Saturday, March 19, 2011

Guest Blogger - Tips for Running Boston from Jason

My friend Jason sent me an awesome email with all kinds of great information for running Boston.  Thanks Jason for taking me under your wing; I really appreciate it.

Enjoy the post and let me know if you have tips for running Boston, waiting around at the start or the finish.

So the past years with the 2 wave start they have had 2 colored bibs, one blue and one red. Sounds like the 3rd wave will have white this year.  They call everyone with blue bibs in wave one to head to the start.(I think it's about 9:15 or so?)  They have corrals marked off so the elites are up front, then bibs 1000-1999 in the first corral, 2000-2999 in the 2nd and so forth.  You may be several hundred yards from the starting line.  Just before the race they take down the corral roped barriers and everyone kind of surges forward, you really can't 'run' until just before the start.  I believe the cut off is 9000 per wave this year.  Once you get to the start you'll be running.  Just don't waste energy weaving in and out of folks, I've learned this the hard way, it will eventually clear out.  Make sure to go out slow, the first 2 miles are severe downhill and with a taper you'll want to scream out of there, don't do it, make a conscious effort to be aware of your pace and run smooth.  Make sure when you get to about half mile to look back up the hill at the sea of runners.  Simply awesome.   Remember to give the kids on the side some high fives too!  :)  

It's a wild scene.  It's WAAAAAY better than my first year in 2005 when they didn't have wave starts, I had bib 17,727 and didn't cross the start line for 20 minutes.  It's much better now and you'll see on the maps they send out where everything is.  My biggest Athlete's village keys are, go to the bathroom line as soon as you get there, seems like every year they have added more port-o-johns yet the lines are always long and obviously get worse close to the time you head to the start. Take an old marathon heat sheet to lay on the ground, it's typically around 45 degrees and you are just sitting around waiting. 

Time crawls until about 45 minutes before you have to head out.   Leave in plenty of time, drop your bag at the buses, make a nice, leisurely stroll to the start.  We've been caught, 2009 I think, running to the corrals and that's just not fun. Obviously I hope you'll be hanging out with the Alzheimer's group so if there are last minute items you need etc, someone will have them.  Plus we form an easy to find camp of runners.   :)

Remember to practice your meals since most of us don't run at that time of day, 10:30am is a bit different for me, I usually eat a small bagel at the Westin then something in the village.   To me that's the biggest headache of this race, leaving soooo early for the village then sitting around and having to kind of go through your race prep out there.   I've gotten a little bit better at not sweating it but it can be a difference for some people.

But hey, it's the Boston Marathon!!  


Ewa said...

and the best of all those tips it this one:

"But hey, it's the Boston Marathon!!" -- Enjoy

Anonymous said...

These are some great tips!

I have never, nor will I ever run the Boston. But I swear, living in the Boston area and watching "the Boston" is just as exciting for us spectators. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

This is probably the closest I'll ever be to running reading this post. Getting very excited for you!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Super helpful... I know nothing.. But I am staying with Bethany and Ryan, Boston Bloggers and am hoping that staying with folks who have run it in the past will help lots..

Thomas Bussiere said...

Sounds like good advise. Look forward to read about your own experience with Boston. I miss watching the Rad Sox at Fenway Park (Did this when a kid).