Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The 10 Commandments of The Boston Marathon

I think that everyone will agree, that with 3 (almost 4!) Boston Marathons under my belt I am in a good position to dish out advice willy nilly.
This is basically all the info that you need to have a great day, obvs.
I'm going to leave it to the actual experts to tell you how to run, what to wear, etc.
But this! This is the stuff that you NEED to know. Much Expert here.

Thou shalt not forget to bring thine own TP.
Believe me, not only will your bung hole thank you but so will random strangers who ask if you can spare a square.
Pro tip: if you think you might use a porta potty or *ahem* a tree on course stick a couple napkins in your pocket. You need half as many napkins to take care of things, trust me on this....
Also, you might cry and napkins are great for wiping your glasses/face/snotty nose. (not that I'd know.)

VERY VERY Important. This should have been #2 hahaha.
Thou shall trust the pace of thy corral despite its seemingly sluggish pace.
Duh, you're all tapered and ready to rumble. You wanna RUN!!! WHY is everyone so SLOW??
Relax home slice. You're in with your peers. Roll with it and soon the road will open up.

Your view for a few miles. Just go with it. This isn't the time to make a move....
Thou SHALT NOT forget to apply, liberally, thy sunscreen
Seriously on this one. SERIOUSLY. Want a blistering sunburn? Slack off on the application. Have fun with that. The sun is relentless and unless you really wish to look like a lobster you'll heed my words. Every year I still miss a spot, and that spot sucks.
If you happen to have friends on the course ask them to bring extra and reapply. Pack lip balm with a high SPF too.
(friends, I am packing two different kinds of sunblock and I'm happy to share.)
Takeaway message: Don't burn. It hurts.

Thou shalt not underestimate the amount of time thou shalt be spending in travel/waiting and thus, thou shalt bring entertainment!!!
I hate being bored. And no matter what you are looking at MANY hours of bus time and athletes village time. Even if you have a ton of friends you might want to plan to chill for a bit with a nice game of candy crush to get your head together. So bring a charger. (buy a cheap one from Walmart and toss it, guilt free.)  Or maybe junk mags are more your style? (admit it, nothing like a good entertainment weekly!) Bring a couple, it's another good way to make friends. I've seen people playing cards which seems clever too.
Also, as fun as it is to wander around and take *so* many *candid* pics of you and your friends oh-so-casually jumping in the air, now is not the time for using up your energy. So bring stuff that requires you to sit and chill.

I only allow this to enter my life on planes, or at race starts. (it's like crack)
Thou shalt not be "that guy" who forgets her food and is rendered starving and helpless...
OK no explanation needed here. You are going to be running through lunch. THROUGH LUNCH. In my world, this is not good. Bring a crap ton of food. I'm not kidding. I won't share mine!!! (I will)
Last year I saw this poor poor woman going around asking for some very specific food items because she ate all of hers pre race. This sucks, learn from her.
Suggestions: Two sandwiches (I prefer PB & Honey) some little snacky things like cheez-its or pretzels, one old fashioned Dunkin' donut (no shit, every race every time) some potatoes and maybe, if you feel really picnic-ey a slab of Thanksgiving turkey.
I don't cope well with being hungry, so I plan ahead.

Me. NBD.

Thou shall expect to feel a bit overwhelmed.
Or not, if you are a cool cat and don't react to insane crowds, the nervous energy of 10's of thousands of runners and general mayhem. If this describes you I am jealous!
If you get a bit *edgy* in crowds then practice your calming strategy! It's not cool to be the kid that runs, screaming off the bus ;-) (it's not that bad....) (almost though) (I'm so chill.... except not)

Me, running off the crowded bus. Just kidding, my hair is way better than this.
Thou shalt not underestimate the first half of the course:
Why? Because it can fuck you up. This is the only piece of actual race strategy that I'm going to offer. Everyone dreads the second half of the course and most people are at least vaguely familiar with it. But treat the first half with care. If you do, the second half is doable.
I mean, who talks about the Natick hills right? But it's there. Don't be the dummy who runs up it like a lunatic. 
(also, don't underestimate the shit mountain that one must climb over Rt 128.)
Please refer to this honest map for some good info:

This map is good
Thou shalt not fear dressing like the homeless:
"I wear your Grandad's clothes... I look INCREDIBLE!"
That's me, every year at the start. You'd better hope you need some throwaway layers, if it's too warm for them you're straight fucked and simply should continue straight to the #2 commandment  and await further instructions.

#thriftshop chic, thanks.
Thou shalt not accept cups (and expect water) from:
a: the party animals on the WAY to the start
b: the BBQ extravaganza on runners left around mile 2
c: the Boston College kids (if it's a hot day you'll find me here)
d: from anyone handing out something that looks like beer, or shots because it is.
So while you might want to avoid taking said *hydration* from these people GO for it if you want to party! Every year I see people pounding PBR's on the way to the start given to them by the aforementioned party people. If you just want to have fun, and maybe barf a little you go for it and get down with your bad self.
Since it's gonna be a hot one this might be me!!

Not water but maybe not a bad choice!
Thou SHALT NOT delay in purchasing thine very own FANNY PACK!!!
Because, clearly, my fanny pack game is strong.
Yeah, it's a bit of a mystery why the BAA approved fanny pack is an less of a security hazard than, say a clear plastic bag. But whatever, when else can you bust out a sweet FANNY PACK?
Embrace it bitches. You can fit a ton of shit in one of those bad boys. SO many things.
Last year I forgot about the fanny pack until the Saturday before the race and I was sad because a: it was lame b: I had to ask my Mom to get it for me in the manner of a small child and c: I also paid like $22 for it which is offensive.
Anyway. I have an awesome one for this year and this is the most exciting thing. Obviously.

Oh YES. This is my fanny pack for this year. You're jealous, that's ok.

So there you have it kids. The 10 essential commandments of the Boston Marathon. If you heed my words then you are bound to have a fabulous race day experience!



  1. Ha! This list is hilarious. I love it. Boston is something I think will only be a dream since I run like a sedated turtle.

  2. Are you sure that cup in #2 isn't pee? I mean those party animals on the way to the start? I've never trusted their cups one bit. ha! I wouldn't put it beyond one of those crazy kids to try to offer some of their own brew. Good list. I'm getting really sad not to be there this year. Maybe I should have registered. Maybe I'll run another marathon soon just to qualify for Boston again so I can go back.