A Runner’s Guide to Visiting Boston

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As the positioning of one of the vital prestigious marathons, Boston boasts one of many largest and most vibrant operating scenes in the USA. Positive, Boston is a little more city than skilled coaching havens like Boulder or Flagstaff. However the metropolis’s historic ties to the game and huge, energetic novice operating membership scene give Bostonian operating tradition a uniquely heat and rowdy attraction. Town’s deep, unconditional love for the game is maybe most evident throughout brutal winter months when hordes of runners may be seen braving snow, ice, and subzero temperatures. Come spring when racing fever hits, the neighborhood’s super collective delight round its beloved marathon infiltrates the entire metropolis.

Boston is residence to the headquarters of a number of outstanding operating corporations, together with Reebok, New Steadiness, Saucony, Puma, Heartbreak Hill Operating Firm, and the New England attire model Tracksmith. Town can be the coaching floor for plenty of prestigious operating teams, together with the Boston Athletic Affiliation—one of many nation’s oldest athletic golf equipment.

Whether or not you’re planning to go to Boston in April for the marathon or at a quieter time of yr, .’s our information to town’s operating tradition, that includes recommendation from native runners on their favourite trails to discover, races to enter, and spots to seize a post-run beer.

What You Must Know Earlier than Visiting Boston

(Picture: Busakorn Pongparnit/Getty)

It’s not that large. In comparison with different main American cities, Boston is comparatively compact. Town is remarkably walkable and runnable, and a wide range of distinctive trails and routes are fairly accessible. Due to town’s dimension and public transportation system, you don’t have to lease a automotive to get round whereas visiting. (Plus, Boston is notorious for its complicated roads.) As an alternative, take into account shopping for a seven-day T move or a CharlieCard.

T. is a whole lot of city greenspace. In line with information from the Belief For Public Land, all Boston residents dwell inside a ten-minute stroll of a park. Whereas Boston evokes photos of cobblestone streets, historic landmarks, and bustling crowds of school college students, it’s additionally identified for its picturesque metropolis runs all through the Emerald Necklace trails and alongside the Charles River.

Fall and spring are the most effective operating seasons. The summer time months are the height vacationer season, however the most effective instances to go to for operating and racing are fall and spring. Preferrred operating climate arrives in September, when New England turns cooler and crisp, and operating by way of town’s parks affords top-notch foliage in October. Whereas Boston may be drizzly within the spring, the showers summon breathtaking floral blooms. And naturally, spring means marathon season in Boston: the third Monday in April is Boston Marathon day.

Native Operating Scene

Boston is an energetic metropolis, and the magnetic power of the Boston Marathon makes operating a well-liked exercise for individuals of all capability ranges. Although Boston doesn’t have the cheeriest status, native runners say the neighborhood across the sport is among the many most inclusive and social within the nation.

“The Boston operating neighborhood is big, aggressive, and welcoming,” says Erika Kemp, a runner for the B.A.A. Excessive Efficiency Staff and two-time USATF nationwide champion. “I used to be amazed after I first moved to Boston and noticed so many people from all completely different backgrounds operating on any given day.”

Along with elite groups, Boston can be residence to fun-loving teams just like the Midnight Runners Boston powered by Reebok, who sit fortunately in the course of the pack, prioritizing enjoyable and inclusivity. They are often discovered operating across the Charles River Esplanade, blasting music, and grabbing drinks afterward. “We’re not unique,” says membership member Carolyn Cohen. “Individuals will run with a number of completely different golf equipment in a single week simply because t. are so many.”

Races and Operating Occasions

The Marathon and Different B.A.A. Races

The finish of the Boston Marathon.
The end line on the 123rd Boston Marathon (Picture: MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty)

The Boston Marathon wants no introduction: as one of many six Marathon Majors and the world’s oldest marathon, the occasion attracts 500,000 spectators every yearmaking it the area’s most generally seen sporting occasion. “I’ve already taken that time off of labor to go and cheer everybody on,” says Andrew Wilson, an area runner for the Midnight Runners Boston.

The marathon is organized by the Boston Athletic Affiliation and has been held yearly since 1897, aside from 2020 when the race was changed by a digital occasion through the pandemic. The purpose-to-point course begins in Hopkinton, southwest of Boston, and ends on Boylston Road in downtown Boston. The Boston Marathon is identified for its difficult qualifying requirements, however the race organizers additionally reserve just a few thousand slots for runners affiliated with explicit charity organizations. The 2022 race discipline might be restricted to twenty,000 runners as a result of pandemic, in comparison with the standard 30,000 in current pre-pandemic years.

Along with the marathon, the Boston Athletic Affiliation additionally hosts the B.A.A. Distance Medley race collection: a 5K on the weekend of the Boston Marathon, a 10K in late June, and a half marathon in October.

“It’s a well-structured and enjoyable collection of races that folks can construct in the direction of all yr lengthy,” says Kemp.

