Overall Rating
Overall Rating (63 Reviews)
4.7
(63 Ratings) 🏆 (63 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.8
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.3
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

    cedoyle REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This was 3rd time running Boston. The course still beat me. Although this was my best time at Boston, it was still 10 minutes off my PR. I successfully went … MORE

    This was 3rd time running Boston. The course still beat me. Although this was my best time at Boston, it was still 10 minutes off my PR. I successfully went out slow for the downhill portion, which was my plan. But, I still cramped up at the end (perhaps due to dehydration). Next time, I will drink something at every stop.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    bjfuller2000 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Boston is the race every single runner dreams of participating in!!! Through the American Red Cross, I was blessed to be counted as a Boston Marathon finisher. Though my journey … MORE

    Boston is the race every single runner dreams of participating in!!! Through the American Red Cross, I was blessed to be counted as a Boston Marathon finisher. Though my journey across America continues no race experience will EVER top this one!!!!! So Blessed!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
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    5
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    5
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    DPontheGo REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The Boston Marathon is such a great experience to be a part of. This was my fifth time to finish it and ended up being the slowest of the 26 … MORE

    The Boston Marathon is such a great experience to be a part of. This was my fifth time to finish it and ended up being the slowest of the 26 marathons that I’ve done, but it was one of my most favorite ones to date. The crowds were back after not having a race on Patriots’ Day since 2019. I highly recommend this race to anyone to experience at least once either as a runner or spectator. If you are running, spend the money and downtown to soak up all the activities that happen all weekend. Meeting the people from across the US and around the world is a large part of the experience and the people of Boston also treat you like a celebrity. Highly recommend this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
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    5
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    3
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    cjs909 FIRST-TIMER '22

    No race report needed on this, the oldest Marathon in the world! It took me more than 3 years of trying to finally qualify for this race and it was … MORE

    No race report needed on this, the oldest Marathon in the world! It took me more than 3 years of trying to finally qualify for this race and it was worth every minute of work, pain and frustration. I was just so grateful to be there that I really didn’t even race it… I just took it all in the entire 26 miles and 385 yards 🙂 Very well run race, top to bottom. If you have the opportunity and are actually debating it (for some unknown reason) stop it and sign up at the next available time!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
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    4
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    5
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    jodi26.2 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Perfect conditions for a great race. Ideal running weather, i only noticed a little extra headwind on the Newton hills. I last ran Boston in 2018...what a difference. Finished within … MORE

    Perfect conditions for a great race. Ideal running weather, i only noticed a little extra headwind on the Newton hills. I last ran Boston in 2018…what a difference. Finished within a minute of my PR & qualifying time. My most enjoyable Boston Marathon yet.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5
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    cassidymegan3 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I wasn't going to write a review because events like Boston, New York, Chicago, etc. are not usually races where you wonder, "Oh, should I do this?  Let's see what … MORE

    I wasn’t going to write a review because events like Boston, New York, Chicago, etc. are not usually races where you wonder, “Oh, should I do this?  Let’s see what people have to say.” If you can do them- you do them. But I’m still buzzing from Boston so here it goes:
    Nothing could have prepared me for what Boston was. The Boston Marathon is not just a road race.  It’s not just a “world class sporting event.” I’ve run Berlin.  I’ve run Chicago. Boston, though, felt like a hometown, community fun run (just surrounded by world-class athletes and some of the strongest, fastest amateur marathoners in the world.)  You don’t start in a huge metropolitan city- you start in front of a cute little church and some dude’s house.  The whole time, neighbors are out on the streets cheering you. (The whole time meaning- as you walk to your corral until after you cross the finish line.)
    • People talk about Heartbreak Hill just after mile 20- no one tells you the the first 10k is like a downhill “running of the bulls.” 😆😆 my legs were done by mile 7. At 10, I thought, “I never want to run this again!” But once I sort of “leveled out,” I loved every minute! While Boston doesn’t offer pace groups or pacers, they do such a wonderful job placing runners in the corrals based on their (I can only presume) qualifying times that you don’t have to worry about being stuck behind that one runner who is walking 2 minutes into the race or the one from corral J who snuck up to B. The volunteers were diligent- “you can go back to another corral but not ahead.”  I think that that is part of the appeal, too: people weren’t even trying to.jump.corrals. Those who run Boston know this event is a big deal- it’s not a throw-away race where race etiquette is optional. There are rules, both spoken and unspoken, that you follow.
    • I’ve been absolutely gushing about my time in Boston since I have been back yet, now that I am writing a review, I feel lost for words. It was the most amazing experience of my life so far- the shirt and medal are simple but they come with a lot of clout and are now my favorites.
    • If I can give one piece of advice to Boston first-timers it would be this: work on your quads strength and/or downhill running. That first 10k is tough and can take a toll on your quads.
    Good luck 🍀 and Happy Running

