Last weekend my love for running and traveling to new places came together with a trip to Boston to cheer on my badass, speedy friend who ran the marathon. It was an experience I’ll never forget!
I never realized how much else goes on during the Boston Marathon weekend, including a 5k run that close to 9,000 people participated in. Luckily the weather was great that morning, the spectators were out in full, and I got to experience running across the marathon finish line. There really is something special about running in Boston and I’m so glad I got a chance to do it (and make Massachusetts state #23 I’ve ran in!).
I was so excited to witness this historic race in person. Much has been written about the conditions so I won’t waste space here, but I can tell you it didn’t stop spectators from showing up. I can’t imagine what it would look like on a nice day based on how packed the course was in the shittiest of conditions. This city truly embraces this race!
I did a ton of spectator research before the trip. The logistics are a little insane for this point-to-point course, but we had a solid plan and it ended up working out well. I referenced the 2018 spectator guide and MBTA course viewing map a lot and could probably write a whole separate post on spectating tips. Feel free to reach out if you want more details.
My crew took the Green Line B branch to Chestnut Hill around mile 22. Our home base was Mary Ann’s, a cash-only bar we could easily dip in and out of. On a better weather day, I would have stayed outside the whole time. But with the crazy conditions, I popped out to watch the elites, my friends in Wave 1, and the main runner we traveled with who was in Wave 3. The app came in handy here since I could go out right before they hit our section of the course.
We were inside Mary Ann’s when Des crossed the finish line and everyone went wild. Again, this city is all in on the marathon and it was so awesome to be part of it.
I didn’t fit in as much sightseeing as I normally would have, but I had a great time eating and bar hopping my way through Boston. Some of the highlights:
- Salty Pig: So good and worth the long wait
- McGreevy’s: Posted up for EPL matches
- Boston Sail Loft: Authentic local seafood spot on the water
- Max Brenner: Chocolate shop that serves brunch
- Antico Forno: Perfect pre-marathon day meal in Little Italy
- Masa: Delish post-race dinner
We did have a brief cultural respite at the Museum of Fine Art. Unfortunately the lines were crazy long for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum next door so we skipped it. I also have to give a shout out to the totally clutch, locally owned store Trend on Newbury. I bought rain boots that were so necessary on marathon day and the owner was super nice and helpful.