What It’s Like to Run the Boston Marathon…

By Guest Blogger: Megan, a music teacher, runner, fitness blogger, and soon to be personal trainer. If you would like to follow more of her adventures, check out her blog: Meg Go Run.


Running a marathon is a unique experience that most healthy people can accomplish if they are willing to put in the training. Marathon running has become extremely popular in the past few years. Still, only 1% of the population has run a marathon. Of that 1%, only 8-9% qualify to run Boston.

I’m part of the running population that has run Boston. I ran it in 2009 and will be back in 2014. I’m really excited!

What’s it like to run the Boston Marathon?

A day or two before the race you head to the Expo, which is held at the John Hynes Convention Center. There, you pick up your packet – which includes your bib, timing chip, shirt, and other goodies. There’s an extensive collection of Boston Marathon running apparel for sale. It’s severely overpriced but most runners buy a jacket anyway!

Jacket - 1

My cat puked on mine. Don’t worry, the stain came out. 

The Expo is only a block from the finish line, so runners stop by to have their picture taken at the most famous finish line in the world!

Finish Line - 2


The evening before the race, runners flock to area restaurants to eat all the carbs in sight. Early reservations are good because marathon morning starts early with a 6:30am bus ride to Hopkinton.

Buses - 3

Ready to board the buses!


The Boston Marathon is actually a marathon TO Boston, starting in Hopkinton. At Hopkinton High School, an Athletes’ Village is set up for runners to congregate. The race doesn’t start until a few hours after your arrival.

Athletes Villiage - 4

There is A LOT of waiting around in the Village. You can tell the seasoned runners from the newbies. Seasoned runners bring inflatable rafts to catch a few Zzzzs before the race. Newbies (me) bring a tarp.

Tarp - 5


Port-o-Johns are a runner’s best friend. I never saw so many port-o-johns in my life until Athletes’ Village.

Toilets - 6

This picture probably only depicts 5% of them.


** Tip: After you use the toilet, get right back in line. By the time it’s your turn again, you’ll have to go!**

Two F-15s fly overhead as the race begins. Then in waves…wheelchair racers, elites, and then the “common folk” broken into three more waves.

The scenery of the race is small town Massachusetts, passing through several small towns and colleges until the final finish line on Boylston Street. Friendly spectators line the course.

Newto - 7

Around Mile 13, the course passes by Wellesley College, where the college girls are out cheering. Many of them offer kisses to sweaty runners.

Wellesley - 8

Heartbreak Hill is around Mile 20. It’s really not that heartbreaking and gets more hype than it deserves.


Drama atop Heartbreak Hill.

When you see the Citgo sign in the distance, you know you’ve almost made it! Boylston is just around the corner!

Citgo - 10


As you cross the crowded finish line, you are handed a medal and mylar blanket.


Congratulations! You just ran the most famous foot race in world!


3am train ride home. I swear, I had fun!



    1. I guess the one thing I would say is that the finish line of a marathon is the one of the HAPPIEST places in the world. It makes me very angry that someone would want to destroy that happiness.


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