    DIFFICULTY
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    runnerd26.2 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Train for rolling hills all day everyday. My legs were done by mile 7. I do rolling hills on my normal long run route and have ran CIM, but wasn’t … MORE

    Train for rolling hills all day everyday. My legs were done by mile 7. I do rolling hills on my normal long run route and have ran CIM, but wasn’t ready for the first half of this race. I wanted to drop out by mile 7, but it’s Boston so I sucked it up and tried to have fun, but was stuck in my pain cave. The whole weekend is amazing. It feels like the marathon all-star weekend. Definitely want to train harder and get back here some day.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
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    3

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    ChrisMacIntyre FIRST-TIMER '21

    For an event that had to adapt to COVID rules, it went off extremely smooth. I really loved how they had the waterfall start. I have only done this time … MORE

    For an event that had to adapt to COVID rules, it went off extremely smooth.
    I really loved how they had the waterfall start. I have only done this time of race start in triathlons. However, for a major event with the amount of people involved. I think all major events should do this.
    It cuts down wait time. I didnt have to fight to get around the slower runners.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
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    4

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    cedoyle REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Boston knows how to put a marathon. The whole city celebrates during race week with billboards, store displays, and sales. Runners and visitors can be seen walking around town in … MORE

    Boston knows how to put a marathon. The whole city celebrates during race week with billboards, store displays, and sales. Runners and visitors can be seen walking around town in their newly purchased Boston Marathon shirts and jackets. It is all very colorful. The course is tough with the first 4 miles downhill stressing your quads. I always seem to run the first half too fast. I will try for a better time next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
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    3
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    4

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    jdhunt FIRST-TIMER '21

    What can I say that hasn't been said before? This is THE Boston Marathon - quite possibly the most well-known marathon in the world! Despite the fact that the 125th … MORE

    What can I say that hasn’t been said before? This is THE Boston Marathon – quite possibly the most well-known marathon in the world!

    Despite the fact that the 125th Boston was a bit unique in that it was still operating under pandemic precautions AND it was the only Boston in history held in October (thus far), it felt like the organization was as professional as ever. As this was my first in-person Boston I can’t comment on past races, but it felt like everything was planned to a T and volunteers and organizers were very much aware of everything that needed to be done for a successful race.

    I felt the pre-race logistics went off without a hitch for me personally, although I have heard that not everyone was as lucky. But I will speak to my experience. Good and timely communication via email and social media. The Covid vaccine / test confirmation was easy to get to close by the expo. It was also efficient, as I only waited about a minute for my verification. I was able to get my packet right away at the expo and it was not very crowded at all (with the exception of the Adidas booth). With that being said, the expo was a bit underwhelming since there were so few booths. I am chalking this up to pandemic precautions. Normally I enjoy seeing all the vendors, other races, etc. If I am lucky enough to go again I do hope that expo is a bit more “normal”. There was no athlete’s village this year, we had a wave start that was determined by when we were supposed to load onto the busses. I felt this worked quite well, I only had to wait in line 10 minutes or so before I was able to get onto the bus, and after warming up a bit at the start I was cleared to go in short order.

    I personally loved the actual course! It isn’t the most scenic that I have run, but it had an “aura” and an enjoyability that not all races have. The first 16 miles or so is primed for fast running since it is mostly downhill / flat with only a few small bumps. Naturally that changes once you get to Newton when the infamous hills come in to play. I felt the hills themselves are not that bad (compared to some races that are actually considered hilly). However, if you went too hard on the downhills and trashed your legs or used up your glycogen reserves, you may find yourself hurting in Newton. Once you have crested heartbreak hill the course is net downhill, with some unremarkable rollers and flat running. If your legs are not hurting too badly and you haven’t hit the wall, finishing strong on this course is a strong possibility!

    Some other great things other than the actual course. The crowds – wow, the crowds! I’ve never had anything like it! Chicago was close, but there’s nothing like the Boston crowds! Sure, there are a few dead areas, but that is made up by the infectious enthusiasm felt in numerous places on the course. Course support was great, plenty of water stops, 3 Maurten gel stops, and other various aid stations if needed. Swag was maybe on par with other races with some coupons, a nice Boston Marathon long-sleeved technical shirt, and that sweet sweet unicorn medal!

    Boston has shot to the top of my list of favorite races, and I am thrilled that I qualified again with my best race ever since I would love to experience the race in the spring!

