Justin and I caught an 11:00 pm flight out of LAX nonstop to Boston last night. After 4 or 5 hours of wondering weather or not I was asleep – (I think I got some sleep) we arrived at in the bright morning light of Boston. We took the subway to downtown and found our hotel. Our hotel is a very nice upscale hotel – built in 1927. We are very close to lots of restaurants in the city hall area and we are very close to Boston Commons – where I will have to catch my bus to Hopkington on Monday morning. We are a little less than a mile from the finish line area.
Once we arrived at our hotel – at 9 am, it was no surprise that we could not yet check in. We checked our bags and we headed out for breakfast and then on to the expo. For some reason the expo is not at the same convention center that it was two years ago. In 2010 the expo was on Boylston St a block or two from the marathon finish. This year the expo is at the World Trade Center and it is a mile or two from either our hotel or the finish! We have been making good use of the subway. Seeing as how I am from the suburbs in California, a subway is a rare treat. The only other time I have ridden a subway was 2 years ago here in Boston. The expo was very efficient. Last time I got there early, figuring that there would be a long line. There was a long line of all of us who decided to get there early! This time, though, with the trip on the subway and a shuttle bus (provided by the marathon people) the expo was in full swing by the time we got there. I feared the worse, but there were no lines! I walked right up to the appropriate person and collected my bib number and goodie bag. Then I went and got the obligatory jacket and running hat (very cool orange color this year.)
Around noon we got checked in and then we went out for a run. We both headed off in the same general direction but at different paces. I headed NorthEast on a road that circled eventually to the St Charles River Esplanade. Once there I headed west on the Esplanade. I was soon very jealous. In Palmdale we have the aqueduct to run on. When you do you MIGHT see another runner or two, or a cyclist, and you are likely to find yourself battling some sort of adverse weather combination of wind with cold or heat. On the St Charles river Esplanade, there was a steady stream of cyclists, runners, walkers, sunbathers, etc. And the scenery was beautiful!
I noticed after a bit that I could see the John Hancock building a few blocks to my left. The John Hancock building is near the marathon finish line, so a plan of looping through the finish area began to develop. I decided to continue a little farther down the path, though as it seemed early to begin circling back to the hotel. The path is sandwiched between the river and a highway. There are limited opportunities to cross the highway. A little while later I notice that i am passing the famous Citgo Sign. This sign is 1 mile from the finish, so now I am thinking I need to turn back. I pressed onward until I came to another crossing.
While I was out, I spotted this runner wearing an outfit that would get him banned from Monday’s marathon:
I am not saying that the flag would get him banned, let’s just say I discreetly waited until he passed before I snapped the picture. Following close behind him was some sort of an angry(?) mob:
I do not know what that was all about….
I made the crossing and headed over a couple of blocks to Commonwealth. I ran past the Citgo sign and up Herford hill! Then I ran around the last corner and past the finish line structure which is already in place on Boyleston. I continued the run back to and past Boston Commons to get to my hotel. My run was a leisurely 5.5 miles.
Later we headed over to a market near our hotel, that is famous to runners as the location of Bill Rodgers Running shop. The market also has a pretty cool, and very busy food court area. We had some lunch and checked out the shop. Justin bought some shoes.
In the market area there were some cool street performers including this young lady statue:
This little Boston Marathon adventure is off to a good start.