as a Charity Runner and it was an amazing experience.
    The Expo is nothing special. The Pop-up shops along Newbury street are where all the brands are and they each have shakeout runs. Lots of free hats at shakeout runs.
    The bus from Boston to Hopkinton is easy to load – no issues.
    I was in wave 4 so the starting village was not that crowded if you kept walking toward the back plus they had no-line potty. Lots of people crowded at the entrance.
    The course is cool because there are no “real” turns until you get to Boston
    The spectators are the best…It was a warm day and they had ice in bags plus popsicles along the course.
    I practiced on hills so the Newton hills were not an issue for me.
    Lots of bars/restaurants give out free food to runner after the race.
    The hotels close to the starting line are very expensive (800-1200/night).
    Save your money and run Boston if you can!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    Boston was my first race almost 6 months to the day of losing half my right lung to 911 cancer. This was a test to see if I can continue … MORE

    Boston was my first race almost 6 months to the day of losing half my right lung to 911 cancer. This was a test to see if I can continue my quest for 50 states. Despite the hills, heat and missing half lung, this turned out to be an amazing day. The logistics were spot on by the race, support on the course was plentiful and the people were absolutely amazing. Both spectators and fellow runners really were supportive and help me get to the finish line despite lots of pain. I was lucky enough to run Boston. “ cops for kids with cancer.” charity and was able to raise $13,000. If you don’t qualify for Boston, find a charity as it is a must do race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    DrewNYC FIRST-TIMER '24

    **FULL DISCLOSURE**--This is a highly biased review! The completion of this race was the completion of a 16-year goal to run a marathon in every state (plus DC), on every … MORE

    **FULL DISCLOSURE**–This is a highly biased review! The completion of this race was the completion of a 16-year goal to run a marathon in every state (plus DC), on every continent, and all 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors. I had many family and friends there to celebrate the milestone. So I loved everything about the experience!

    BUSES & ATHLETE’S VILLAGE:
    *The loading of the buses in Boston Common was very efficient. My comparison is my hometown of NYC and Boston was way more efficient.
    *Like NYC, it’s a travel adventure to get to the start. The bus ride was over 45 minutes. Be prepared for that and use that time to fuel your body.
    *Athlete’s Village is big but it does get crowded. There are tents to get out of the sun/elements. Men– there are urinal tents & there were never any lines.
    *It’s about 3/4 mile walk from Athlete’s Village to the start corrals. You’ll go by one more group of port-o-potties (by the CVS) right before the corrals.

    COURSE:
    My glasses aren’t so rosy that I can’t admit it is a difficult course. I was lucky to do one training run on the final 17 miles of the course–so I was able to demystify the rolling hills of Newton. They weren’t easy, but it was good to know they weren’t the straight vertical climb I had envisioned.
    *The course starts with downhills–which I knew. And I knew not to go out too fast. And, of course, I did go out too fast!
    *There are plenty of aid stations. They are on both sides, but that is not immediately obvious with the first one. Once you understand that they are staggered (the runner right water station is first and then a little further later there are water tables on runner left). This is consistent for the entire course. I’m a back of the pack runner and the aid stations were being broken down as I got to mile 23. That can mess with you mentally–so just be prepared. While they are breaking down PART of the station, there is still water and Gatorade to be had.
    *The crowds are fantastic–very loud and very supportive.
    *It can be tough for family & friends to see runners multiple times on the course, but with some planning its possible. My family took the train to Framingham and saw me at the 10k point and then returned to see me at the finish line.

    TRAVEL:
    *Hotels are ridiculously expensive that weekend. Book your hotel early. Check out Marathon Tours for hotel options.
    *Amtrak is a good option for people in the Northeast Corridor. Many hotels are then within walking distance of one of the 3 Amtrak stations. Logan Airport is a short ride-share/taxi away.
    *I don’t think you need to rent a car. Boston traffic, especially Marathon weekend, is particularly slow.

    WEEKEND EVENTS – EXPO
    *The expo is exciting (a word I definitely overused that weekend) but also underwhelming. It’s “exciting” because it is the Boston Marathon and everything is exciting this weekend!
    *You can buy a lot of the official merchandise in advance–which I did. I do suggest bringing the Celebration Jacket to the expo so that you can get a personalized patch for the sleeve. Be prepared to wait 90 minutes+ to go through the line and then wait for the patch.
    *The recent marathon expos I have been to have left me underwhelmed. There are a lot less vendors and the ones that are there are quite random. I’m not sure if that is a post pandemic related issue or if sponsors are now strongly dictating exclusivity, thereby blocking more vendors from participating.
    *Supplement your expo experience race weekend. Comb social media in the weeks leading up to the race. Many brands did pop-ups on Newbury Street. Other brands did special discounts for runners.

