The 121st Boston Marathon
This year Boston will host its 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17, 2017. The Boston Marathon, created in 1897, is the oldest consecutively run marathon. Featuring 30,000 official participants and over 6,000 runners from over 90 different countries. This historic competition is considered to be one of the most prestigious road racing events.
The runners will begin their trek in Hopkinton and then through the historic 26 mile course. Runners will then make their way along Route 135 which flows through Ashland, Framingham and Natick. According to boston.com, runners will spend roughly the first 4 miles getting out of Hopkinton, and through Ashland. Next, miles 4 and 5 will transfer the runners from Ashland to Framingham; this section is known as the rolling hills of Framingham, and is also the first mile that will gain 25 feet of elevation. Mile 5 to mile 6 is where you will begin to see runners spread out, get comfortable, and catch their stride. Bridge Street and the Framingham Train Station are major markers the runners will look for at the start of Mile 6. Eventually, runners will cross the Framingham tracks and enter a stretch of flat terrain which will carry them into mile 7 with ease.
Up next is Natick, and it will be home to miles 8 through 12. Runners will pace themselves through a somewhat level portion of the course and end up hitting some big crowds near Natick Center. As runners exit Natick, they will be hitting the 13th mile in Wellesley, which is also the actual halfway point of the course. A former runner offers insight and advice about the 13th mile, “keep in mind the old adage about a marathon having two halves – the first 20 miles and the last 6.2. Definitely true of this course.” That being said, runners will finally be closer to Boston than Hopkinton as they run through downtown Wellesley; but there is still a ways to go mentally and physically if they are going to finish the race.
The next landmark on the horizon is Marathon Sports. Marathon sports essentially marks mile 15, and the beginning of what is known as the “roller coaster section” of the race. Runners will be tested in the Newton section of the course as they start their journey through 9 miles of daunting drops, and endless climbs. Once through the hill infested section of the course, runners will be faced with the infamous heart break hill.
After a merciless 20 miles, “Heartbreak Hill” is a feat in itself. Heartbreak hill begins after mile 20, and brings the runners into Boston College territory filled with college aged spectators and excited fans. As runners finish mile 23 they will find themselves entering into the town of Brookline. As racers progress through Brookline’s Coolidge Corner, they will be looking to catch a peak at the iconic Citgo sign. After exiting Brookline, runners will pass Park Drive and officially enter Boston at around the 25 mile mark.
With only one mile left, you will begin to feel the excitement and suspense fill the air. Once they are in Boston, runners will enter Kenmore Square and be met with massive crowds of excited onlookers. “1 mile to go” will be painted on the road as runners near the finish line. As runners pass Newbury St, and hook a left onto Boylston, they will have the finish line in their sights. Crowds, gathered in front of the Prudential Center, will erupt with encouragement as each runner takes their final steps over the bold blue and yellow marker.