What I learned about Boston (pre-race)

This will be short and sweet. I need to get to bed soon. But first I wanted to share a few thoughts about today’s adventures in Boston getting ready for the big day tomorrow.image

The first thing I learned is that you can’t walk more than 2 blocks in Boston without coming across a Dunkin Donuts.  They love their donuts here.

The second thing is that the T isn’t quite as easy to figure out as you might think. Fortunately, Bostonians are very friendly and helpful and patient because I’m sure during race weekend every citizen of Boston must explain how to buy a ticket and which train to get on about 10 times each. This is good because the conceirge at our fancy hotel would have had us on the wrong train of the green line. It is also better to ask a local than another out-of-town racer who just thinks they know where to go. While trying to figure out the right train to get on a confident young couple got on a train to God-only-knows-where. They were going to see the finish line. We were skeptical and watched them depart. An older women must have seen us staring at the T map with a puzzled expression and asked where we were going and then kindly directed us to the right platform. When we stepped off our train at our stop, we walked past the finish line. I only hope that confident young couple makes it back to Boston in time for the start tomorrow. image

Otherwise, I have never seen a town so serious about running. Everyone here is all about the Marathon. Every porter and bellhop at the hotel, every waiter, or waitress, the cashier at the bakery all take a moment to genuinely wish you good luck on the race. In some cities a marathon or other race is simply an annoyance to be dealt with. But in Boston it is a festive event celebrated by all. No matter how my day goes tomorrow, I can’t wait to run through the famed Boston spectators. image

The boring details of the day include the very efficient race check in where I got my bib, shirt, and official baggage check bag (for post race clothes). Interestingly, the bib comes in a sealed plastic envelope that they make a big red X over when you get your shirt. This is not to prevent you from getting a second shirt but rather to attempt to prevent race bandits (those that run without paying) from downloading uploaded pre-race “I got my bib” pictures and rolling their own so to speak. It is good as a participant to not make it easier for someone to copy your bib otherwise you might find a dozen different people in the post-race photos with your bib number. image

We moved on to the race expo, bought the obligatory official Boston Marathon jacket (there is an amazing collection of them here from all years), and then made a pass through the enormous and crazy race expo. image

We found we could not get lunch anywhere near the expo so boarded the T and ate at a great little place near the Park Street Station called The Beantown Pub. It was one of the best burgers I have had.

After lunch it was back to the hotel to rest up and lay out “Flat Pete”.image Then a light dinner, a few notes here . . . And I will be in bed shortly. It is getting on towards my normal bed time so please forgive the hurried writing, typos, etc. See you at the finish line!image

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