So I only ran one Boston Marathon and I’m by no means an expert on all things Boston. Although…some do find my BM jacket (sizing) post to be very helpful.
This post won’t be about the obvious stuff (down go out too fast, train for up hills and down hills) because, unless you live under a rock, you should know that.
the tank top – an essential layer
The expo is crowded and there are hardly any dressing rooms. You will get a chance to try on your race shirt so it helps if you wear something light and form fitting underneath. I also tried on a ton of other gear. You are literally stripping down, trying something on, putting your clothes back on, moving to another vendor, repeat. See where the tank top helps out?
if you want to celebrate, make reservations
Marathon Monday is huge in Boston. If you have a lot of people with you and want to meet up for dinner after the race, you need reservations. I had to call a number of places and practically begged them to take my reservation.
there seems to be a lot of Miller Lites near me
make time for R&R
We drove up to Boston on Saturday morning and spent an inordinate amount of time at the expo on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning we “visited” the finish line for pictures and then I spent the rest of the day off my feet…even though I was missing out on sightseeing (err, bar hopping) with my family and friends. It was so worth it. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and spend way too much time on your feet. Make sure you schedule in some downtime.
the athletes’ village is huge
When you enter you see 1 large field. There is actually another field on the other side. The porta potty lines were pretty ridiculous where I was (the first field) and I think a lot of people stay in the first field because they don’t know another field exists? So if you really gotta go, check out the next field.
run boston for fun
Here’s where you may disagree. Hear me out. Initially I was not running Boston for “fun”. I was going to race my heart out. Then it was 90 degrees and I was forced to slow down and enjoy myself. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy myself if I raced it (it is Boston!) but you know what I mean. When you run a marathon for fun you take in more and experience more.
I’m not sure if I will ever race Boston. It might always be a fun run for me. I can’t imagine finishing on Boylston Street with an ounce of disappointment because I didn’t reach my A goal. It would just take away from the experience too much.
show off that jacket
I wear mine all the time
Any Boston veterans have other tips to share?
Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen says
I don’t have any tips to share…still in the date collection phase 🙂
Great post, I love getting information by people that have been through it personally, and the bathroom tip especially!!! Thanks! 🙂
I can’t wait!
I’m so glad I’m doing it for fun my first time. I even signed up for the 5k the day before and am running that with my BF, which I obviously NEVER would have done if I was “racing” Boston.
I ended up with the women’s small jacket!
Nice post. I have been trying to read everything I can get my hands on 😛 I have a medium jacket sitting in my closet …waiting but I am not sure I am totally happy with it. I might like the men’s more? We shall see. I am sure I will spend all my savings at the expo. just kidding. Except maybe not.
As long as I cross that finish line after 26.2 miles I won’t be disappointed. I would be disappointed if I didn’t put everything into it I could. No inferno please though!!
Great tips–love the tank top idea!
I would also add to try to stay within walking distance of the finish line area. I was so glad that I did this and did not have to deal with transportation, finding my husband at the end of the race, etc. Yes, you will probably pay more to stay close but it is so worth it!
I would add stay until Tuesday. The first year I did it I flew out Monday night and didn’t really get to celebrate the moment. Last year we stayed until late in the day Tuesday and that was so much more fun!
I hope that I’ll need this advice some years down… Great advice!!!!
I love it when you write about Boston, even though (alas) I don’t need your tips yet. :^)
Megan @ Megan's Miles says
Your last tip is my favorite! If/when I run Boston (I have a lot of work to do to get that BQ), I may never take that jacket off!
aww, love this. I have no tips for the race but like to think of myself as a veteran spectator. Advice would be to have a cowbell, get there early, know when friends will be running by, scream extremely loudly and never forget the OJ for the champagne 🙂
Every time I see someone with a jacket I immediately give them a huge amount of respect and awe. I wear my JFK jacket all the time to “show it off” even though few people know what that race is!
thanks for the tips!! i always thought once i finally qualified it would be boston on my mind 24/7 and training as hard as possible but sadly the rest of my life (aka wedding and grad school) has taken over…so it’s nice to read your run for fun suggestion, and also to remind myself that i should probably start thinking a bit more about that weekend haha! still training to do what i can, but i agree – the really hard part was getting to boston – so if i decide to ease the pressure off while i’m actually there, totally fine 🙂