What to expect at this epic race.
This will be my third consecutive year running the Boston Marathon, so I have an idea of what to expect as far as the course. I like to simulate the course as much as possible during my long training runs. Since the course starts out with four miles of gradual downhills, I begin my long run that exact way. The course is pretty easy going until you hit mile 17, when the uphills begin to form. You don't notice it at first, but then your pace begins to slow. By mile 21 you hit Heartbreak Hill. It's not that difficult of a hill, but with all the downhill running in the beginning, your quads are fatigued, and it makes that climb difficult. Near the end of the race you have your only turns on the entire course: right on Hereford and then left on Boylston and straight on to the finish line. Along the entire course are spectators; about 500,000, if you can believe it! The spectators motivate you along the the course with their signs, cheers, and entertainment. Honestly, there are no other spectators quite like the Boston Marathon spectators. After the bombing in 2013, the spectators are my reason to run and return to Boston every year. After all, they were the ones injured.
The race begins quite a bit later than the average break-of-dawn marathons:
Mobility Impaired 8:50 a.m. (50 entrants)
Push-rim Wheelchair 9:17 a.m. (70 + 6 Duos entrants)
Hand-cycles 9:22 a.m. (18 entrants)
Elite Women 9:32 a.m. (40 entrants)
Elite Men & Wave One 10:00 a.m. (7,500 entrants)
Wave Two 10:25 a.m. (7,500 entrants)
Wave Three 10:50 a.m. (7,500 entrants)
Wave Four 11:15 a.m. (7,500 entrants)