Boston Marathon Tips…From You!

Boston Marathon-4 weeks The Boston Marathon is 4 weeks (minus one day) away…or to be exact, check out the countdown. —————————————————–>

But, hey, who’s counting!? The reality of it all is starting to slowly creep in. I have heard stories, and most of them are positive. I have done a little bit of research. I have watched some footage of the race from previous years. I am excited, yes, but scared as heck, too! This will be my second marathon…ever, and although I have been training my butt off, my body has only ran 26.2 miles one time. I have so many questions, and I know most of them won’t be answered until I run the race, but I would like to prepare as best I can.

So, with four weeks minus one day to go, I am asking for your help, Run Revolution community. I want to compile a list of, “Boston Marathon Tips.” I understand not all of you have ran this race, but I am looking for any tips. If you’ve ran Boston, great! If not, maybe you’ve heard some stories and can share some tips. Maybe you’ve been a spectator? Maybe you’re from Boston? Maybe a friend or family member has run? I am looking for tips not only about the course itself, but pre and post race, too! Anything you’ve got, I’ll gladly take. As I receive your tips in the comment section below, I will add them to the list I have already started. So check back periodically to see your tips on the list! May this list become the go-to spot for future first time Boston Marathoners, such as myself. :)

Here is what I’ve heard so far:

  • When they bus you out to the start at Hopkinton (three hours before the start), bring an inflatable air mattress to sit on. They drop you off in an open field and leave you.
  • Bring a garbage bag to the start. Cut a hole just big enough for your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do not cut arm holes. When you put it on, it won’t breathe, so it will keep you warm.
  • Eat a larger than normal meal before you get on the bus in the morning, and bring a snack. It is a while before you start.
  • Heartbreak Hill is three hills, actually. If you train in Seattle, you’ll be fine (this coming from a sub 3 hour Boston marathoner).
  • Be prepared for the downhill section after Heartbreak Hill(s).
  • The expo is the best expo of any marathon. Fill up your swag bag with all the great goodies!
  • Best marathon…hands down. Best overall marathon experience.
  • Figure out in advance where to meet your people when you finish. It’s a zoo.

Now it’s your turn. Help me prepare for Boston! (the following have been added recently)

  • Bus ride to the start is over an hour. Use the bathroom before you get on the bus in the morning.
  • Bring toilet paper to the start, which is named, “Athletes’ Village.” Porta-potty lines are really long, and there are bushes you can use.
  • Wear your running shoes on your flight to Boston, and pack your race outfit in your carry on in case of lost luggage.
  • Don’t run in brand new shoes.
  • First mile of race is downhill. DO NOT START TOO FAST!
  • Heartbreak Hill isn’t that bad. (Still, I am preparing for the worst!)
  • First part of the race is a little boring.
  • The fans are awesome.
  • Run without headphones so you can interact with the crowds.
  • Take pictures.
  • Water stations are packed. Bring your own water bottle if you can run with it comfortably.
  • The finish is great! Lots of energy.
  • The expo is awesome! Don’t wait until late Sunday to go. Go as early as possible and plan to spend a lot of time there.

A more complete list, and its permanent home, can be found here.

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5 Responses to “Boston Marathon Tips…From You!”

  1. March 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I don’t know if you follow Skinny Runner already, but here are her tips for Boston: http://skinnyrunner.com/2011/04/25/boston-marathon-race-review/ (because obviously I have none of my own….yet!).

  2. jack
    March 21, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    A story about running shoes several years ago, I arrived in Boston to run the “Grand Daddy of all Marathons” . The night before the race, I arrived at Logan and headed for baggage claim—-Yup, NO BAG. What to do? The airline (unnamed) told me the bag had been sent to Istanbul and I might receive it in 2 or 3 days…Yikes. It’s 8 pm and too late to hit the running stores so I took a deep breath and headed off to my hotel at Copley Place. Enjoyed my carbo dinner while perusing the yellow pages looking for a nearby running emporium. I slept fitfully that night knowing I had to dash out at dawn’s first light to purchase shorts, a top and of course new running shoes. Not to belabor this tale, I’m happy to report it all worked out and I conquered Heartbreak Hill and Company in a PB time. MORAL—-Hand carry your running equipment if you are flying and use a running shoe that is consistent in manufacturing specifications from year to year so you can run the Boston in a brand new pair.

    • March 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      Awesome tips! Thanks. I will definitely be wearing my shoes ON the plane. Shoes that I have already put a few miles on. :)

  3. Shawn
    March 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Don’t race in new shoes and don’t wear clothes that you haven’t worn on a long run yet! Your shoes and clothes need to be tested just like you.

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