You've put in endless training miles, made several attempts to qualify, and now you're packed and ready to head to Boston this weekend! First of all, CONGRATS! You have reached runner level 100!
We've talked to a few local Boston Marathon veterans and asked them for a few tips and tricks for race weekend. Enjoy, and good luck to everyone from Chattanooga racing on Monday!
"Stalk your favorite elite runners, its the only time it's really okay! There are lots of events happening with famous runners giving talks or group runs, so if you want to see someone, do some research! We ran into Shalane Flanagan last year giving a talk at the Runner's World pop-up shop!" - Morgan Olson (1x Boston Finisher, '17)
For starters, check out these events happening:
"Buy a cheap 'throw away' blanket and 'throw away' sweats to wear to the athletes' village on race morning" -Scott Hamby (2x Boston Finisher, '16, '17, and headed back this weekend!)
"The day before the race, get your 3-4 mile shakeout run in on the Charles River Esplanade. It's a beautiful riverwalk with beautiful views of Boston! Really, just go exploring, anywhere you run you will see some cool sights." -Morgan Olson
"Hydrate! If the human body is a machine then water is the oil that keeps it running!" -Dianna Leun (2x Boston Finisher, '14, '17, and going back this weekend!)
"Talk to a stranger! Safety first of course, but strike up conversation on the subway, the bus to the race or in the port-a-potty line. Everyone is hyped up so it helps calm the nerves, and you can make a new friend!" - Dianna Leun
"Wear sunscreen" -Michael Green (2x Boston Finisher, '96 and '04)
"Don't worry, there is a last minute port-a-potty stop right before the start line" - Morgan Olson
"Go out conservatively, run the first 2 miles about 20 seconds slower than you want to run" -Alan Outlaw (1x Boston Finisher, '17)
"Run conservative until you reach Newton...around mile 16" -Scott Hamby
"Go out easy, take your time and don't force your way through the pack in the first several miles. The hills near the end only beat people down if they've already beat up their legs in the first part of the race" Kevin Huwe (3x Boston Finisher, '13, '14', and '17)
"Avoid zig zagging in the mass amounts of people, it's exhausting and it'll make you more frustrated." - Morgan Olson
"After you finish the race, it's about a mile to family/friend meet-up area, so think positive thoughts and don't fall over." -Morgan Olson
"A Red Sox game is a nice way to get the Boston experience before the race" Kevin Huwe
"The city of Boston is wonderful. Grab something at the bakery and savor each and every bite!" - Dianna Leun
"Go to Mike's Pastry in the North End. They have so many varieties of cannolies, you won't be able to pick just one!" -Scott Hamby
"Dunkin Donuts is the best local coffee shop you can go to!"
Good luck to everyone racing Boston on Monday!
Don't Stress. Remember where you are, and all you've done to be there. It's quite an accomplishment, so take it all in and enjoy the experience. Boston is a tough course with tough conditions, so just have fun with it. We hope you have enjoyed these tips and tricks!