2014 Boston Marathon Tourism

In its 118th year, the Boston Marathon is back with more tenacity than ever before. On Monday, April 21st, the community of Boston will come together to prove their strength and rally behind the incredible 36,000 athletes who will give their all to make it to the finish of the 26.2-mile legendary Boston course. Whether you’re participating as a runner, a runner’s family member, a Bostonian, or a spectator from across the globe, you’re part of the strength, determination, community, and shared conviction that make the Marathon such an important event.

For Spectators: The Quick Facts

This year’s marathon is anticipated to draw more spectators than ever before—perhaps over one million. Many of the quintessential Marathon traditions remain unchanged, while new safety measures and alerts provide improved security and peace of mind.


The Course
As always, runners will start the race in Hopkington and cross the finish line on Boylston Street by Copley Square. Athletes make their way through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newtown, Brookline, and finally Boston. The majority of spectators will crowd into Brookline and Boston for the epic last miles of the race. If you’re determined to offer runners a bit of inspiration in their toughest moments, head to Heartbreak Hill in Newton.

Women Boston Marathon Runners

Photo by Peter Morville

Start Times
Mobility Impaired 8:50 a.m.
Wheelchair Division 9:17 a.m.
Handcycles 9:22 a.m.
Elite Women 9:32 a.m.
Elite Men & Wave One 10:00 a.m.
Wave Two 10:25 a.m.
Wave Three 11:00 a.m.
Wave Four 11:25 a.m.

This year’s marathon features 30 official B.A.A. charities and another 1,395 charity runners. Total fundraising efforts are expected to exceed $12 million, representing the true spirit of the Boston Marthon. Some of the official charities include the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, the Boston Children’s Hospital, Best Buddies Massachusetts, the Red Sox Foundation, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Public Safety
The safety of the Marathon’s participants, volunteers, and spectators is of the upmost importance to the B.A.A. and the City of Boston. In the spirit of cooperation, the organizers ask that spectators keep their belongings in clear plastic bags to enhance public safety and speed up security screenings. Spectators within the vicinity of the course may be asked to pass through security checkpoints or to present their bags and personal items for security checks.

In another innovative safety effort, the B.A.A. has partnered with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to communicate safety and emergency announcements via mobile alerts which are available for Android and iPhones. To learn more or download the free app, go to www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp .

Marathon Attractions & Events

John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo
In addition to being the base for runners to pick up their bibs, the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo at the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston Street provides a cool place for runners and their families and friends to come together on Marathon Weekend. This year’s Expo features a Runners Seminar Series and over 185 vendors of the industry’s best running and athletic gear.

Expo Hours
April 18 12:00pm – 7:00pm
April 19 9:00am – 7:00pm
April 20 9:00am – 6:00pm

Saturday Races
While everyone knows the main event is on Monday, spectators and fans sometimes forget about the other races and running programs that take place over the weekend. Yet, these runners represent a vital part of the B.A.A. On Saturday, April 19th, the B.A.A.’s 5K, Invitational Mile, and Relay Challenge will all take place in downtown Boston, building up excitement for the big competition on Monday.

Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial

Boston Marathon Memorial

Photo by Elise Amendola/AP

In the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, a makeshift memorial quickly began to build—first at a police barricade at the intersection of Boylston and Berkley— and later near the finish line in Copley Square. Posters, notes, flags, and mementos from people all over the world flooded in. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the makeshift memorial was the collection of runners’ sneakers—numbering in the hundreds—that participants left behind as a tribute.

As of April 7, 2014, after months in storage, these artifacts are now re-displayed in a special commemorative exhibit held at the Boston Public Library. The exhibit, called Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial will be on display through May 11, 2014 in the McKim Exhibition Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. The emotional narrative of the exhibit showcases how Boston’s community of support extends from Boston’s suburbs all the way to South Korea and Syria.

Boston Attractions

While in Boston for the 2014 Boston Marathon Weekend, explore the cultural, historic, and distinctive Boston attractions that make this city a place so many people love to love. Whether you visit the Colonial-era Old State House or the more “modern” Fenway Park Tour, Boston’s brawny roots will have a hold on you from the moment you arrive. Use a Boston attractions pass to see any or all 51 Boston attractions at one low price.

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