Heading to Boston for Patriot’s Day Weekend? We’re less than two weeks away! I’m bringing back my list from last year, the Top 10 Things to do during the Boston Marathon Weekend! Here goes…
I grew up “just outside of Boston.” The Boston Marathon is highly revered in Massachusetts and it is arguably the most prestigious road race on earth. Runners from all over the world have trained countless hours to either qualify on their own, or run on charity teams, raising money for many incredible causes to help make this world a better place.
For those who do not know, I am a charity coordinator for one of those charities. For years, I’ve watched runners, who wouldn’t normally be able to run Boston because of the intense time qualifications, live out their dreams of running the Boston Marathon, while raising funds for very important causes- hospitals, education, social services- they are motivated to run and finish the race for those who have supported their cause and for the very lives who benefit from their funds raised.
I am so thrilled to be able to call this my profession, and every year I look forward to cheering on my runners during Marathon Monday. Will I run someday? I hope so! But in the meantime, I love seeing the look of sheer joy on their faces as they come to me at the finish line wrapped in their mylar blankets sporting their shiny, new medal.
If you are planning on running the Boston Marathon on April 16, congratulations! Are you from out of town staying for the weekend and have no idea what to do while you visit? Here are my top 10 things to do while you’re here! For those of you who aren’t participating but are curious about what a Boston Marathon weekend looks like, keep reading!
Will Run for Disney’s
Top 10 Things to do in Boston during Marathon Weekend
- Take your Time at the Expo
The John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo changed locations this year, FYI, and will be at the Seaport World Convention Center. The expo will open on Friday at 11:00AM and remain open through Sunday evening. The convention center is located in the flashy new part of Boston, the Seaport district right on the harbor. To arrive by T, take the Red Line to South Station and transfer to a Silver Line (it is more like an elongated bus) to the Water Front, L1.
Please note: you will need to have a form of identification ready in order to pick up your bib. No one else can pick it up for you.
There will also be long lines during pick-up. Rest assured, these lines move quickly, and there are plenty of volunteers helping to support the process. Make sure you pick up everything you need and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Now for the fun– This is a great opportunity to pick up your coveted Boston Marathon jacket and any other gear you’ll want to sport. [Fun fact: the locals are superstitious about Marathon jackets- they will not wear it until they finish their race!] Part of the ritual of the Boston Marathon is finding out what the colors of the jacket will be for the year!
For more information about the Expo, please visit the Boston Athletic Association webpage: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/expo-and-number-pick-up.aspx
2. Check out Marathon Sports
Located steps way from the finish line on Boylston Street is the Marathon Sports sports store. Grab any last minute items you may need and check out a longstanding tradition in Boston. This is where the locals shop for their running gear! Memorabilia from races past are hung on the walls and the staff is friendly and eager to help.
For more information, visit www.marathonsports.com
3. Visit the Boston Marathon adidas RunBase
Another cool storefront to visit on Boylston Street is the Boston Marathon adidas RunBase. Opened in 2015 in partnership with adidas and the Boston Athletic Association, this space serves as an adidas store, a gathering place for presentations and fitness classes, an exhibit of Boston Marathon memorabilia, and interactive maps of the course and its elevation. It also serves as a hub for runners to use lockers and showers free of charge.
For more information, visit http://www.bostonrunbase.com/
4. Old South Church- Blessing of the Athletes
A sacred tradition for Boston Marathon runners is to attend services at the Old South Church at 645 Boylston Street across from the Boston Public Library for the Blessing of the Athletes. They will offer the blessing at 9:00AM and 11:00AM and will ring the bells on race day when the winners cross the finish line.
This is a time to reflect in a peaceful environment with thousands of other runners. People from all religions, backgrounds and creeds attend this ceremony. For many it is considered a highlight of the weekend.
For more information, please visit: http://www.oldsouth.org/worship/special-annual-worship-services
5. Pre-Race Dinner:
In need of some restaurant recommendations? Oh boy, do I have a lot for you. Here are some in the general Back Bay depending on what you like to eat the night before a big race. Get a reservation while they’re still available. And feel free to reach out to me for more!
You’ve finished your race, congratulations! Remember it’s important to keep your legs moving post-race. And it’s time to celebrate!
6. Post-Race Celebration: Mile 27 at Fenway Park
Take your friends and family to the Mile 27 party at Fenway Park and check out the oldest ballpark in the country! Official after party sponsored by Sam Adams, the local favorite!
For more information: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/event-information/post-race-party.aspx
7. Speaking of Sam Adams- Visit a Brewery
Boston is a town that knows its craft beer- and cider! Visit a local brewery for a tour of the facilities and of course, a tasting. There’s Sam Adams, Harpoon, Lord Hobo, Downeast Cider, and Bantam Cider to name a few.
8. Visit a Cultural Attraction
Museum of Science. Boston Duck Tour. New England Aquarium. Museum of Fine Arts. Boston Tea Party Museum. USS Constitution. Swan Boats at the Public Garden. We have something for everyone!
9. Visit Harvard Square
Okay, it’s technically not Boston. But while you’re here you might as well see the oldest and most exclusive college town in the country! Check out the “Yahd” and the surrounding shops and restaurants.
10. Take a Walk on the Esplanade
Start from Charles/MGH, Back Bay or even Harvard Square and check out the best views from the city. Better yet, take a sailboat ride! Us Bostonians are proud of our Esplanade- it offers the most stunning views of Boston and Cambridge as well as the best run and bike pathways. We love a good run with a view!
With such sweeping views, it’s hard not to get a bit reflective- we love our city and we are proud to show it off to our global running community. We can’t wait to host you marathon weekend!
Until then, #willrunfordisney