The B.A.A. additionally places on the Mayor’s Cup cross-country race in October, in partnership with Adidas. The race takes place in historic Franklin Park and is open to all ages. The ladies’s championship distance is 5K whereas the boys race 8K.

Enjoyable Runs

(Picture: Courtesy Boston Athletic Affiliation)

In case your go to doesn’t line up with these marquee occasions, t. are loads of extra informal races within the space all year long. If shorter distances are extra your pace, the Cambridge Traditional 5K Collection hosts three 5Ks all year long that begin and end in downtown Cambridge.

The Harpoon 5-Miler is one other in style alternative, attracting round 5,000 runners to the Harpoon Brewery in Boston’s Seaport District. The race is often held in late Could and takes runners 2.5 miles out and again on a route that overlooks Boston Harbor. “Harpoon does a very good job. It’s a reasonably enjoyable after-party,” says Louis Serafini, a runner and neighborhood organizer with Tracksmith. 

In case you’re courageous sufficient for a winter race close to Boston, the Tremendous Sunday 5 Miler on Tremendous Bowl Sunday is a highway race in Cambridge with a enjoyable after-party and one of many few winter highway races within the metropolis.

Flat and Quick

Visiting Boston over Memorial Day Weekend? Boston’s Run to Bear in mind affords a half marathon and a five-mile race. The five-miler begins on the Seaport Lodge and takes contributors on a flat, quick course by way of downtown Boston, passing a number of landmarks just like the Boston Frequent, the Public Backyard, Faneuil Corridor, and the Previous State Home.

Probably the most in style occasions for aggressive runners attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon is the Baystate Marathon and Half Marathon—each distances happen in October on a lightning-fast course in Lowell, Massachusetts, about 40 minutes north of Boston. Additionally in October, the Boston 10K for Ladies attracts elite competitors and runners of talent ranges to its quick course by way of Boston’s Again Bay on Indigenous Individuals’s Day weekend.

W. to Run

Women running over Charles River in Boston
The Charles River is a well-liked place to run from downtown Boston. (Picture: Getty Photographs)

The Charles River Esplanade, Again Bay

The Esplanade is a fan favourite amongst runners within the space for its accessibility from downtown and exquisite views of town. It’s additionally secure from visitors and preferrred for directionally challenged runners. The primary entry level is from Science Park in downtown Boston, w. it extends 9 miles on either side of the river to Watertown, however you may maintain going all the best way to Waltham and Newton. As a result of plenty of bridges cross alongside the best way, you may run a loop of virtually any size.

“I’ve executed loops as brief as three miles and so long as virtually 20,” says B.A.A. Operating Membership member Mike Paulin. For instance, a run from the Museum of Science to Newton and again can be about 20 miles.

The Emerald Necklace

The Emerald Necklace is a 1,100-acre system of linked inexperienced areas and waterways that runs for seven miles from downtown Boston, previous Fenway, and on to a number of parks. It’s an effective way to see a number of metropolis sights in a single run and affords plenty of choices. 

Serafini suggests the Muddy River or River Path by way of the Again Bay Fens, an city wild area and parkland. “Individuals go straight for the Charles River, however Riverway is completely flat and has two sides to it. It’s nice in case you are attempting to run on a mushy floor as a result of you may run on gravel and grime for many of it,” he says. You possibly can run the path all the best way out to Jamaica Pond, which has a gorgeous 1.4-mile loop round it.

One other in style choice is Franklin Park—Boston’s largest open area at 485 acres. The park sits smack-dab within the middle of town and hosts plenty of highschool and faculty cross-country races. It’s a very good place to go for those who’re in search of some well-groomed, grassy trails.

The Emerald Necklace continues out to Harvard College’s Arnold Arboretum—which is a beautiful run within the spring because of its botanical variety.

Recent Pond Reservation Loop Path and the Minuteman Bike Path, Cambridge

The traffic-free, paved 2.5-mile loop round Recent Pond in Cambridge is about 5 miles from downtown Boston. It has loos and water fountains, and it’s an awesome place for longer interval repeats. A motorbike path additionally connects to the Minuteman Bike Path—a ten-mile paved path for pedestrians and cyclists that passes by way of the close by cities of Lexington and Arlington.

The Battle Street Path, Harmony

A lot of Boston’s greatest runners do their lengthy runs on that is soft-surface path 20 to half-hour exterior town. British troopers marched the path to the opening battle of the American Revolution in April of 1775, so it stops at a handful of historic landmarks. Word: for those who’re visiting within the winter, save this one on your subsequent journey.

The Boston Marathon Course, Newton

Three women run on the Carriage Road along Commonwealth Ave in Newton.
The Carriage Street alongside Commonwealth Avenue in Newton is a well-liked winter operating spot in Boston. (Picture: Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe/Getty)

For a basic future, begin in Newton to run the final ten miles of the Boston Marathon course. You possibly can take the Inexperienced Line D practice to the Woodland cease, simply over the hill from the course between miles 16 and 17. From t. you may run up Heartbreak Hill, alongside Boston School and Fenway Park, and end on Boylston.  

