The Boston Marathon is back once again this Monday, April 18, on its original date of Patriots’ Day! Even if you’re not competing, the Marathon is a great day to cheer on the 30,000 runners competing this year as they accomplish the marvellous feat of running 26.2 miles through the Hub.
If you’ve never attended the Marathon before, here’s a breakdown of what to expect for its 126th year.
Where/when to watch:
Since the race is back to more typical start times and will have the usual wave starts (as opposed to 2021’s system), check out the schedule down below to decide which group you’d like to see!
▪ 9:02 a.m.: Men’s wheelchair
▪ 9:05 a.m.: Women’s wheelchair
▪ 9:30 a.m.: Handcycles and duos
▪ 9:37 a.m.: Elite men
▪ 9:45 a.m.: Elite women
▪ 9:50 a.m.: Para athletics divisions
▪ 10 a.m.: Wave 1
▪ 10:25 a.m.: Wave 2
▪ 10:50 a.m.: Wave 3
▪ 11:15 a.m.: Wave 4
The three main spots that attract the most spectators are the starting point, finish line, and Heartbreak Hill (the most gruelling stretch of the race). Now, aside from those three main points, the experience is pretty similar in most places along the route. Ultimately, the best place to watch the Marathon is anywhere you can walk to—we do not recommend driving and parking on this particular day of the year. If you must drive, try to stay on the same side you live on.
Crossing the marathon route isn’t always easy or possible at all, so plan to stay on one side of it wherever you end up. While there are areas where you can cross, they are only open at certain times and once the pack thickens, they close for over an hour at a time.
What to expect for COVID-19 regulations:
For those watching on the sidelines, the BAA suggests getting vaccinated and strongly encourages spectators to get tested for COVID-19 in advance of traveling to Boston. Masks are not mandatory, but the BAA suggests wearing one when you are unable to social distance. They will be required on BAA transportation to the start line in Hopkinton, however.
What to bring/not bring:
For watching the race, we recommend bringing lawn chairs to kick back and relax in while the runners approach. Plus, signs of encouragement are always appreciated to cheer on the runners!
As for what not to bring: BAA officials have warned that spectators entering official event venues may be asked to pass through security checkpoints and have their bags inspected by law enforcement officers or contracted private security personnel. Spectators are discouraged from bringing backpacks, suitcases, coolers, and bulky handbags, as well as glass containers.
Have a happy Marathon Monday, Boston, and see you at the finish line!
[featured image: facebook.com/BostonMarathon]