    WEEKEND EVENTS – 5k & Shake-out runs
    *The 5k is held on Saturday which is nice that it is two days before the marathon. I did the 5k and was happy to do it. It was fun. You get to run through marathon finish line and get pumped for the main event.
    *There were many shake-out runs that weekend. Lots of different brands and groups did semi-organized runs. Again, comb social media for the different options.

    WEEKEND EVENTS – Other
    *There is so much going on Marathon Weekend. Do a little research and pick what is meaningful for you. I had a CharityTeams brunch on Sunday morning. There were other brunches Saturday with good speakers. There was a Sunday blessing of the runners. There is Fan Fest all weekend long. There is something for everyone.

    MERCH & MEDAL(S):
    *Pre-race there was a lot of negative talk about this year’s medal having a prominent logo of the new sponsor (Bank of America).
    *With the creation of the medal and merchandise there is now a focus on sustainability. While good for the environment, I do envy the older Celebration Jackets that have the embroidery and are (seemingly) more substantial. The medal this year included velcro, which I understand was new.
    *I received the Abbott World Marathon Majors 6 Star medal this weekend, too. It’s great.

    It was such a special event and I loved every moment of race weekend. To be able to share the experience with family and friends was fantastic. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the weekend. It was a perfect way to complete my full marathon journey.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
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    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    PatMangeot REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Must do. The people of Boston are so supportive and gracious. The crowd support throughout the race is the best. The cheering throughout the last 4 miles was so loud. … MORE

    Must do. The people of Boston are so supportive and gracious. The crowd support throughout the race is the best. The cheering throughout the last 4 miles was so loud. There is Nothing like turning left onto Boylston and sharing it with all the runners is special.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    mikeyseymour FIRST-TIMER '24

    If you're wondering if this race lives up the hype: IT DOES! Here's my take from running the 2024 Boston Marathon: - Go to the expo early in the day … MORE

    If you’re wondering if this race lives up the hype: IT DOES! Here’s my take from running the 2024 Boston Marathon:
    – Go to the expo early in the day and Friday or Saturday if possible. It gets crazy busy.
    -The $120 for the Boston Marathon jacket at the expo feels excessive. Do it anyway. EVERYONE wears the jacket. It’s a great way to connect with fellow runners that weekend.
    -I showed up for the busses on race day 15 minutes before my wave was scheduled to depart. That was plenty of time.
    -The bus ride is long. It can mess with your head thinking you have to run the whole way back. Just remember it’s the same 26.2 as any other marathon.
    -Athletes Village is huge. There is plenty of time and space to stretch and warm up. There is hydration and plenty of porta potties. Guys, they have urinal versions that have NO LINES!
    -Know there is about a 3/4 mile walk from the village to the start line. If it’s cool, keep your throw away clothes on as long as possible. Volunteers will collect them to donate, even up to the starting line.
    -The first few miles are mostly downhill. You don’t notice the down as much in your head, but go too fast and your legs will definitely notice them later.
    -Aid stations are every mile. No need to bring a water bottle.
    -The race provides gels at a few stops. I am not a fan. I brought my own fuel, but never needed it. Spectators give out enough food that you can rely on that. I had a bunch of orange slices and bananas, even a watermelon slice. It was plenty. If you want salty or candy fuel, there was lots of that too.
    -There were a few lulls in the crowd support in the early miles, but overall the support is excellent. The crowd really got me through, especially the last 10K. The crowds get bigger the closer you get to the finish.
    -The hills in Newton in miles 17-21 are no joke. There are four main hills and they start right after the fire station. The first one was tougher than I thought. A long grinder. The middle two were fine. The last one, Heartbreak Hill is the toughest. I have run steeper hills in Marine Corps and the LA Marathon, but Heartbreak felt the hardest. It’s a long, steady climb. Coming at mile 21 in the race means the legs are sore already so it feels worse. Granted if Heartbreak was in mile 4 it wouldn’t be nearly as famous. Even at mile 4 though you would still notice it. Make sure you don’t run those first miles too fast or the hills in miles 17-21 will make you pay.
    -The post race is efficient. You keep walking when you finish, get your water, then your medal, then your bag of food and Mylar blanket. You can meet family in the designated area. We instead chose to meet in the Public Garden. It’s a beautiful park 3 blocks from the finish line. It’s a much more pleasant place for everyone to wait for you. Make sure to designate a specific point in the park to meet like the George Washington statute or the ducklings statutes.
    -The entire race process is a well-oiled machine. It’s a huge race with lots of friends and family so expect crowds and expect things to move a bit slowly for things like the expo, the lines for the bus, getting to the start line etc. However, it all moves efficiently. Budget a little extra time and you won’t have any stress.