In case you go to Boston within the winter, Commonwealth Avenue (a.okay.a. Comm Ave.) on the Boston Marathon course is a well-liked alternative amongst native marathoners in coaching. Within the Newton hills, t.’s a carriage lane that’s often plowed for runners. “In case you go on a weekend, the carriage lane is stuffed with runners coaching for the Boston Marathon,” says Serafini.

Boston Frequent, Downtown Boston

Whereas t. aren’t many open tracks in or round Boston, the trail round Boston Frequent is sort of precisely a one-mile loop. It additionally contains an incline for those who’re attempting to work in some hill coaching.

W. to Keep

Boston's harbor at dawn.
(Picture: Denis Tangney Jr/Getty)

For a central and vigorous space near historic landmarks, downtown Boston is a basic choice. Select Again Bay for a buzzing neighborhood close to the Boston Marathon Expo and end line. It’s additionally the house of Tracksmith’s Trackhouse, a hangout for runners. Baseball followers ought to go for Fenway, one other central and historic neighborhood close to the Boston Marathon end line. The Charles River operating routes are straightforward to get to from all three.

For an up-and-coming neighborhood, the Seaport is popping with retailers, breweries, and eating places. From t. you may rapidly get to scenic operating routes alongside the South Boston waterfront.

Hoping for one thing a bit extra quaint when it’s time to retreat for the night time? Think about staying in Boston’s South Finish or over the river in Cambridge or Somerville.

W. to Gas (and Drink) Up

Brunch and Fast Bites

Serafini says the Tracksmith operating group’s favourite place to seize a post-run breakfast is Trident Booksellers and Cafe, an indie bookstore with an all-day breakfast menu, positioned proper by the Trackhouse. One other breakfast spot in style with space runners is The Pleasant Toast. “They do an superior brunch and still have loads of choices for mimosas and different drinks,” says B.A.A. Race Staff member Allie Hacket.

For a pre-run cup of espresso, Tracksmith’s Boston neighborhood organizer and co-captain of the Unnamed Run Crew, Leandrew Belnavis, recommends Render Espresso over on Boston’s South Finish: “Order the malted chilly brew and thank me later!” When you’ve got a hankering for a post-workout refreshment in Again Bay, hit up Jugos and Supremo—an all-natural juice and smoothie bar with just a few small bites. Belnavis recommends ordering the Tremendous Linda (pineapple, mango, banana, coconut, and orange). One other fast, wholesome meal in Boston’s Again Bay neighborhood that Kemp suggests as a very good pre-race choice is Dig in Copley Sq., which serves recent and seasonal meals.


Boston affords an eclectic number of eating places. Historically town is thought for its seafood (fried clams and chowdah), genuine Italian meals, Irish pubs, and well-known baked beans. In case you’re in search of old-school Boston meals (and maybe pre-race carbs), hit town’s North Finish and Beacon Hill neighborhoods, w. the delicacies is closely influenced by town’s Italian heritage. For incredible flatbread pizza and a comfy ambiance, Hacket recommends Figs by Todd English on Charles Road.

Head over to Boston’s South Finish for a melting pot of stylish, worldwide eating experiences. Belnavis suggests Kava Neo Taverna for genuine Greek meals and Banyan Bar for Asian fusion and an awesome dumpling comfortable hour. For Boston’s well-known seafood, space runners say to take a look at Saltie Lady in Again Bay’s Copley Sq. or Row 34 on the Seaport. Adventurous diners can head over to Fenway to take a look at TimeOut Market—a eating corridor that brings the most effective of Boston’s culinary tradition underneath one roof.


Though you received’t discover any comfortable hours—Boston is notorious for its puritanical ingesting rules that outlaw offers on drinks—town’s craft beer and microbrewery scene is famend. Along with well-known mainstream breweries like Sam Adams and Harpoon, t. are additionally plenty of up-and-coming breweries. A well-liked one amongst native runners is Evening Shift Brewing’s Esplanade location (referred to as Owls Nest), a beer backyard by the river that additionally serves modern meals. In downtown Cambridge, Lamplighter Brewing Firm focuses on New England IPAs. Trillium is one other favourite that gives a rotating beer choice and indoor and outside seating. It has three areas within the metropolis: Fenway, Fort Level, and Greenway.

Runners who’re into dive bars ought to try Bukowski Tavern for an awesome beer choice and late-night meals, or Beantown Pub, w. you may seize a burger, play pool, and have a Sam Adams simply yards away from none apart from Sam Adams himself. He’s buried throughout the road. For a cool hangout over on Boston’s South Finish, considered one of Serafini’s favourite spots is the Beehive—a dim underground jazz membership with bohemian vibes, a classic cocktail listing, and a slick patio.