You’ve got mail…from the Boston Marathon

On Saturday a packet arrived from the Boston Marathon.  Kinda like getting word from colleges; big envelope is better than little envelope.  And this one had a WHOLE bunch of stuff inside.


There was a bib pickup card, to allow me to pick up my stuff at the expo (below).  This also had my qualifying time listed.  Due to that time, I’ll be in wave numero uno!


However – let’s be clear now upfront.  I will not be running a PR or anywhere near a PR at Boston.  I’m there to enjoy the experience.  That may or may not include stopping at a Denny’s around mile 14 or so if it seems like the prudent thing to do.  And I’ll definitely have a camera with me on the run.  It will of course be a relatively quick run – but don’t be looking for any sub-3 action…

Then there was this ‘Optimal Hydration’ packet with a TON of text in it about over and under hydrating.  I found it kinda funny because these sorts of things would be far more useful in normal marathons – but in the case of Boston – the vast majority of folks have run marathons before.  But, it’s there for ya!


Then there was a big multi-page guide to the race, the transportation options and everything you’d expect in a big marathon race guide.  If anyone has any recommendations around this topic – I’m all ears.  I’m staying with family in the area and will have car with the girl (who’s cheering) – so is the best option to take the provided buses, or to just get dropped off at the start by the girl and then have her wander via car?  Or is it better to simply take the busses form downtown and then have her access the course via the T (subway)?

Note how big this expo is!  Holy cow!  Think of all the free stickers I can get there!


Of course, just for showing up I get this nifty bright yellow shirt.  Apparently I’m on a yellow-shirt-run lately with the National Marathon volunteer shirt.  I’m considering starting a road construction company soon, and these would come in handy.  Shovel-ready, right?


However, they know you’ll probably want to buy some stuff to remember the occasion.  So they include a catalog in the bundle as well – complete with plenty of slightly over-priced items (not nearly as overpriced as the Ironman items though)


I did see these flip-flops though…they are tempting…


Finally, at the end of the athlete guide, there was this ad from Adidas.  I think it summed up marathon running pretty well – hopefully they’ll have (free) posters of it at the expo.


That’s it – less than 20 days till the Boston Marathon (Monday – April 20th).  Don’t worry, ya know I’ll take lots of photos!


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  1. Given that you’re so fast, and the day is a partial state holiday (with lots of folks off from work and the schools closed) it may be easier for the girl to let you take the bus to the start and see you on the course via T. Accessing the first part of the course by car is best or really the only feasible option, but as you approach town the traffic becomes unbelievable with roads closed and all the spectators.

    She could also drop you off, park at Riverside and take the T in from there. However, the green line really slows down on marathon Monday, particularly the line that ends at Boston College.

    Good luck!

  2. And, there’s always a baseball game at Fenway, too – just to add to the celebratory spirit of the day…

  3. Since this will be my first Boston I can’t speak from experience, but they say it’s much easier to take the bus.

    It’s perfectly possible to drive to Hopkinton and back if you know the back roads, but my guess is you guys don’t.

  4. I vote for Denny’s. Order the Moons Over My Hammy, that would be appropriate!

    link to

    Best wishes, I know you’re going to have a fantastic Boston Marathon!

  5. If there was ever a time to try it, the Boston Marathon would be the perfect time to attempt the beer water stop. You know you’ve seen it before and considered it. Well now is your chance…what, with having fun and all…

  6. Janice

    I can let you borrow one of my red sox shirts so that when you cross the finish line, you’ll fit right in up there. Patriot’s Day is a big deal in Boston. Congrats Ray!

  7. First off good luck with the race. As for driving I personally would recommend against it. It’s highly likely that she’ll end up stuck in traffic or a can’t find parking for forever situation.

    I actually live on the Marathon route, right around mile 9.5 (Natick) so I have a bit of experience with the traffic problem, although I’ve never been downtown in Boston during the Marathon. Unfortunately I have to work this year and I won’t get to watch the race.

  8. Random thoughts… although it’s been years since I ran it….

    1) Definitely don’t drive around the course (or have support team doing it) – closures are weird & it’s tough to get around. Even if you can, once you get where you want, parking to get to the course to see someone go by is a nightmare. Public transportation is the way to go! Pick 3-4 spots — Wellesly, base of Heartbreak hill & finish?

    2) Have a good plan for where to meet @ the end; place is a madhouse.

    3) You may not want to start up front if you’re not going for a PR. The start drop leads to ridiculous pacing for the first 10 miles… I guess is depends on if you think you’ll hold back given a) the downhill (hey, I feel great!) and b) everyone and their dog gunning it by you.

    4) I found the hardest part to be after heartbreak hill; my mantra was “just make it to the top”, and did feeling great. Rest was downhill… but my quads, which had been beat up from 18 miles of downhill decided that they were done for the day and locked at the top… after all, they got a break going up hill and had no desire to fire after that. 🙂 Save something in your quads for the end….

    Good luck! You’ll celebrate Patriot’s Day for the rest of your life after this! 🙂

  9. Have an awesome time, Ray. Look forward to hearing how it goes for you. I’m getting excited just reading about it!

  10. Oooo it’s all so exciting. You said the hydration thing wasn’t necessary for experienced marathoners, but I bet there will be a good handful who will be so excited/nervous about the race that they’ll forget to take anything.

  11. Since I’m not likely to qualify for Boston anytime it is great to see all that stuff that goes along with it, like the packages they mail out! Can’t believe the race is so soon. Looking forward to your race report already.

  12. First wave at Boston? You know you’re speedy when…

  13. Now I don’t have to read my booklet. I think you hit the important stuff.

    Lavaman is a GREAT race, every year, first weekend of April (I think). You should do it next year.

  14. Wow, it’s what…only 2 weeks away? Have a wonderful time – and yes, enjoy the experience…and the stickers!

  15. Yes, the Boston Marathon expo is the best one I’ve ever been to. I could have easily spent all day there. And very cool that you get two shirts! I saw last year’s Boston Marathon race shirt (I think it was) and that was a tech shirt vs. the cotton ones they used to give out. I might have to do it again just for one of those.

    Enjoy the experience!!

  16. Have a great time! I love that add in the program. It is so true. We push ourselves to do crazy hard things and we love it. We love how it feels. We love how it makes us who we are. We love how it can change us and make us grow.

    I hope that one day I can qualify.