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    3
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    5
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    3
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    edge FIRST-TIMER '21

    Awesome race from top to bottom, but that is expected. I know, but it was even better than I had expected. Exceptional course, race production, weather, volunteers, etc. etc. It … MORE

    Awesome race from top to bottom, but that is expected. I know, but it was even better than I had expected. Exceptional course, race production, weather, volunteers, etc. etc. It goes without saying that if you ever qualify you need to run it. Simply the Best!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    chapinwc REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Had to be there for the first October edition and 125th running. Did not have proper training block and beat up from prior ultra so my sub 3 hr goal … MORE

    Had to be there for the first October edition and 125th running. Did not have proper training block and beat up from prior ultra so my sub 3 hr goal was hopeful at best. Was on target through mile 16 but the Newton hills chewed up my legs and at the top of Heartbreak hill I was about 2 minutes behind my desired split and figured the dream was over. Struggle bused it the last 5 miles but made sure to slow done enough to enjoy Bolyston Street crowds. Post race lobster roll at Neptune Osyter in the North End highly recommended.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
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    peacockrunner FIRST-TIMER '21

    Best part was earning my unicorn! Virtual runs are not always the most fun but I ran with a friend and we chatted the entire time which made for a … MORE

    Best part was earning my unicorn!
    Virtual runs are not always the most fun but I ran with a friend and we chatted the entire time which made for a great day! We ran at White Rock Lake in Dallas and saw several other Boston runners!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    gsnow96 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I was a charity runner raising $10,260 for Mass Mentoring for youth. It was my first marathon so while not my current PR it was iconic! The weather went from … MORE

    I was a charity runner raising $10,260 for Mass Mentoring for youth. It was my first marathon so while not my current PR it was iconic! The weather went from 40s to 70s in the first hour. I didn’t carry enough electrolytes! But I finished and the announcer actually called out my name! Unforgettable!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
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    5
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    5
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    Marathontwinmom REPEAT RUNNER '19

    It rained non-stop until my walk to the start at 10:50am, and it was 68 degrees and 100% humidity. My shoes were soaked and weighed a ton (my bad, I … MORE

    It rained non-stop until my walk to the start at 10:50am, and it was 68 degrees and 100% humidity. My shoes were soaked and weighed a ton (my bad, I should have worn some old throw aways until the start). At mile 9 the sun came out and roasted me. 78 degrees and full sun pretty much until the finish. When I crossed the finish line, it started to rain and cool off again rapidly! Boston is huge and I never do well with the crowds, but it is still awesome and I am thankful I get the opportunity to do it.

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 28, 2020 at 2:45pm

    Definitely sounds like race day in Boston! Though ironically, the unpredictable weather is one more aspect of race weekend that adds to its seductive allure. Congrats on another triumphant Marathon… MORE

    Definitely sounds like race day in Boston! Though ironically, the unpredictable weather is one more aspect of race weekend that adds to its seductive allure. Congrats on another triumphant Marathon Monday Jerie, and thanks for all your thoughtful reviews. Hope you're staying well, and fingers crossed we're all able to renew our 50 States quest soon! 🤞 LESS

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    davethe10r FIRST-TIMER '19

    What can I say about the Boston Marathon? It's the race everybody wants to run. I was lucky enough to qualify in my second marathon, so I signed up and … MORE

    What can I say about the Boston Marathon? It’s the race everybody wants to run. I was lucky enough to qualify in my second marathon, so I signed up and ran it. I loved everything about the experience (even the Newton hills!) except the pre-race stuff. An hour and a half on the bus was way too long, and the Athlete’s Village in Hopkinton was downright awful. But once my wave was called, everything after that was amazing. It was the highlight of my year.

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    5
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    Ironferg REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This course still owns me! Was prepared for cool and rainy similar to 2018 and instead we were blindsided by heat and humidity. Poor nutrition plan cost me as I … MORE

    This course still owns me! Was prepared for cool and rainy similar to 2018 and instead we were blindsided by heat and humidity. Poor nutrition plan cost me as I bonked at mile 21. Still a course PR by 5+ minutes. Love this race and will conquer it one day! Earned a BQ for 2020, so see you next Spring!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
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    5
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    4
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    5

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    mnjogger FIRST-TIMER '19

    At the end of the day the Boston marathon is a point-to-point marathon with a 480 ft net altitude change (decrease). In between the start and finish are a lot … MORE

    At the end of the day the Boston marathon is a point-to-point marathon with a 480 ft net altitude change (decrease). In between the start and finish are a lot of hills. To do well on this course you need to not only train for hills but train for continuous hills (in my opinion). I’ve spoken with several and read many FB posts of those who ran the same race I did and the common theme was how this race can trash your quads long before you reach the finish line.

