Overall Rating
Overall Rating (27 Reviews)
4.8
(27 Ratings)(27 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.5
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.1
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
Local Weather (Apr 16)
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H (°F) 55 83 55 58 43
L (°F) 39 54 38 37 31
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    demman1024 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I was recovering from a high hamstring injury so wasn't planning to set any records. I've been actively pursuing a BQ for about 5 years. I finally achieved that in … MORE

    I was recovering from a high hamstring injury so wasn’t planning to set any records. I’ve been actively pursuing a BQ for about 5 years. I finally achieved that in Fargo, with 9 minutes to spare. I was so excited! When I got to the runners village I promptly went to the porta potty and got my feet full of mud.
    No worries! They were completely clean by the end of the race! The weather was bad, I kept thinking “surely they’re going to stop this race?” and I didn’t really run full out or seriously at all until about halfway through. All that said, it was still Boston. I was in the last wave, 1st corral but didn’t get to start until about 20 minutes after my start time, which was frustrating. I was thrilled to run the Boston Marathon and am committed to BQ again and run it in better conditions. Still glad I ran it, would do it again, even in the same conditions because hey, It’s Boston!!!

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    laurei FIRST-TIMER '18

    Despite the epic weather conditions, I finished feeling strong and healthy which I owe in large part to the diehards that braved the elements to cheer us on and the … MORE

    Despite the epic weather conditions, I finished feeling strong and healthy which I owe in large part to the diehards that braved the elements to cheer us on and the amazing volunteers that guided, helped, and supported from start to finish. Also, being a local I had the benefit of training on the course and knew what to expect at each hill and turn. This was my first Boston–and hopefully not my last!

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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '17

    By now you've read all about the conditions. Let me add a few of my learnings. 1) While tempted to go lighter, I ended up wearing a rainproof running jacket … MORE

    By now you’ve read all about the conditions. Let me add a few of my learnings. 1) While tempted to go lighter, I ended up wearing a rainproof running jacket the entire race. I think keeping my core warm was key. 2) While like you, I have read ALL the advice on running Boston, last year I did not heed the ” go slow and save your quads at the start” advice. This year the first 10km were my slowest, and sure enough I felt strong through Newton until the end. 3) If you are a first timer, stop worrying about Heartbreak Hill. ( the other three that come before are worse 🙂 ) My legs are happy to shift to climbing and giving my quads a break. I felt stronger on the up hills than on the down hills from Newton to the finish. I’ve heard the same from many other runners. 13 minutes off my PB, but under BQ time, so I was happy with the result overall!!

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 25, 2018 at 1:12pm

    Congrats on the BQ, Dan! Sounds like you ran this year's race very smartly by keeping your core temperature up to avoid hypothermia in the last few miles. Your advice on the first 10km and on Heartbreak Hill is definitely the smart voice of experience because, like you said, the two go hand in hand — start slow and you'll likely have nothing to fear from Heartbreak. It's not rocket science, but it is tough to execute when you're feeling like a million bucks coming out of Hopkinton. Thanks for the helpful review, and glad you'll be back next year — hopefully better weather awaits!

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    kmwolfe REPEAT RUNNER '18

    The Boston community is so supportive even in the horrible conditions we had. The race production runs so soothly. The weekend is a great event. MORE

    The Boston community is so supportive even in the horrible conditions we had. The race production runs so soothly. The weekend is a great event.

    DIFFICULTY
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    Profile photo of Mark Magyar
    mjmag FIRST-TIMER '18

    Phenomenal experience, what can I say that hasn't already been said?! One of the greatest days of my life to PR and break 3 hours for the first time at … MORE

    Phenomenal experience, what can I say that hasn’t already been said?! One of the greatest days of my life to PR and break 3 hours for the first time at my first Boston in extremely difficult conditions.

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 25, 2018 at 12:28pm

    Huge congrats on the sub-3, Mark! And to do it in that weather... what's a better feeling (or story) than that?? Look forward to seeing what you do for an encore!

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    mjmag Apr 25, 2018 at 12:38pm

    Thank you, Mike! It was a feeling like none another and I don't think I've even come down from it yet!

