The Boston Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors and is the oldest consecutively run marathon in the world. Securing a place at Boston is often described as getting to the super bowl (especially by our American cousins). For anyone attempting to complete all six of the majors it's a must do marathon and obtaining a place by hook or by crook is essential. My thoughts and feedback on the race is as follows:
- The organisation for Boston was flawless, from confirming my place to receiving my race passport it felt like a well oiled machine - and I was in awe of how the fleet of big yellow school buses managed to transport c30,000 runners from Boston Common to Hopkinton.
- The course took in a full tour of some beautiful towns all the way back into the City. Some notable points along the route included Wellesley were the female college students scream at the top of their lungs to try and secure a kiss from a runner. And when you finally crest heartbreak hill at mile 21 the decibel levels from Boston College were a huge boost. The crowd support throughout the whole course was brilliant.
- The course was also really challenging, don't ever let anyone tell you down hill running is easy, but Boston has some epic climbs from mile 15 - 21 which really test your lungs.
- The pasta party (which is a great way to meet fellow runners) can be a challenge with a field of c30,000 runners, as such the queues were literally 0.25miles long. So my advice, get there early!
- The expo venue was equally challenging to get into, I've run a number of big city marathons (including NYC, Chicago, London, Paris) and by comparison it was not ideal. Notwithstanding the queuing or the confusion I spent as a little time there than I'd planned.
- The venue for the mile 27 party at Fenway Park was brilliant and I made my way there in eager anticipation having duly noted that Samuel Adams was a lead sponsor. Once through the gates I was really disappointed to find that there was no free beer. For anyone finishing Chicago, you're greeted with a beer from the Goose Island beer company. So once I got over the fact that wasn't even one free beer, I went to the bar to order the special 26.2 brew and discovered that a single beer was a princely $10.25!!!
Overall, I loved my Boston experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. I'll never forget the advice that even appears on tshirts to help any jaded runners as you hit mile 26, right on Hereford, left on Bolyeston - remember that and want go wrong.