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FAQs about your Boston Marathon Race Day 🇺🇸
FAQs about your Boston Marathon Race Day 🇺🇸

Congratulations on qualifying for Boston!! Please see the guide on the Boston Marathon and a blog from our very own Runna Chris!

Chris avatar
Written by Chris
Updated over a week ago

FAQs about your Boston Marathon Race Day

​💼 What should I pack?

It goes without saying that packing your running shoes, clothing and any nutrition you'll be taking is an essential step for your preparation! If you're travelling on the day, staying overnight or longer, you may need more items, but here are a few helpful options for race day itself.

  • Your running kit (worn, as there are minimal opportunities to change) and race-day shoes.

  • Any gels, chews or other sports nutrition that you've previously used, 100 ml (3.4 oz) or less can be carried in your hand held luggage.
    ​​(remember, nothing new on race day!)

  • A snack and some water for during your morning travel to the start line.

  • A jumper and/or bin bag to stay warm. Old clothes discarded at the start are collected and donated to charity too! Make sure any old jogging bottoms are easy to remove over your shoes, if you choose to wear these.

  • Your drop bag (see below) with anything you'll need for after the event. A spare warm top, recovery snack (such as a protein flapjack) and typically avoiding leaving valuables in this bag is a sensible idea.

  • Your phone, watch, headphones and Runna! Make sure you download any power-playlists ahead of time, charge everything the night before and be sure you've tested your race day tracking!

🗺️ How do I collect my race bib and where is the expo located?

The Bank of America Boston Marathon Expo is where you’ll collect your race bib and soak in the pre-race excitement! Here are the details:

    • Dates and Hours:

    • Friday, April 12: 11:00 AM–6:00 PM

    • Saturday, April 13: 9:00 AM–6:00 PM

    • Sunday, April 14: 9:00 AM–6:00 PM

    • (Expo hours are subject to change.

Remember, bring along a valid photo ID and your bib pick-up card. Please remember - Bibs are not available to collect on the day of the race.

🚌 How do I get to the start line?

The iconic yellow school buses will be your primary mode of transport in the morning on race day. These buses are loaded according to which colour bib you are designated. Make your way to Boston Common (Prepare your journey in advance, as a lot of roads are closed and Uber prices can be high. I personally stayed in a hotel with a complimentary shuttle bus, which really helped take any stress away) and drop your kit bag off and then hop onto a bus, ready to be taken to the athlete village in Hopkinton! The ride is around 50 minutes, but the atmosphere and camaraderie helps the time pass much quicker - before you know it you are queuing for a portaloo with 30,000 other runners! :D

🏃 Where will I be running?

The Boston Marathon course commences in Hopkinton, MA, and culminates on Boylston Street in Boston, MA.

The first 13 miles consist of gentle rolling hills, with some downhill segments, which give you a chance to increase your stride.

At mile 13 you encounter the famous ‘Scream Tunnel’ with enthusiastic students from Wellesley cheering you on and even offering kisses. 😗

Miles 16-21 is where the intensity level is dialled up, as you approach the Newton Hills, including the famous Heartbreak Hill. Dig deep and hang in there, you've nearly conquered the hills!

Once you have traversed Heartbreak Hill it is smooth sailing into Boston, with the Prudential Centre and John Hancock in sight!

And you’re nearly there - Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston and you have Finished the Boston Marathon! You have done it! Time to get your medal and enjoy the post-race festivities! 🎖️

🐌 How should I pace myself on race day?

Hopefully prior to the race, you will have done a fair amount of training on Hills! This will come in handy on race day 😉 . You can do this in your Runna Plan by Going to the Train Tab > Manage Plan > Terrain and changing this to hilly.

If you follow the designated workout on your plan for the marathon, then you will enter race mode and will go from 42km/26.2mi downwards until you finish. You will be directed to the median of your pace range, if you have pace alerts switched on. I.e if you are given a race day pace of 6:00km-6:20km, then your pace alerts will direct you to be at 6:10km.

It is important to conserve energy for the later miles, in particular the Newton Hills, you should prevent burning out early.

Here are a few more tips on marathon pacing for you too!

👪 How do I meet up with friends and family after?

I would advise arranging to meet your family in the Family Meeting Area.

  • Large signs with all letters of the alphabet will be posted along Stuart Street, Clarendon Street, and St. James Avenue - These alphabetical signs make reuniting easy and efficient.

😍 My personal experience of running Boston Marathon in 2024:

​I arrived in Boston, just hoping that I would be able to finish in one piece, due to a foot injury I had sustained only a few weeks before! I woke up at 5:30am, downed my bowl of porridge and bagel, electrolyte tab and half a litre of water, before catching the lift down to the lobby of my hotel, where I bumped into many other runners who were all excited to be running the Boston Marathon!

I took the shuttle bus to Boston Common and dropped off my kit bag and then made my way to one of the famous yellow buses, to be transported off to Hopkinton. I made sure I used the Portaloo before jumping on the bus, as 50 minutes is a long time when you have downed so much fluid in the morning.

The atmosphere on the bus was an electric mix between excitement and anticipation! I got talking to a husband and wife who were running together and this really helped ease some tension!

Once off the bus, there was a long wait time in the Athlete's Village (90 minutes), I took this opportunity to use the portaloo again and start some dynamic warmups.

Then my wave was called and I was off to the start line! I discarded my jumper and joggers and made my way to the start line. The weather prediction was to expect hot weather and so I took the opportunity to cover myself in complimentary suntan lotion.

As Metallica's ‘Enter Sandman’ blasted from the speaker, I took some deep breaths and then boom! it was time to take off. I started off extremely conservatively given and tried to just enjoy the occasion. I stopped at every water station and felt gratitude the whole way round to just be running such a historic marathon!

I suffered through the Newton Hills and live to tell the story! Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston - is the famous mantra for the finish of Boston and these words echoed through my mind as I struggled to climb the hills!

The euphoria and elation at finishing after being unable to walk just a few weeks prior was massive! I collected my medal and kit bag and made my way off to Boston Common, where I met my partner and we went for a lovely seafood dinner in the Italian District followed by some well deserved Cannolli and a pint of Samuel Adams!

We hope this article gives you an insight into the Boston Marathon - Congratulations once again on your BQ! You have done the hard work - now soak up the vibes and enjoy your race day! 🤩 If you have any questions at all, then please reach out to us and we will be here to support you!

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