In his first shot at the world-renowned Boston Marathon, Kenyan runner Geoffrey Mutai shattered the course record to finish in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 2 seconds. Each year 500,000 spectators line the streets of 8 Massachusetts towns to cheer on runners from all over the globe. Boston’s marathon is the oldest in the world, and there are strict standards to qualify. But each year 25,000 runners attempt to finish the winding, hilly 26.2 miles, including the infamous “heartbreak hill.”
It might be a difficult race, but many marathoners say that the crowds in Boston make it worthwhile. The marathon is held on Patriots Day each year — a holiday for many in the area. Bostonians take advantage of their day off, grab their cowbells and blow horns, and spend the day partying and cheering on the runners.
If you’re planning on shipping off to Boston for the race next year, make sure you plan ahead. Check out street closings, and take public transportation if you have the option. Head to the parts of the route where the runners need the most encouragement — heartbreak hill in Newton and the last few miles of the race in Kenmore Square are some of the best spots. If you know a runner, track their progress to be sure you don’t miss them.