Boston (Mass.) Marathon 2018

With two weeks to go, just wondering if anyone else is heading stateside for the Boston Marathon?

I'm running this year and now getting mildly terrified - I've never done any race overseas, never mind a marathon. I'm not good with lack of control and so many things are outside of my control with travel... but fingers crossed! I've started writing lists to off-set all the other variables :lol:

Final long run banked yesterday and now for the dreaded taper.



  • Not this year but I've done it a few times.  If you're staying anywhere in Boston itself there's not a lot to worry about, it's all well organised.  Just remember some old gear to wear to the start if it's cold - you can't take anything on the bus to the start that you're not going to consume, carry on the run or throw away.

    You'll have a great time.
  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭
    I'm doing it this year (not for the first time) so ask away if you want to know anything.
    The weather can go either way (hypothermia or sunburn) - check the forecast for Hopkinton as well as for Boston, it can vary.
    Don't know your schedule but there's now a parkrun if you're looking for like-minded souls on the Saturday morning.
    And as Cheerful Dave says, enjoy it. This city loves its marathon and anyone who runs it.

  • Thanks Dave! I read a suggestion of taking a towel to wrap round me/sit on - so I'll be doing that, along with the usual clothing to be dropped and donated.

    Good to hear there's someone else heading over helly :smile:

    I do have a couple of questions - since you're both old hands...

    I'm staying in Cambridge and am planning to get the green line from Lechmere to Boylston on the morning of the race - does that sound sensible? Will the Green Line subway be running on the day?

    Also, I'm in the blue wave and can get a bus between 08:00 and 08:45 - is it better to get an early bus and be at the start early but have a lot of hanging around, or should I opt for a later bus but run the risk of everyone doing that and being crammed on for the whole journey (or worse still, fail to get on a bus!!!)?

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭
    Dave may be able to answer that one better as I'm usually fortunate enough to get a lift to Hopkinton. :)
    Subways will be running but they close the station(s) nearest the finish, see here.
    If you are planning on using the subway a bit you may want to get a Charlie card (like a London oyster card) for use on public transport.
    Received wisdom seems to be that you get a later bus (though don't push it) as there's enough waiting around near the start. You can't be crammed on the buses as they are those yellow school buses so no standing. 
    The race village at the start has marquees for shelter, water, tea, instant coffee, fruit and clif bars but still isn't great if it's cold and rainy. I've seen people there in dressing gowns.
  • If it's a warm day like last year then there's no issue getting an early bus.  If it's cold one then maybe not so, but as long as you're there in the time slot they've given you then you'll get on a bus.  An old bathrobe sounds ideal TBH, and if you've got an old foil blanket from another race they're good too, if only for sitting on. In the old days when there was a bag drop at the start people packed tents, sleeping bags, the lot.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Also be aware that any bags you take on the bus will be checked by security guards before boarding, so don't cram too much in there. As Dave says, last year was very hot, and it was quite nice just hanging out at the school beforehand, soaking up the morning sun. But I imagine it's a different story on a cold / wet day. I would plan for the worst, and the bathrobe idea sounds like a really good one.
  • Wanting to do Boston next year. Does anyone know if they accept qualifying times from overseas runners, or is that just for US residents?
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭

    Yes - if you run a marathon within the qualification time, then you can enter. What happens is that they invite entries from people who've beat the qualification time by more than 15 minutes, then a few days later by 10 minutes, etc. until the race is full. Usually you need to beat the qualification time by a couple of minutes to get into the race. The good news is that this is not limited to US residents. Good luck!

  • The only caveat to that is that your qualifying time has to be run at a race from their list of qualifying races.  The bigger UK races are all fine, but if you run it at your local village marathon you might have a problem, even if it's a UKA-certified event.
  • helly, Dave, rodeo... thank you for the mighty useful advice and information - sorry it's taken me so long to come back and show my appreciation!

    I used pretty much all the advice given - took a towel (all Hitchhikers should always know where their towel is! :wink:), used a Charlie ticket for all train travel, and packed light for the start buses.

    Managed to survive the most appalling conditions I've ever run in - helly, hope you did likewise.

    htg - I did my BQ in Manchester in 2017... so that's definitely an accepted race.

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭
    No problem Little Nell, glad you got back in one piece and, weather aside, hope you enjoyed it as I love Boston.
    Thought I'd misjudged it at the beginning as I was shaking so much but once I got going I was fine in my top of the range pound shop rain poncho. I don't run well in hot weather and benefitted from barely drinking anything so actually had a pretty good race.
    I saw a small woman with plaits in a Boston jacket at the VLM green start. That wasn't you, was it?
  • Really well done on finishing Boston, helly. I did enjoy it in a masochistic sort of way... but I don't think I'd do it again - it's a tough course! 

    Did you also do London as well... if you were at the Green start? It wasn't me with plaits - I had a pony tail and a blue Run Boston 2018 hat rather than the jacket :smile:

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭
    Well done you. That must have been tough not knowing what was ahead of you in that weather.
    There's obviously at least 3 of us who did both. Did London somewhat slower (really not good with the heat) and it felt like hard work whereas Boston was a bit "it can't get any worse, just go with it" - didn't look at my watch once.

  • Ha! That sounds exactly the same as me... managed part 1 of my A Target in Boston, very much in a "just push on and get it over with" way and ran slower in London (missed the A Target by just over 5 mins).

    Although, to be honest, I felt better in the heat of London - despite naturally being a winter runner and disliking warm weather running. Nothing could have prepared us for the nightmare New England weather that descended on us! :lol:

  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    LN - I ran both last year, but the weather in Boston was somewhat different from what you had this year. Somewhere inbetween would have been nice!
  • I've almost completed my application for the marathon, but am stuck as the site keeps giving a very unhelpful error: Please review the error(s) below.
    3.Lookup - INVALID_QUERY_FILTER_OPERATOR: Participant_Class__c WHERE ( Id
    Anyone know how to fix this? Or how to contact BAA for help? Their site does not give any contact info.
  • Turns out re-doing the application from scratch in a different browser fixed it. Goodness knows why. BAA can be contacted via Fb Messenger
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