Two years after the day that brought this great city to its knees, the Boston Marathon is back and better than ever. 2015 sees a typical New England forecast for Marathon Monday (currently, it’s looking like temperatures might cool down slightly with the potential for rain as the day wears on), but a little damp weather can’t dampen Bostonian spirits. Marathon Monday is here at last!
Spectators are requested not to bring backpacks, large handbags, blankets, coolers, or weapons with them as they observe the course. As usual, “bandit runners” who have not passed official prerequisite and registration procedures will be prohibited from the course. Security check-points, bag searches, and bomb-sniffing dog sweeps should be expected this year, along with 3,500 National Guard soldiers and police offers on patrol.
A new regulation has to do with drones on or near the course. This year, for the first time, spectators are prohibited from flying remote controlled aircraft over any section of the 26.2 mile route. Drones are not permitted over spectators, runners, or anywhere in sight of these places.
What Makes Boston so Special?
2015 is the Boston Marathon’s 119th year, making Boston’s course the world’s oldest annual Marathon. Additionally, since the Marathon is traditionally held on Patriot’s Day (a holiday here in Massachusetts marking the historic “shot heard round the world”), anyone and everyone in the city is free to come watch the race and enjoy the festivities. Hailed as one of the most difficult marathon courses a runner can take on, the Boston Marathon is a tough race to qualify for. In 2015, the field size is 30,000 runners; 80 percent of this field was filled by runners who ran marathon-length courses in “qualifying times” for their age and gender brackets. The remaining 20 percent of the field was filled by runners who raised a certain amount of money for one of the Boston Athletic Association’s qualifying charity partners. These qualifying times shift on a yearly basis, and have recently spiked making the Marathon a difficult prospect for back-of-pack runners hoping to participate in this piece of Boston’s rich history.
Where Can I See It?
As a spectator, there is ample opportunity to catch a glimpse of the runners as they progress down the 26.2 mile path which stretches from its starting line in Hopkington to the finish line on Boylston Street. If you can roam far afield, try parking yourself at T.J. Spirits in Ashland, a BBQ joint where the beer flows freely and an outdoor porch provides a great view of runners on their way past. If you’d prefer somewhere closer to downtown, the Gold Temple Chinese Restaurant in Brookline has several outdoor tables and delicious Mai Tais. A window seat at Audubon Boston directly faces the 25-mile mark where you can catch a glimpse of the runners catching their final wind. For those who really want to be in the thick of it, the patio at Eastern Standard Kitchen is the unofficial landmark of the Marathon’s last mile and a great place for a Marathon Monday celebration.
Surviving the Past; Celebrating the Future
As we celebrate the accomplishments of all the 2015 Boston Marathon runners, we remember the tragedy of 2013. The recent conviction of Dzhakhar Tsarnaev on all thirty counts associated with the 2013 Marathon bombing has Bostonians reflecting on the horrors that this city has seen. In spite of this, Boston still proves to be as strong as its axiom; with heads held high and proud, we prepare for Marathon Monday and embrace what’s to come while we celebrate our Boston heritage. Good luck, runners! Have a great Marathon!