    This is marathon #27 for me and it is my all-time favorite!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    jmnaylor33 REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Typical well run race with HUGE crowds this year. Unfortunately the heat was too much for my goal time although still ended up w/ a reasonable finish. Will be doing … MORE

    Typical well run race with HUGE crowds this year. Unfortunately the heat was too much for my goal time although still ended up w/ a reasonable finish. Will be doing it again next year and hopefully sometime in the future as a qualifier.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    vicinihil FIRST-TIMER '23

    It's Boston. Not much to say here. Hills come late but overall downhill course. Not a "hard" marathon unless you're trying to book it. Lots of support. Awesome crowds. Great … MORE

    It’s Boston. Not much to say here. Hills come late but overall downhill course. Not a “hard” marathon unless you’re trying to book it. Lots of support. Awesome crowds. Great vibes.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    jmnaylor33 FIRST-TIMER '23

    It's a once in a lifetime kind of race. Everything about it is first class and the fan support is unreal. Difficult course as everyone knows, but if you plan … MORE

    It’s a once in a lifetime kind of race. Everything about it is first class and the fan support is unreal. Difficult course as everyone knows, but if you plan on running the hills and hold yourself back until Wellesley you should be fine.

    Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said by others. It’s an amazing experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    pkroon REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Running the Boston Marathon has been a long-time dream/goal of mine, and to have done it multiple times now is not lost on me. In my first time here last … MORE

    Running the Boston Marathon has been a long-time dream/goal of mine, and to have done it multiple times now is not lost on me.

    In my first time here last year, the Newton Hills got to me, so I was determined to be more tactical and be ready for them. Having the course knowledge did help, as did a solid build-up, and I was rewarded with a PR in Boston!

    The day before the race, the Old South Church right by the finish line holds a “Blessing of the Marathoners” service which my family and I attended. This was a great way for me to get in the proper mentality being reminded that “they that wait on the Lord will renew their strength…and run and not be weary.”

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    TatumBurke REPEAT RUNNER '23

    In 2021, I ran my first Boston Marathon ever. It surpassed all expectations, all dreams, and everything that I thought it could be. It was beyond anything I could have … MORE

    In 2021, I ran my first Boston Marathon ever. It surpassed all expectations, all dreams, and everything that I thought it could be. It was beyond anything I could have ever imagined it to be…magical and all surreal. 💙💛
    My first miles were like out of a book or movie, I had to come to terms that I was actually there in the present and the reality set in quick! I will never forget the feeling of the start, the Athlete’s Village, the scream tunnels, the overwhelming crowds, the excitement, the love for every runner, and the race itself, but more important than all that…it was the PEOPLE & the atmosphere in Boston!!
    The people on the streets of Boston make you feel like your FAMILY! The church service at Old Church down near the finish line on Sunday made me feel like I have attended that church every week. Just a stranger from the west that felt at home in the east. The outpouring of love, support, prayers, wishes, thoughts, and encouragement everywhere you turn in Boston is beyond fathomable.
    I was truly blessed to experience it all and to run a BQ qualifier on the course and be welcomed again in 2023. Honestly, I was a bit concerned that returning this year it wouldn’t be like my first time and nothing would ever compare to my first amazing experience at the Boston Marathon. I was completely wrong!
    Boston 2023….from meeting Des Linden to finding out #ADDYSTRONG was featured in the Boston Marathon program, to the Memorial of the tragedy 10 years ago, to running another Boston qualifying time to return in 2024 drenched from the downpouring rain…. But oh the PEOPLE! Witnessing their endless love standing in pouring rain for hours chanting names of runners passing, holding their signs high with pride, the families with children in the communities along the course handing out fresh cut oranges, candy, beers, etc. , and the amazing volunteers that poured their heart and soul into making sure each and every one of the 27,000 runners had what they needed! This, this is the Boston I will always know & remember! It’s not often that I cry crossing a finish line, as my heart is so full of joy after the accomplishment, but this year was different!
    I left a piece of my heart at that finish this year, as we honored the victims of the tragedy 10 years ago. I felt and saw the outpouring love in a magnitude of ways. ONE BOSTON. A city of courage, hope, joy, compassion, beauty, and pure strength!
    For those of you I ran the streets with, as we were truly honored to be a part of this: May the love always be engraved in your heart & mind.
    For those who wish to someday be there running the Boston Marathon: FOLLOW the DREAM because it is every bit worth it!!! Wish you all the best and always remember LOVE WINS!! Let your love carry you there! ❤️

