23 Ways to Celebrate the Boston Marathon

From pre-race poster making to Marathon Monday viewing parties.
boston marathon 2016 american flag

Photo by Olga Khvan

As Boston gears up for its biggest day, we found Boston Marathon events for runners and spectators alike. Here’s where to make posters, watch the race, meet Shalane Flanagan, join a shakeout run, and more.

Friday, April 14

John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo: Runners hit the expo to pick up their highly coveted bibs, but the three-day, open-to-the-public event also hosts 200 sports and fitness exhibitors showing off their latest products and services. Free samples abound.

Free, 4/14-4/16. John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston, sportsfitnessexpo.com

Runner’s World Pop-Up: Runner’s World is opening a three-day Boston Marathon pop-up on Boylston Street. It’s hosting tons of events, ranging from expert panels to yoga classes for runners. See the full lineup here.

Free, 4/14-4/16. Runner’s World Pop-Up, 899 Boylston St., Boston, runnersworld.com.

Eat and Run with Kathrine Switzer: AT&T and Boston are hosting an event with Kathrine Switzer, who 50 years ago became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with a number. Pose for a picture, pick up a copy of her book Marathon Woman, get an autograph, and more.

Free, 12 p.m. The AT&T Flagship Store, 699 Boylston St., Boston, eventbrite.com.

Runner’s Tales: Every runner has a great story. At this Janji open-mic storytelling night, hear stories that center around the theme of “journey.”

Free, 7 p.m. Janji, 328 Newbury St., Boston, facebook.com

Boston Run

The Boston Run course/Graphic provided

Saturday, April 15

Boston Run: Use this run to get in the marathon spirit, whether you’re running on Monday or not. The roughly 4.5-mile course, which weaves through the Back Bay, spells out “Boston.”

Free, 6:30 a.m. Back Bay, Charlesgate Road, Boston, eventbrite.com.

Shakeout with Shalane: Shake it out during a two- to three-mile run with elite marathoner Shalane Flanagan. One lucky attendee will win a VIP Heartbreak Hill Running Company Studio experience and a $200 gift card to Nike.

Free, 8 a.m. Heartbreak Hill Running Company, 294 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, eventbrite.com.

Morning Shakeout with Mario Fraioli: Tracksmith is hosting elite runner and Competitor editor Mario Fraioli for a morning shakeout run. Afterward, head back to the brand’s store for coffee and bagels.

Free, 8:30 a.m. Tracksmith Trackhouse, 285 Newbury St., Boston, eventbrite.com.

Nomadic Run Crew, Marathon Edition: Janji’s run club will lead three-, five-, or 10-mile jaunts, all of which make a stop at a mural by Gregg Bernstein, assistant director of the Mayor’s Mural Crew. After the trip, runners can enjoy coffee, mimosas, Bloody Marys, and bagels.

Free, 9:30 a.m. Janji, 328 Newbury St., Boston, facebook.com.

Heather Abbott Foundation Marathon Brunch: Enjoy live music and good food at this Met Back Bay brunch. It’s hosted by Team Limb-It-Less, and supports the Heather Abbott Foundation‘s mission of helping people get the prosthetic they need.

$50, 10 a.m. The Met Back Bay, 279 Dartmouth St., Boston, heatherabbottfoundation.org.

Boston Shakeout: Loosen up your legs and lungs with this 5K on the Esplanade. Plus, you’ve got the chance to score some gear from Asics, Jaybird, and Runkeeper.

Free, 10:30 a.m. DCR’s Hatch Memorial Shell, 47 David Mugar Way, Boston, eventbrite.com.

Fit University Marathon Monday Pregame: Fit University and Reebok are helping you get ready for the big day with bagels, coffee, poster making, a foam rolling station for runners, and more.

Free, 11 a.m. Reebok, 665 Tremont St., Boston, gofitu.com.

How Was Your Run Today Boston Marathon Experience: Run-focused podcast How Was Your Run Today is hosting interviews with special guests, then leading a mile-long shakeout run to the South End branch of Heartbreak Hill Running Company.

Free, 12:30 p.m. WGBH Studio at Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, howwasyourruntoday.com.

Club Night at the Eliot Lounge: Tracksmith is recreating the late, great Eliot Lounge, a bar that served as the unofficial Boston Marathon finish line for years. Tracksmith will bring the spot back to life for one night, and is inviting runners from all over Boston to enjoy the nostalgia trip.

Free, 7 p.m. Tracksmith Trackhouse, 285 Newbury St., Boston, eventbrite.com.

midnight marathon 2015

Photo by Michael C. Thorpe

Sunday, April 16

Team with a Vision Run: Team with a Vision, a group for blind and visually impaired runners, is hosting a one- to two-mile shakeout run along the Charles River.

Free, 9 a.m. Arthur Fiedler Footbridge, Beacon and Arlington Streets, Boston, eventbrite.com.

BOSTON Documentary Q&A: Tracksmith is hosting Jon Dunham, who directed the soon-to-be-released Boston Marathon documentary BOSTON for a Q&A and discussion.

Free, 3 p.m. Tracksmith Trackhouse, 285 Newbury St., Boston, eventbrite.com.

Pre-Marathon Poster Making Party: Get ready to get loud on Monday.  This Janji-hosted poster making party will kick your spectating in high gear.

Free, 6 p.m. Janji, 328 Newbury St., Boston, facebook.com.

5th Annual Pre-Marathon Bike Ride: This bike ride goes out to Hopkinton and back, following the marathon route in both directions. Be prepared to spend several hours cycling, and come stocked with water, food, and repair kits for this 50+ mile ride.

Free, 8:30 p.m. Commonwealth Ave. and Arlington St., Boston, facebook.com

Midnight Marathon Bike Ride: Channel your inner Paul Revere as you pedal to Boston in the dead of night. You’ll follow the marathon route hours before thousands of runners take the same path.

Free, 12 a.m. Southborough Station parking lot, 87 Southville Road, Southborough, midnightmarathon.org.

Photo by Cassidy Hopkins

Photo by Cassidy Hopkins

Monday, April 17

Clif Cheer Zone: Join Fit University and Clif Bar on Heartbreak Hill for a day of music, coffee, Clif bars, and cheering. If you’re one of the first 150 attendees, you get a free barbecue lunch.

Free, 10 a.m. Clif Cheer Zone, 500 Commonwealth Ave., Newton, eventbrite.com

B/Spoke Marathon Watch Party: The new B/Spoke studio in Wellesley is right at the marathon’s halfway point, so B/Spoke is inviting the public to hang out and cheer on runners with music, snacks, and giveaways.

Free, all day. B/Spoke, 50 Central St., Wellesley, bspokestudios.com.

Tracksmith Viewing Party: If you’re running this year, here’s motivation to finish fast: Tracksmith will give the first male and female finishers who arrive at its viewing party free beer and post-race portraits.

Free, all day. Tracksmith Trackhouse, 285 Newbury St., eventbrite.com.

The Beehive Fundraiser: For the fourth year in a row, the Beehive is hosting a night of live jazz and elegant food and drinks. Proceeds benefit the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, named for bombing survivor Gillian Reny.

Free, 3 p.m. The Beehive, 541 Tremont St., Boston, beehiveboston.com.

Post-Marathon Party: Whether you were a cheerleader or a runner, celebrate a successful Patriot’s Day at Janji. The store will have beer, snacks, and tunes.

Free, 6 p.m. Janji, 328 Newbury St., Boston, facebook.com.


Hallie Smith Hallie Smith, Health Intern at Boston Magazine hsmith@bostonmagazine.com