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 25, 2018 at 1:22pm

    A well-deserved celebration, Mark — ain't no endorphins like Boston endorphins! :)

     
    pgillis REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Realizing this may sound like a spoiled brat's review, I'll just say I recognize that there are many out there who will never get to run this race and for … MORE

    Realizing this may sound like a spoiled brat’s review, I’ll just say I recognize that there are many out there who will never get to run this race and for someone to badmouth it in anyway is blasphemy . I’ve got several sub 3’s (including a 2:48 pr) under my belt at other courses but Boston just always kills me. The weather rarely works out. This year was the worst of the worst. First 5 miles are literally impossible NOT to run too fast anyway but when the torrential downpours and 40 mph wind gusts kicked in right after mile 5, it made it an absolute nightmare. Up to mile 15 was on a PR pace, then hypothermic symptoms set in and the last 11 were an absolute nightmare crawl. There is too much drama leading up to and during this race every year and the weather is always either too hot or just something crazy happens like this year…Run it once but never expect a PR here.

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 25, 2018 at 12:28pm

    Congrats on notching another Boston, Peter! It's actually a really good point you make that's easy to lose sight of amid the crazy hype — April weather in Boston is completely unpredictable, and the drama around it can usurp a lot of pre-race energy. I was lucky to run in 2016 when the weather was beautiful, but many years don't get so lucky. On the bright side you have an epic story for the ages, but yes, with all the work most runners do to get there, it would be nice if the weather were more reliable. I'm guessing that had this been any marathon other than Boston, the DNF rate would have been much higher than 4.5%. Thanks for the thoughtful review, and fingers crossed for a calm and sunny 50-degree day next year!

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    Donnald69 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Not much to add to review a race that is the focus of so many other runners. Therefore, i will tell my story and experience. I had the opportunity to … MORE

    Not much to add to review a race that is the focus of so many other runners. Therefore, i will tell my story and experience. I had the opportunity to run Boston comfortably. No pressure for speed, no need to run for a PR. I was running with a friend and my task was to try and pace with him. I found out rather quickly that my pacing wasn’t needed, so decided to stay close by, visit, and to enjoy myself. Running any race, nonetheless Boston in this matter was a great experience. I had the opportunity to visit with other runners, with spectators, to drink beer with some of our spectators, and yet still ran a decent race. I last ran here 10 years ago, my PR days are way behind me, and the opportunity to run comfortably was a blast!

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    chapinwc FIRST-TIMER '17

    The crowds and support are unbelievable. Lots of energy from the start to end. Prep for those hills later in the race. Great to share the experience with family. MORE

    The crowds and support are unbelievable. Lots of energy from the start to end. Prep for those hills later in the race. Great to share the experience with family.

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    erowings FIRST-TIMER '17

    Well, first of all, it's Boston! The oldest continuous annual marathon in the world, since 1897, they even ran when the Olympics committee shut down the games during World War … MORE

    Well, first of all, it’s Boston! The oldest continuous annual marathon in the world, since 1897, they even ran when the Olympics committee shut down the games during World War II. So, it’s a huge hairy freaking deal, coupled with the fact that as you look around you at the expo, on the streets, and in the subway at all the people sporting their new race gear you drink in the fact that, excepting the charity fund raising entries, you are all there because you had to qualify. So it’s an honor and a privilege just to be there, and the lead-up festivities that occur pre-race all feel like it’s all for you if you’re lucky enough to be there.

    My race itself was an eye-opening and somewhat disappointing experience, but I want to focus on the positives. I went out with a specific pace in mind and maintained it easily for the first 15 miles, but Newton will absolutely slap you down if you think you can run faster than your fitness level. Trust me. Suffice it to say that I did not finish at a re-qualifying time, but I did find 4th gear on Boylston Street to the finish and passed a few folks the last 0.2, anyway. But this is about me, and I really want to focus on reviewing the race itself.

    They tell you not to wear earbuds for this one, so you can enjoy the spectator participation, and those people are absolutely right. Every small town you pass through in the first half had a town center with massive crowds cheering their lungs out, and it was frankly kind of unbelievable.

    Experiencing “Scream Alley” at Wellesley College near Mile 13 in person was very cool as well. I did run near the barricade and do a bunch of high fives, though I confess I was concerned about my time enough that I didn’t stop for any kisses.

    The last of the Newton Hills (which severly increased my average pace by that point) is of course the infamous Heartbreak Hill, and I remember working on my own mind, telling myself it was the last one, keep moving those feet at a race pace, etc. When I got to the top I did a kind of “show-offy” thing: I felt a release of the pent-up frustration of the arduous climb as I crested the top in the middle of an intersection (which is near Boston College), and I raised both hands up in the air and let out a shout. I’ll never forget the crowd answering it! As beat up as I was by then I smiled – just couldn’t help it.

