Boston Marathon Mile Guide

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

boston marathon kenmore square

FEVER PITCH: The Red Sox, the runners, the screaming throngs—that’s why Kenmore Square is the best place to be on the best day of the year in Boston. / Photo by Steven Wolfe


Game Plan: Kenmore Square

Expect ebullient Sox fans to pour out of Fenway just as the mid-pack of runners swarms Kenmore Square. —Melissa Malamut

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What to Pack

Earplugs—the crowds can be even rowdier here than at the finish line. Aspirin will also come in handy, especially if you plan on throwing back a few early-morning bloody marys.

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How to Get There

Take the Green Line to Kenmore. Yes, meters are free because of the holiday, but driving to (and through) Kenmore Square is hard enough on a game day, never mind when there are an extra 100,000 people in the neighborhood—and major road closures.

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When to Arrive

Really early. The Cask ‘n Flagon, on Brookline Avenue, has a line of 150 to 200 people as early as 8 a.m., according to owner Dana Van Fleet.

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Where to Sit/Stand

Your best bet is to try to snag a spot along Beacon Street before reaching the square. If you do end up on Commonwealth Avenue, keep in mind that the only sure-fire way to cross the street on Marathon Monday is through the T tunnel.

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Where to Eat

Eastern Standard offers top-notch fare and prime spectating perches—if you’re lucky enough to snag a table, that is. Locals in the know arrive after the Red Sox game starts, between 11 and 11:30 a.m.

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Where to Drink

Party with industry folks at Cornwall’s, an English pub just off the route, after they’ve clocked out for the night. The Hawthorne offers a low-key space for sipping craft cocktails with your crew.

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Bathroom Break

Head to Bertucci’s. “We won’t turn you away,” says shift manager Kara Canole, “even if you don’t order anything.” The restaurant is also a popular (and relatively quiet) place for runners and their families to refuel after the race.

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Must-Have Item

A Sox cap, even if you’re not going to the game.

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

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen along the marathon course?

“A guy with a cigarette hanging from his mouth and holding a beer yelling at me, saying I was going too slow.” —John D., 41, Stoneham

Catch a Glimpse of Your Favorite Marathoners in Action at Mile 25

• Wheelchair Division Men: 10:39 a.m.
• Wheelchair Division Women: 10:57 a.m.
• Elite Women: 11:51 a.m.
• Elite Men: 12:04 p.m.
• Your Friend (assuming a 9:30 pace): 2:48 p.m.

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


NEXT: Mile 26.2, The Finish Line »

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