2014 Boston Marathon and Trip Recap! (From a Spectator!)

What a trip!! Boston was such an incredible experience! I’ll admit there was a LOT of moments that made me super jealous that I wasn’t running, but it was a FUN vacation!


View from the top of the Prudential Center. You can see Fenway!



You can see the finish line for the Marathon in the lower center!


Tons of awesome signs all over Boston!

We arrived late on Friday night and didn’t make it to our hotel room until about midnight. We had originally booked our hotel from Saturday – Tuesday, but after finding a fantastic deal on airfare, we were now flying in Friday instead of Saturday and wanted to book something cheaper for Friday night. We got a cheaper room alright, but our stay Friday night was a total dud.

After a poor night of sleep, we checked out of hotel early and dropped our bags off at the hotel where we were staying for the rest of the trip: The Boston Park Plaza.. which I highly recommend. It was pricey (EVERYTHING was pricey for this weekend in Boston), but very convenient to everything race related and historical sites that I wanted to see.


At the finish line before the Expo!

Our first stop was the expo. It was awesome! Definitely the best expo I have ever been to. Tons and tons of vendors and booths, but it was PACKED. We were there almost first thing on Saturday and we definitely did not beat the rush! I think a lot of people also headed straight here from the 5k which didn’t help.. but it was still a great time. Getting Paul’s actual packet was easy to do, it was the shopping that was packed! We also got to meet Jeff Galloway and I picked up a Boston Strong shirt to wear on Monday.




Paul and I with Jeff Galloway!

Paul and I with Jeff Galloway!

After the expo, we headed to the North End of Boston. My ‘must-do’ for the trip was to eat at Neptune Oyster, so we arrived here around 12 and they only had an hour wait. We gave them our phone number and then got to go and peruse the rest of the area (LOVED that they would call us when our table was ready). We went straight to Mike’s Pastry where we loaded up FANTASTIC cannoli and my favorite, the lobster tail.





About 40 minutes later we got a call that our table was ready. Neptune Oyster was the best meal of the trip, hands down! We ordered the Lobster Roll (hot & buttered), along with some a la carte shrimp and crab claw, wine and the New England Clam Chowder. The chowder was incredible! I’m guilty of only having canned chowder up until this point, but here it was SO flavorful with HUGE chunks of clams despite having a fairly thin broth. The real winner of the lunch was the lobster roll though. I knew up front that it was going to be pricey, but the reviews of this place were so good. The roll lived up to its hype! Paul and I split it and I’ve never had such fresh tasting lobster and not to mention SO much of it. This sandwich was PACKED with lobster and it was so good. BEST meal of the trip.




The New England Clam Chowder



The BEST Lobster Roll

We spent the rest of the day exploring the USS Constitution and walking the Freedom Trail. We ended up near Quincy Market where more seafood and brews were called for.


USS Constitution



Sam Adam’s 26.2 Brew. A marathon that has its own beer. My kinda place!

The next day was Easter and while we wanted to explore more, we definitely wanted to stay off of our feet as much as possible since Paul was racing the next day. Problem solved with a Duck Tour! Super hokey, I know, but it was a fun way to see the city! I totally loved it! We then headed to the top of the Prudential Center to see the views of the city! The photos I took are at the top of the post. It was really neat to see so far!


Our duck for the tour!



Afterwards we went for a quick 2 mile run through the Boston Common and public gardens to stretch our legs and by 2pm we were back in the hotel resting.


The Make Way for Ducklings statue in the Boston Public Gardens



They had their own bibs for the Marathon and Easter hats!

I slept like crap that night! I was so worried about Paul missing the bus to take him to the starting line 😀 This is typical for me; I always worry about logistics! However, the morning went off without a hitch! Paul woke up around 6:15am and was out the door at 7am. It was weird ‘sleeping in’ for a marathon. Usually we wake up hours earlier!


My Boston Marathoner!

I knew even the elite racers wouldn’t get to Boylston until 11 or so, but I still showered and headed out anyway. I first intended to go to the Boston Public Library at 9 to see the Dear Boston exhibit, but of course the library was closed.. whoops. So then I headed over to The Rattlesnake which was a bar someone recommended that I watch the race from. FAIL. It was on Boylston, but AFTER the finish line. Why would I watch from there!?


Looking down Boylston Street towards the finish. The home stretch (at 8am)!

So I went through security and walked up and down Boylston a few times before seeing a large group of people head into Lir Irish Pub. Since it was one of the few places without cover and it was only about 8:30am, I decided to head in to kill some time. This ended up being an awesome find! It took me a few beers before I warmed up to talking to strangers, but by the time the race started the entire bar was absolutely packed and cheering!


Watching the race from Lir


The race was televised, so even though the runners were only maybe 20 feet from us, it was still easier to watch inside to see who was leading and the commentary. They would switch between the elite male and female race showing where everyone was located. When the pro-women came through, I ran outside to watch. I tried to snap some pictures, but I was pretty far back in the crowd. For the men, I just stayed inside. We were really close to the finish (like mile 25.75 or so) and I wanted to see Meb finish on the big screen!


Trying to get some shots of the lead runners


The crowd on the street during the elite runners!

The BAA had an app that was great for tracking participants. I got Paul’s results for the 5k, 10k and half in real time.. however, I’m guessing as more and more people started using it, it came to a halt. His 30k time alert came through way late and I couldn’t get it to load up after that for the life of me. Paul and I had already discussed that with the crowds and number of runners that it was unlikely we would get to see each other, so around 2pm I just decided to leave and slow walk towards the finish line and go back to the hotel to meet him since I had no idea where he was on the course. Sheer fate had it that barely 30 seconds after I walked out of the bar, I saw him! Despite the crowds, I was screaming and waving my arms and got through to the front to give him a kiss! Seriously! The luck that I would come out of that bar (after like 6 hours, hehe) and see him instantly! I then sped walked towards the finish line.


The crowd right after I saw Paul. SO many people!

Paul finished in an incredible 3:37! I couldn’t be more proud of him! I’m still also shocked that I got to see him on the course! We met back up at the hotel and I let him lay down for all of about 37 seconds before I was pushing him out the door 😀 I had been drinking all day, so I was ready to go and keep having fun! Plus I could tell he needed to get some food in him! We ended up at 21st Amendment which served some killer nachos and I got another lobster roll 😀 Certainly not as good as the first, but still way better than anything I’ve had in KC!

We also took advantage of the opportunity to see Fenway Park which was open for runners and their families. Such a neat stadium!! We intended to go to the official after party at House of Blues, but the line was just so long it was laughable. Instead we got back on the subway and headed back to the Boston Commons area. By the end of the night we stopped at Beantown Pub for some more food. I got more chowder.. I’m addicted! The clams weren’t nearly as big, but I loved how creamy this chowder was. My phone had been dead for HOURS, so I don’t have a ton of photos, but it was a fun evening!

Our flight out from Boston was around 1pm on Tuesday. We spent the morning hunting down some breakfast at The Paramount and then strolling the Commonwealth Mall and FINALLY getting the chance to check out the Boston Public Library for their Dear Boston exhibit.


The Boston Public Library


Part of the Dear Boston exhibit

Boston was such a fun experience! No other city gets behind their marathon like Boston did. I also loved how walkable everything was from our hotel and how easy public transportation was. I NEED to BQ in my lifetime now. I never really thought of it as a serious goal, but after being here and experiencing it in person, I NEED to. I would also highly highly highly recommend travelling to just be a spectator for the marathon. In any other city, that would be insane to do, but here it was just on a whole different level. Everywhere you turned was someone who would want to talk about running with you! And man!, runners love to talk about running 😀


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