It’s one of America’s top spring sporting events, one of Boston’s most cherished cultural occasions, and much more than just a 26.2-mile race. The Boston Marathon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of the runners and a yearly highlight for spectators watching on television or in-person.
At The Boxer Boston, we’re big fans of the marathon and all the festivities surrounding the race. Whether we’re cheering on the waves of runners as they crest Heartbreak Hill, welcoming participants to the finish on Boylston Street, or just toasting to their dedication with a beer at Finch Restaurant, Marathon Monday is one of our favorite days of the year.
For those looking for Marathon Monday viewing tips or information, we’ve provided a brief guide to the best places to watch the Boston Marathon:
Mile 2 – Frankland Road
The popular move is to gather around the starting line, waiting for your runner to burst from the gate amongst the crowd of thousands. The wiser plan is to wander down the course approximately one mile to Frankland Road. There, you can wait in a less-crowded location for the runners to come barreling past. They’ll be headed downhill with energy to spare at this point, making it a good place to meet-and-greet friends or family.
Mile 13 – Wellesley
This popular Boston Marathon viewing spot is known to get wild — even early on a Monday morning. At the official midway point of the course, Wellesley College and downtown Wellesley town are popular locations for spectators to toss back a few beverages, get creative with their cheers, and add to the day’s boisterous atmosphere while encouraging the runners as they enter one of the course’s toughest stretches.
Mile 20 – Heartbreak Hill
It’s at this point — just as the runners approach Boston College and the city of Boston proper — that the going gets tough. Not only are the participants hitting miles 20 and 21, where muscles, minds and spirits tend to falter, they’re hitting the course’s toughest incline on the heels of some tougher-than-advertised rolling hills. The crowd is traditionally loud near the BC campus, but we recommend heading up to Heartbreak Hill and adding some encouragement: The runners can use all they can get.
Mile 23 – Brookline
As the course makes a beeline toward Boylston Street down the tree-lined streets of Brookline, this is where the male and female winners tend to separate themselves from the pack. This section of the course is an uninterrupted downhill to the finish, giving runners a much-needed respite from the up-and-down drama of the past few miles. Coolidge Corner is the most popular vantage point from which to watch the race in this stretch.
Mile 26 – Hereford Street
Boylston Street gets all the attention as the official finish line of the Boston Marathon, but Hereford Street is where the runners need your help. This narrow four-block stretch features a slight uphill and not nearly the propulsive adrenaline rush provided by the massive Boylston Street crowds. Position yourself near Hereford and Commonwealth to catch your favorite runners as they round the course’s second-to-last curve, nearing the completion of a monumental accomplishment.
The Boxer Boston, located near Boylston Street, is an ideal Boston Marathon hotel for runners and spectators alike. Learn more about our hotel rooms and suites.