Boston Marathon Mile Guide

Runners and spectators, follow these game plans to have the best Boston Marathon experience ever.

boston marathon boston college mile 21

Young spectators pass out water during the 2012 Boston Marathon at Mile 21, Boston College. / Boston Marathon 2012 Photo by Dani Villanueva on Flickr


Game Plan: Boston College

The coeds that station themselves at the top of Heartbreak Hill know their beer-soaked enthusiasm gives runners a much-needed spike in adrenaline as they hit the Heights. —Janelle Nanos

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What to Pack

Water, sunscreen, and sneakers—just in case you get the urge to sprint the last curve of Comm. Ave.

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How to Get There

Hop off the Green Line at BC, Reservoir, or Chestnut Hill Avenue.

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Where to Sit/Stand

The largest crowds gather at Cleveland Circle, where students coach runners through the turn onto Beacon Street.

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Where to Eat

For a respite from the crowds, hit Fuel America, on Chestnut Hill Avenue, where you’ll find homemade sodas at half off during the race.

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Where to Drink

Find a spot on Cityside’s rooftop patio to get a bird’s-eye view of the race. Other than that, there are only two words: Mary Ann’s. If there’s one day to experience BC’s most notorious bar, this is it.

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Bathroom Break

If you’re close to campus, befriend a student and ask to use his loo.

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When to Arrive

Students will likely start their “marathon of beers” (that’s 26 beers in 24 hours) at midnight, but for the average spectator, getting situated just before 9 a.m. is a safe bet.

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Must-Have Item

A gold Superfan shirt (or anything yellow, really) will help you blend in.

Runners’ Poll:
We asked 78 past and present Boston Marathon participants for the inside track on their race experiences.

Have you ever had a beer while running the marathon?

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Catch a Glimpse of Your Favorite Marathoners in Action at Mile 21

• Wheelchair Division Men: 10:26 a.m.
• Wheelchair Division Women: 10:41 a.m.
• Elite Women: 11:29 a.m.
• Elite Men: 11:44 a.m.
• Your Friend (assuming a 9:30 pace): 2:10 p.m.

(Calculations based on 2014 starting times and the pace of 2013’s top finishers.)


NEXT: Mile 25, Kenmore Square »

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