    Then of course you are running into Brookline and Boston itself, and the crowds on the street are continuous and raucous. I’ve been wondering how to feel about my performance, and putting off this report for some time, but now I clearly recall feeling that I was never going to forget the spectator experience. Writing this brings it all back, and it was amazing.

    In closing, my word of advice to you is DO NOT GO OUT FAST! This is one race that will slap you down like a freckle-faced stepchild for taking it anything less than fully seriously, but you’ll enjoy the experience more if you go out without expectations. Of course, this is coming from a middle-aged latter-day runner, your fitness level may be off the charts compared to mine.

    If you get the opportunity, go for it!

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    RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '15

    Boston is a unique experience for a runner, especially those of us who may only ever get to run it once. Last year was cold and rainy, but it didn't … MORE

    Boston is a unique experience for a runner, especially those of us who may only ever get to run it once. Last year was cold and rainy, but it didn’t put a damper on the festivities at all. Here are my takeaways:

    Expo: I didn’t linger, but it is well organized and crowded. Be sure and take a look at the merchandise. I grabbed a sweatshirt which is one of my favorites of all time. I of course bought the jacket too but I did that online ahead of time, plus a long-sleeve top. The finisher shirt was really nice, bright yellow with the logo on the front and back. I’ll probably never run Boston again but the gear and swag I collected will always be amongst my favorite!

    Hotel: It’s expensive to stay in Boston any time, but especially during marathon time. We stayed at the W Boston which was prime real estate, but worth it. BOOK IN ADVANCE. Like, as soon as you know you’re going to come back or MIGHT come back the next year, book a hotel room. W was easy walking distance to shuttle meet up and finish line.

    Food: One of the great things about marathoning is getting to eat well. There are so many restaurants in Boston it’s a little overwhelming. The Salty Pig is delicious (not for carbo loading but any other time!) and Teatro was a great race-eve restaurant; great pasta and lots of other Boston runners doing the same! It was also right around the corner from our hotel.

    Logistics: Boston knows what to do on marathon weekend. Race morning was easy. Get on the bus, ride 26.2 miles to the start. There you’ll find tents and bathrooms and places to hang out until your wave. Depending on when you run, you may be there a while so bring throw-away clothes based on sitting around in whatever temperature you might have that day.

    The course: It’s got some hills, but who has time to notice? The course is basically lined with spectators for the majority of the route with only a few exceptions. Each milestone town is exciting if you’ve looked at the course ahead of time, and by the time you get to the home stretch, your ears will be ringing with cheering crowds. I had headphones, but didn’t really bother with them so I could soak up the race.

    Speaking of soaking up the race, bring lots of different clothing options for race day, just in case. We pretty much knew it was going to rain on us but the day before was cloudless and perfect. I had options and I was glad.

    The finish was a breeze. Collect your iconic medal and make your way out of the funnel. I found my husband and we made our way back to the hotel. Enjoy the post-race excitement – so many Boston jackets, hats, and sweatshirts wandering around Boston the evening after the race! If you have the time to explore the city, I highly recommend it, just be careful about too much walking if it’s before the race.

    It’s a must-run in my opinion, even if it’s only once in a lifetime.

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    omnirunner REPEAT RUNNER '14

    If this is your first Boston you should: Arrive a day or two early and enjoy the weekend. Go to the Expo, even if you just walk around and get … MORE

    If this is your first Boston you should:
    Arrive a day or two early and enjoy the weekend.
    Go to the Expo, even if you just walk around and get free samples.
    Know that the race is not entirely down hill until Heart Break Hill. There are plenty of small hills all along the course.
    There’s nothing like Boylston Street!

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    Solupia FIRST-TIMER '17

    Boston Marathon, ever since the bombing in 2013, has been the Marathon to run for most amateur runners. It's the climax of most runners' racing career. And so, I knew … MORE

    Boston Marathon, ever since the bombing in 2013, has been the Marathon to run for most amateur runners. It’s the climax of most runners’ racing career. And so, I knew I had to run it at least once in my lifetime to experience this historical moment.

    Getting Qualified…
    From qualifying to registration, it’s a roller coaster of excitement. Because of its popularity, it’s getting harder and harder to get in every year, with more qualifying runners from all over the world trying to compete in it. With the help of a downhill course at Mountain to Beach Marathon in South Cal, I was able to gain a spot in the Boston Marathon in September last year.

    Training? What’s that?!
    Race preparation through the long-waited wet winter in NorCal and busy overtime schedule at work was found to be slow and unproductive. I was not getting the weekly mileage a normal marathon runner should have. As a result, I was unable to perform in my tip-top condition.