    This was my first Boston marathon and a great experience all around. I’ve run 23 marathons before this so have some experience with knowing when a marathon is well-executed. I thought this one was well done. At the expo it was very easy to get your bib and shirt without being caught up in the whole expo floor. I appreciated the fact that when you received your packet (bib and shirt) they had a changing area nearby where you could try on your shirt and exchange it immediately if it didn’t fit right. (Ordinarily I get large shirts at races but the the Adidas large truly is large and I swapped for a medium. Same holds true for the celebration jacket and T shirts.)

    There are many events going on around the marathon that didn’t seem well publicized. I did several internet searches to find various shake-out runs, meet and greets, and podcast recording sessions that I would not have known about just reading the BAA race material. I appreciated how the city embraced the marathon with yellow and blue decorations everywhere. I loved my morning runs along the Charles River.

    As for the race itself, I traveled using the services of Marathon Tours. As such my experience differs from most others. I stayed 3 blocks from the finish line at a hotel connected to the Expo. We had our own dinner vs the BAA-sponsored one. We had a private coach transportation to the start line on race day which enabled us to stay on the bus vs spend time in Athletes Village in rainy conditions. My bus left the finish line at 7am and arrived at the start line around 8am. My wave didn’t start until 11am. That is the largest wait I’ve ever had for any marathon including Big Sur. My walk to the start line was entirely on asphalt vs walking thru mud. (I treated this as if it was my only time I’ll ever qualify for Boston so was willing to spend extra for comfort and convenience.)

    The race course itself was the most challenging I’ve run due to the continuous hills. I was undertrained going into the race (work schedule, long cold snowy miserable midwestern winter) and had no illusions of setting a PR: My goals were just to make it to the finish and enjoy the run. One favorite memory of the race was in the middle of the first mile when we were headed downhill and there weren’t any spectators at that point. No one was saying a word and all your heard were hundreds of running shoes gliding off the ground. It sounded like a flock of birds. The entire race flew by quickly. The fan support along the course was unparalleled for their enthusiastic cheering. You are running down a two lane road many times and the intimacy of having the spectators so near was energizing. There are water stops every mile (except mile 2) so that also made the time seem to go by fast if you have the perspective of running in the mile you are in. Kudos to the volunteers along the course! One thing I noted along the course is that this is the first time I’ve run a marathon where there wasn’t any wait at the port-o-potties: I guess everyone was in a rush to finish!

    I was in Wave 3 and when I started we had overcast skies and about 60 degrees. About an hour into the run the sun broke out and I heard temps climbed to 70 (and humid). These were tough running conditions because there isn’t much shade on the course. I found myself dumping water over my head frequently to help regulate my temperature. My quads were sore but I was still able to climb the hills. Someone advised me not to charge the hills because there are just too many of them, so I held back: Usually I love hills! Around mile 24.6 my right leg cramped up bad. I needed to massage it out and a spectator provided some water as I took some Endurolyte. From that point on I decided to jog it in vs risk another cramp. In my last mile the rain started and by the time I got to the finish it was raining harder with blustery, colder winds. I crossed the finish line and patted myself on the back. I appreciated the mylar wrap and the fact that the post race snacks were already bagged so I didn’t need to juggle things in my hands.

    In summary, it was a great experience. I’m grateful to the coordinators, volunteers, spectators, and running community for making this such a premier event. The course was hard by my standards. I’ve never been this sore after a race (granted my lack of usual conditioning probably affected that.) It’s an expensive trip too in that hotel and transportation rates are higher and the jacket, etc all add up. That said if you qualify for this, you have to run it as your reward.

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    BrooklandRunner REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I injured my left leg on my last training run about a week from the race. I hoped that it would be ready in time to go. It was not … MORE

    I injured my left leg on my last training run about a week from the race. I hoped that it would be ready in time to go. It was not 100%, and I limped through the race, a minute off pace of what I hoped. I ran between the first and second wave with a small group of “the running wounded,” those of us fast enough to qualify and be seeded in Wave 1, but slowed by an injury just hoping to finish. I’m happy to have finished my seventh Boston Marathon and pleased that my brother finished his first.

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    dmcnosan REPEAT RUNNER '19

    An amazing experience primarily due to volunteers and crowds. Very tough course. Be sure to train with hills. Very expensive race primarily due to hotel prices in area. We stay … MORE

    An amazing experience primarily due to volunteers and crowds. Very tough course. Be sure to train with hills. Very expensive race primarily due to hotel prices in area. We stay in Natick every year which is much less expensive but you miss out on the excitement of being in Boston.

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