Every runner knows that the Monday after Tax Day is the annual running of the Boston Marathon. It is also Patriots Day in Massachusetts.
It is a goal of almost every runner to run the famed streets from Hopkinton to Ashland to Framingham to Natick to Wellesley to Newton to Brookline and finally into the city of Boston. The right turn onto Hereford Street and left onto Boylston Street are two of the most famous turns in all of running.
What makes the Boston Marathon so special?
The atmosphere of running the same course that has been run for over 120 years sends chills up the spine alone, but the fact that the race is known worldwide just by the city says it all. It is arguably the most famous race in the entire world.
Now, I have not done the Boston Marathon, but I watch and follow the race religiously every year. It is always a treat to sit down and watch the live feed to see what will shake out on the hilly streets of Massachusetts.
There are plenty of Americans looking to contend for the win in both the men’s and the women’s elite this year, headlined by last year’s runner up and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon Galen Rupp. The women’s side is stellar for the United States this year with notable names like Jordan Hasay, Molly Huddle and Marblehead, Mass., native Shalane Flanagan.
The festivities begin at 8:40 a.m. with the mobility-impaired start and the elite women’s start will be at 9:32 a.m. The elite men and first wave of masses begin at 10 a.m. The live stream can be accessed through the Boston Athletic Association’s website at www.baa.org.
RECENT RACE REVIEW
I competed in the 46th annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in Washington, D.C., on April 8.
The course was gorgeous as it wound through the streets in the city around the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Holocaust Museum and Watergate Complex among others. The cherry blossom trees were in full bloom with array of pink that was breathtaking even while I was running hard through the streets.
The big-race atmosphere with almost 17,000 people was incredible and a lot of fun. I ended up finishing 39th overall, crossing the line in 52 minutes and 23 seconds, which was just over a minute off my personal best at the distance from nearly three years ago.
The race is flat and quite scenic with all of the sites on display in the nation’s capital. There are also thousands of spectators lining the streets to cheer on the runners meandering their way along a convoluted loop that starts and ends with the site of the Washington Monument.
I would highly recommend the race to anyone looking for a quick spring race that also wants fantastic views during the run. The race is well-organized with plenty of competition and pace groups for every runner. You might even see a few Olympians in the race.
• April 14 — FRIENDS Buddy Run 5K: The race will benefit the FRIENDS organization, which helps educate people about Down Syndrome. The course will be on the campus of East Tennessee State and there will be plenty of food for afterward including pizza, chocolate milk, water and bananas. The race will begin at 10 a.m. with the Special Needs Dash beginning at 9:30 a.m.
• April 21 — Bristol Half and Half Marathon: The half-marathon beginning at Virginia High School in Bristol, Virginia, and finishing in Bristol, Tennessee, at the Stone Castle will benefit the American Cancer Society. There will also be a 5K. The course is hilly and will be fairly challenging, but the weather for this local spring half marathon is usually some of the best.
For more information on local road races and group runs, visit www.runtricities.org.