    Warm Race this year
    Weather on race day this year has been on the warm side of spectrum comparing to previous years. It was in the upper 60s and low 70s on race day morning. This threw many runners, who had been training in freezing cold winter, off their games.

    Quad Killer
    The marathon course is point to point with a net downhill of 400ft. However, there’s still an 850ft total ascent along the course, with the main climb at heartbreak hill at mile 21. Started the race with a quick downhill during the first 4 miles has proven to be a major quad killer for novice runners. Being under-trained, my quads were twitching at mile 21, I had to stopped to prevent a full-on cramp. I highly recommend some speed workout with some downhills during your training.

    Sea of Spectators!!!
    What makes a world class marathon different from a local race is its tremendous support from the running community and the NEVER-ENDING sea of Spectators on both sides of the course. I have never been to a race where you can’t see course scenery, because there are too many spectators blocking the view. But then, I guess in this case, the super energetic fans were the breathtaking course scenery from start to finish. I don’t think I will ever experience anything close to the spectacle I witnessed as I ran from Hopkinton to Boston.

    Support Overdrive
    In all the marathons I have ran previously, aid stations are usually spaced out about 2 miles apart. But at Boston Marathon, you get aid stations every mile starting at mile 2. That’s about a thousand of volunteers there to support you every step along the way. A setback for me is that I had too much Gatorade, my mouth tasted like electrolytes for 2 hours after the race. My suggestion for future participants would be “Be Smart about your Hydration Plan during the course.” You don’t have to take electrolytes every miles just because you are sweating. Water can be good for you, too. The only drawback I had on the course was that at mile 21, I stopped at the medical tent to request leg cramp prevention tablets, but they didn’t have any. Instead, they provide me an electrolyte mix that took them 5 min to fix it for me. Oh well, at that point, I don’t care about the time anymore anyway.

    Here to Have FUN!!!
    That’s right. Now that I have qualified for the Boston Marathon, though I naturally wanted to perform well, but given the under-trained dilemma I had, the only thing left for me to do is to enjoy the cheers of the crowd and have FUN every step on the way to the finish line. It’s not a time I would be proud of, but it’s a race I will always remember because of the community united together for such incredible event.

    Final thought….
    For every major race, there’s always a cost. As for Boston Marathon, it’s your dedication to running and your tenacity of living up with long waiting lines (inside jokes only for Boston Marathon participants ;D)

    #BeBoston @BostonStrong

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    M_Sohaskey May 09, 2017 at 12:53am

    Awesome review and great photo Solomon, loved reliving Boston through your eyes! Though sorry to hear about your leg cramps, that sounds frustrating and very much like last year's race, where I saw many runners making unplanned detours into the medical tent in the later miles. The heat and hills will definitely do that to you, particularly as you said if you haven't trained for 'em. And most of the Boston runners are so driven, they won't stop running until their legs seize up on them! But so glad you were able to soak up the experience this first time, I came out of last year's race feeling the same way – not proud of my time, but couldn't care less, I just ran BOSTON. Here's to many more unicorn medals in your future!

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    lchristensen44 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The Boston marathon is more than just a race. There is a 5K on Saturday, blessing of the athletes on Sunday and Sam Adams beer tours on Tuesday. Runners have … MORE

    The Boston marathon is more than just a race. There is a 5K on Saturday, blessing of the athletes on Sunday and Sam Adams beer tours on Tuesday. Runners have to take an hour bus ride to the starting corrals and if you’re in Wave 4 (about 4hr qualifying time) you won’t start running until 11:15am. The course has more hills than I anticipated which took it’s toll on me. There was a lot of support at the water stops and spectators along the course. The best part, in my opinion, was the last half mile of the course. When you turn right and then left and see all the international flags, big finish line and thousands of spectators, you realize that you are part of the most prestigious athletic event in the world.

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    M_Sohaskey May 14, 2017 at 12:23am

    Absolutely agree – Right on Hereford, left on Boylston is just about the best finish in marathoning. The only other one I can think of to rival it is running through the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. And I wish I could have high-fived every single spectator on Boylston, they were AMAZING. Congrats on earning the title of Boston finisher Leslie, it's a special group for sure!

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    jrohlede 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

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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

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    M_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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    griffinkathy 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

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    M_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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    Trevinds 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.

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    griffinkathy 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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    demman1024 Mar 27, 2018 at 4:25pm

    Just wondering how it turned out for you?

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    Trevinds 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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    griffinkathy 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.

     
    Donnald69 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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    M_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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