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Marathon Warm-Up: The Top Five Running Routes In Boston

By Zachary Foisie

top five running routes in boston

In honor of the Boston Marathon, which will be held on Monday, April 18th and will field over 24,000 official runners, we've put together the top five running routes in Boston. Even though these five routes pale in comparison to the grueling run that is the Boston Marathon, we hope you'll enjoy our top five running routes in Boston in honor of the upcoming race.

The Boston Marathon first began on April 19th, 1897 and fielded just fifteen runners. Over the past century, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has slowly decreased the qualifying time in order to cut down on overcrowding.  Today, the BAA has sorted the Boston Marathon into different runner heats, yet the entry standards are still high. The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon outside of Greece and one of the six world marathon majors.

For the record, exactly 28,594 time qualifiers submitted an entry for the 2016 marathon, and 16% were rejected despite shattering records within their own age bracket! Talk about prestigious.

Although it's too late to qualify for the marathon, "unofficial" participants are allowed to run the course after the last official heat has left the starting line. The BAA also sets aside a number of bibs for charity runners, who promise to run the race to raise money for their own cause or charity. More about charity runners in the marathon can be found on the marathon's official website.

Whether you're new to Boston or need a few warm-up routes in prep for the marathon, our top five routes are guaranteed to please as you're transported through one of America's oldest cities.

#5 "Harvard Educated" 3.3 miles

top five running routes in boston

This route begins at the Harvard School of Business, right outside the Harvard Stadium. The route goes across the Anderson Memorial Bridge and into the heart of the Harvard campus. The route follows the bike path adjacent to the Charles River, where it crosses the Western Avenue Bridge and doubles back along another bike path towards the starting point.

#4 "Wellesley Screamin'" 3.2 miles

top five running routes in boston

This run route (sans screaming) takes you down the same route in the marathon where the infamous Wellesley girls scream, cheering on runners at the mile 13 marker. Although you won't hear any screaming until race day, you will have the chance to run across the the iconic, all-girls liberal arts college campus. The route begins on Route 135, cuts through the campus, and follows a trail around Lake Waban.

#3 "Tea Party Sprint" 1.6 miles

top five running routes in boston

This short sprint starts at Fan Pier Park next to the courthouse and takes you across the Congress St Bridge, the location of the famous Boston Tea Party. The route, albeit short, terminates in the heart of Downtown Boston, with the option of a full loop.

#2 "Heartbreak Hill" 2.8 miles

top five running routes in boston

Heartbreak Hill is the equalizer of the Boston Marathon. Heartbreak Hill is not deadly for a rapid elevation change. Instead, it's hazard lies in it's slow grueling climb, which grabs runners by surprise who have already endured miles of downhill running prior to this infamous climb. This route beings at Boston College and offers a taste of Heartbreak's lethality before wrapping around Chestnut Hill Reservoir and terminating at Shea Field.

#1 "Reunion Tour" 2.5 miles

top five running routes in boston

Our favorite route and final route on our list is a lap up and down the final stretch of the race. The route begins at Lederman Park, down the Charles River, hooks a sharp left on Massachusetts Ave, and concludes with a final stretch down Commonwealth Ave. The route hooks a sharp right down Hereford St, and then a final left at Boylston St, finishing at 665 Boylston St - the official marathon finish line.

Here is the map for the 2016 Boston Marathon with a graph of elevation changes:

top five running routes in boston

top five running routes in boston

When you're ready to rest after punishing your legs in the race, make sure you book one of our many furnished apartments in Boston. We have hundreds of fully furnished listings ready to book today!




by Zachary Foisie

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