There is no doubt the Boston Marathon is the greatest marathon I have ever been to. From the professionalism of organizing 30,000 runners to endless sea of people cheering you on, it lives up to all expectations of an epic race. After watching my girlfriend, Erynne, last year run the Boston Marathon, I was very excited to go this year. My goal was to break my PR, running anywhere from 2:40-2:55. As Monday morning came, I was up at 5:00 AM and ready to head to the buses. The Boston Marathon has a unique late start compared to typical races, 10:00 AM being the first wave, so there is a lot of down time in the morning. They end up busing you for about an hour to what they call, Athletes’ Village. Upon arriving to the village, you then wait around for a couple more hours before walking to the start line. There they have small snacks, drinks, bathrooms, tents, and thousands of runners sprawled out everywhere. By the time I left to head to my corral you could barely walk due to so many runners in the area. Also, it’s best to hit the bathrooms as soon as you get there, the lines do get extremely long as the morning drags on. Once you make it to your corral you then begin to realize just how big the Boston Marathon is, there is zero room for movement. As the race begins it nearly impossible to pass people for the first ten miles of the race and it’s best just to stick with the pace of everyone else until the second half of the race. Going into the Boston Marathon I knew it was a downhill marathon, but I was definitely caught off guard by the number of rolling hills hidden in the course profile. Mile 16-19 has hills but honestly Heartbreak hill was most painful hill. I completely under estimated how much damage that hill could do to you 21 miles into a marathon. After finally breaching Heartbreak Hill the rest of the course is much kinder on your ego and legs, in fact I ran my fast splits in the last three miles of the race. As you make the final left onto Boylston Street you can see the finish line and feel the glory throughout your body as the crowd gets even more intense. It truly is a sight you must see for yourself.
In the end I broke my PR by 8 minutes, running a 2:49:50 marathon. I was happy to say the least.
The people of Boston are incredibly friendly to the runners and you’ll receive tons of random “good luck” and “congratulations” the whole time you are in Boston. Both the business and the people in the city seem to embrace the marathon as much as the runners.
There is no lack of amazing food in the city and seeing that I am a pizza lover, Boston is paradise for me. There are endless pizza places to go to and for the most part all of them good. Beyond pizza, the North End also has amazing Italian food along with Mike’s Pastries famous cannoli. Getting into Mike’s Pastries can be a challenge in itself. A hint to all of you, go early in the morning or go right after you finish the marathon, literally right after.
Getting around Boston is very easy, you have the subway if you need to get somewhere fast, including going to and from the airport. Besides the subway for getting around you can basically walk everywhere you need to go for the race and popular destinations. Erynne and I only used the subway for going to the airport, otherwise we just walked where we needed to go. The only downside to traveling to the Boston Marathon is the prices of the hotels, they are out of control. It’s best to start saving now.