|Avg Temps f.
56 – 40 (although it can be hot!)
|Gain/Loss in ft
6.5 hours from Wave 4 start
2:03:02 (2011) Geoffrey Mutai
2:18:57 (2014) Rita Jeptoo
100ft over .4 miles
The original US marathon is one of the greats. The crowds are fantastic and the energy is unique and captivating. The course can be deceptively tough and requires specific training to be ready.
You run the entire race on the road. Watch for some potholes and avoid running in line with the road turtles (bumps between lanes) to avoid a twisted ankle.
Detailed course description:
- The start is energizing, with helicopter flyovers, a massive crowd of runners, and spectators already cheering and offering you beers! Don’t let the excitement get to you and go out too fast!
- You lose about 300ft of elevation in the first 4 miles. If you aren’t stuck in crowds slowing you down it’s really easy to go too fast here – DONT! Be patient. If you are stuck in the crowd don’t do too much jockeying to get around people as you’ll waste a ton of energy and won’t go that much faster. Either way, be patient and it will payoff later!
- Mile 4 to mile 16 is mostly flat with some slight rolling hills, and ending with another downhill losing about 120ft over half a mile. Keep it chill in these middle miles and stick to your plan.
- Miles 16 to 21 have a series of 4 hills that will test whether you held it together at the beginning of the race. The first 3 hills range between 50 and 75ft gains, and finally culminate in the climb up “heartbreak hill” starting about mile 20.3 and ending just before 21, gaining about 100 feet.
- If you’ve made it this far keeping it together you’re at the fun part! You have 3 miles of downhill and then 2 miles of flat to the finish!
With the enormous crowds at Boston it can be difficult to see your runner at many spots. Pick 2 or 3 that are easily accessible from the train.
Total gain/loss: 700/1100
Total climbs: 7
Longest climb: “heartbreak hill” gains about 100ft of elevation over less than half a mile. Not super steep, but you definitely feel it after all the downs
Elevation profile: Official race map
Aid stations are located about every mile along the course. You can usually choose which side of the road to use, and they get crowded, so I suggest finding your opportunity to get a drink and then getting out of the way again before trying to consume it. Also, they usually have a section of Gatorade before a section of water.
Any USATF certified marathon course. Here is a list for 2017.
Strava activities and GPX files
Packets can be picked up from the John B. Hynes Convention Center on Friday through Sunday.
Wave 1 starts at 10:00AM, and additional waves will be released every 25 minutes until the final wave 4 at 11:15. Depending on your corall it can take a while to get to the Start form the time your Wave is released.
The Boston Marathon requires either meeting a qualification standard based on your age and gender, or to enter via a charity.
Starts in Hopkinton, MA and finishes in downtown Boston, MA
Travel and Accommodations
Book Travel and lodging early as prices increase and availability gets scarce closer to the event.