Monday, May 2, 2011

Boston Marathon Weekend

Now that two weeks have passed, I am finally getting around to my recap of the Boston Marathon weekend.  It was a busy, fun-filled weekend in Boston with my family.  Of course the time flew by because we were having fun, but I know we all enjoyed every minute of it.
Obviously the highlight of the weekend was watching the 115th running of the Boston Marathon.  There were approximately 27,000 runners and I have to say it was probably the most exciting sporting event I have ever watched.  Granted you only see the lead runners for mere seconds, but to watch (for hours and hours), the thousands of runners making their way through the 26.2 miles was really something. 
When I arrived into town on Saturday afternoon we headed to the Hynes Convention Center for packet pick-up for the marathon (my cousin) and the 5K (everyone else).  We also split up and shopped at the expo for about an hour.  I got some new socks for me and some for a giveaway that I want to do one of these days :)
Marathon signs were all over the city!
Go Mandy go!

The 5K peeps
Who can resist shopping at the expo!?
Then we walked down Boylston for a couple of pics of the finish line

That night we had dinner in Boston’s North End.  It’s a great neighborhood known for its Italian food, yummy!  Dinner was followed by some amazing martinis at Café Florentine and of course one last stop had to made at one of Boston’s good ol’ pubs, Durty Nelly’s! 
L'Osteria - yes please!
Cafe Florentine has the best martinis in the city!
this is the effect they have on you...
and this too...  good times!
Sunday morning was the B.A.A. 5K.  Me, my parents, aunt, uncle, cousin and friend were all running.  3.1 miles around Back Bay and the Boston Common.

It was a really beautiful course and I enjoyed running at “home”.  I grew up about an hour north of Boston, so I have been visiting this city for years, I also worked here for 2 years.  It was fun to see the out-of-town runners taking pictures of the sights.  They were especially excited running past the “Cheers” bar.  It looks the same as on TV from the outside, but looks totally different on the inside.
The last part of the course we made a LEFT on Hereford and then a left on Boylston.  Runners who run the marathon know the famous last two turns in the race are RIGHT on Hereford and left on Boylston.  It was fun running down that last stretch on Boylston Street.  Seeing the blue arches ahead was very exciting, I can only imagine what it feels like after 26 miles!
We received awesome finisher’s medals and great Addidas tech shirts.  B.A.A. is first class all the way.
After the race we went to my cousins in Southie for brunch, thanks Mandy for hosting!
Awesome time with the fam!
Great tees and medals!
Marathon Monday started very early for me!  I had volunteered for the bus loading shift and I was to be there at 5:30am.  I wanted to volunteer early so I would be free to meet up with the family in time to see the actual marathon.
I think the bus loading went great.  500 buses and over 20,000 runners loaded and sent on their way to Hopkington in two hours was amazing.  I know some runners were cold standing line, but it was cold that morning and extremely windy… I know how they felt, I was out in the cold for 2 ½ hours!  The B.A.A. really does have their sh*t together, I look forward to volunteering again in the future.  Plus I loved the Addidas volunteer jackets were got :)
Bus loading on Boston Common

Love my volunteer jacket!
Once I was through volunteering at 8am there was still a few hours before meeting up with my family, so I headed down Boylston for breakfast.  I ended up at the Marriott in Copley where they had the start of the race on several TVs throughout the lobby.  The Marriott was in true marathon spirit and all the front desk workers, bell staff and concierge had on green Addidas tech shirts on…  green was definitely the color of the race! After watching the elite women start the race on TV, I headed out to Newton where I would be meeting my family at the Mile 17.
Boston was a fun place to be even at 9am that morning.  There were vendors and a big screen set up outside of the Prudential Center, people were already set up along the finish line on Boylston and in addition to the marathon, the Red Sox were playing at 11am.  There were a ton of Red Sox fans around and several bars already open and full of fans!
Big screen set up outside of the Prudential
Probably the most famous corner in all of running
I arrived in Newton just in time to see the wheelchair, push rim and hand cycle divisions go by.  I was surprised by how many spectators were already lining the course.  There was excitement in the air and we were cheering everyone going by.  There were also several groups of soldiers walking the course in full gear, god bless those guys and the USA. 

Since the night before we had heard there was going to be a 20 mph tail wind for the runners, I knew we would be in for some fast times – exciting!  According to the viewers guide the elite women were expected in Newtown around 11:10 or so, but because of the strong winds, it was 11:05 when we saw the group of cars and trucks just ahead of the leaders. 

Kim Smith was still in the lead at this point
tight pack of elite women with
Kara Goucher slightly behind
Go Kara go!
Awesome pic of Desiree Davila!
The men came along only 10 minutes later.  It amazes me how that lead pack can run so close together.

How can they run so close?
Had my camera on sports mode and on zoom,
but I thought this picture was pretty cool!
Ryan Hall is the red and blue speck on the top left hand
side of the road.  Was to busy cheering for him to get a good picture!
Unfortunately my family was stuck on the T so they did not get to see the elites go by.  What can you do, there was still thousands of runners to cheer on.  We were yelling out every name we could see!  Motivation helps along the course no matter who it comes from!

My niece was cheering on the runners too!
Volunteers at the Mile 17 water stop
Love this picture!
The course was this crowded for hours!
Lily pretty much jumped into Amanda's
arms when she saw her, so cute!
Lots of runners took pictures of and commented on my sign!
That's why I made it - for them!!
Once my cousin passed by we headed back into town to meet up with everyone on Newbury Street. 
Bag claim between Boylston & Newbury
The restaurant we were at was only one block from Boylston, so my sister and I went over to see some of the finishers.

One last family picture before we all headed home!  GREAT JOB AMANDA!  Love that medal! 

Thanks for reading this extremely looong post, hope you enjoyed it!


  1. Great Post! What an exciting event to be part of!

  2. Sounds like an awesome experience - and you got great pictures, too!

  3. We had a great time, can't wait to go again next year!

  4. Loved reading this! It was fun to relive it again 2 weeks later! It really was an awesome weekend. I'm so glad you came up for it and had a blast. I'm ready for next year too! BAA has the countdown up again. Only 347 days!

  5. This post was AWESOME!!

    What a great experience - for everyone! I actually had goose bumps on my legs just reading it!

  6. I'm re-stalking this blog post of yours now that I'm actually going!