    DIFFICULTY
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    cassidymegan3 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Last year, I went to the corral where I was assigned and the first 10K obliterated my quads. By mile 10, I thought, "I never want to run this race … MORE

    Last year, I went to the corral where I was assigned and the first 10K obliterated my quads. By mile 10, I thought, “I never want to run this race ever again.”
    This year, I started one corral back and was able to just run as I felt comfortable (instead of just running way too fast to avoid being stampeded.) What a difference that made! My goal was just to sub-4 after my extremely disappointing run at Go! St. Louis 2 weeks prior. Imagine my surprise when I came in under 3:45!
    The thing about Boston is this: if you can, you run it. No matter what the swag, portapotty situation, entry fee, etc. You run it. (and none of those things that I mentioned were bad, either. Everything is taken care of at the Boston Marathon. The SWAG is your shirt, a simple medal, and the Sam Adams Boston Lager bottle opener but- it’s the Boston Marathon. The clout/prestige that comes with those is enough.)
    The expo wasn’t great this year unless you were looking for new rain gutters, wanted to get your hair curled, or happened to be in the market for air boots or a new percussion massager. After the big Boston Marathon/Adidas shop and the free Sam Adams booth, there really wasn’t much by way of the expo.
    Here are my 2 favorite on-course things about Boston: (1) there are no bikes anywhere in sight. Not one (unless you are an elite and have a guide.) (2) There are water stops and medical tents-a-plenty! You don’t really have to keep anything on your person at all. It’s so well-equipped. [They’ve been doing this for 127 years so they know a thing or two.] So if you get accepted, run it. Enjoy it, Plenty of crowd support. Plenty of aid. Plenty of everything. Phenomenal experience.

    DIFFICULTY
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    johnbizzell REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Tough course. Very hard to have a PR!! Tons of support on the course. Will be back next year!!! Apparently I have to write more but just want to hit … MORE

    Tough course. Very hard to have a PR!! Tons of support on the course. Will be back next year!!! Apparently I have to write more but just want to hit the submit button.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
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    5
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    4
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    dnelsonstlmo FIRST-TIMER '22

    It took a few years to qualify but it was worth every minute. Stayed downtown at the Marriott Copley. Right across the street from the Star Market (Full size grocery … MORE

    It took a few years to qualify but it was worth every minute. Stayed downtown at the Marriott Copley. Right across the street from the Star Market (Full size grocery store). Hotel is walking distance to the busses and close to the finish to Boylston Street. Walked to all the major sites including a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. The Under Amour store a block away will engrave your medal for free after the race. The store had some unofficial merchandise as well.

    The race is outstanding. Busses were a little chaotic in the morning, but I arrived with over 1 hour to spare. The men’s option for a restroom was interesting prerace. The crowd support was great including Wellesley College. My time suffered due to the hills in Newton. I thought I was prepared but I was not. The final 50 yards was the highlight.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
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    4
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    5

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    lug.junkie FIRST-TIMER '22

    Every inch of this race has supporters, and they're all insane. The Wellesley Wall is unbelievable, the hills leading up to Heartbreak are real, do anything you can to get … MORE

    Every inch of this race has supporters, and they’re all insane. The Wellesley Wall is unbelievable, the hills leading up to Heartbreak are real, do anything you can to get in an run this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
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    5
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    5

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    peterbergmann FIRST-TIMER '22

    Great crowds and a fun experience. The downhills are tough on the quads but the race lives up to the hype! Logistics were very good as well, especially with busses … MORE

    Great crowds and a fun experience. The downhills are tough on the quads but the race lives up to the hype! Logistics were very good as well, especially with busses and the staging area, etc.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
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    4
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    5

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    Lillava71 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Dont know if it’s because I’m from NY, but I feel the crowds were quite different. I loved Boston, felt tome, like a small town marathon with a big city … MORE

    Dont know if it’s because I’m from NY, but I feel the crowds were quite different. I loved Boston, felt tome, like a small town marathon with a big city feel. However, the history is present in each and every mile!

    DIFFICULTY
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    hbr245b FIRST-TIMER '22

    First time qualifying & running Boston. Spring marathons are usually my favourite as I prefer training over the cold of the winter than the heat & humidity of the summer … MORE

    First time qualifying & running Boston. Spring marathons are usually my favourite as I prefer training over the cold of the winter than the heat & humidity of the summer but I wasn’t as well prepared for this as I should have been. I blame it on running an ultra earlier in the year. Hope to be back in the near future and better prepared!

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    5
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  1. Races
  2. Boston Marathon