The Boston Marathon is back once again on Patriots’ Day, Monday, April 17! 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 marvelous feat of running 26.2 miles through the Hub.
If you’ve never attended the Boston Marathon before, here’s a breakdown of what to expect for its 127th year.
Where/when to watch:
Check out the schedule down below to decide which group you’d like to see!
▪ 6 a.m.: Military march
▪ 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 grueling stretch of the race). The race kicks off in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and finished in Back Bay on Boylston Street.
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 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!