It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

April 21, 2011

The Boston Marathon – A Great Spectator Sport

My favorite runner!
Jim and I had a really great time in Boston.  It was seriously cool to see him run by me on Bolyston Street – at the same spot that many other famous runners have run by – just before finishing the Boston Marathon.  On this day, I also got to see Ryan Hall, and Geoffry Mutai (the winner of the Boston Marathon this year).  I saw runners in costume, runners in pain barely able to make it to the finish, and runners so elated with joy they could hardly contain it.  It was amazing!  
Jim heading out bright and early race morning

Ryan Hall

Tutu Guy
The crowds of people were insane.  The race started at 9:30 am (with the women’s runners) and then 10:00 am for the elite men and wave one.  I knew no one would cross the finish line before around 11:45 am, so I left my hotel room at 10 am and thought I would get to the finish line in plenty of time.  I was clearly an amateur.  When I arrived to the finish line area around 10:30 am there were literally thousands of people lining the streets.  I couldn’t get anywhere near the finish line.  I saw the grandstands across the street and they were only about half full so I thought – hey I just need to make my way over to the other side of the street and I’ll sit there.  This no easy task – you can't just “cross the street” of a major marathon.  I had to back track several blocks, when I finally got to the point where I could make my way up that side of the street – they had stopped all traffic.  I had to go yet another way – way up around the marathon and make my way back.  I was literally sprinting trying to find a spot, knowing that the longer it took to get to there the less chance I would have of getting a seat.  Then I finally found out that I was an IDIOT – the grandstands were for VIPs only and you had to have a pass – that would make sense for why they weren’t filled yet – I thought it was just because people couldn’t figure out how to get over to them.  I finally found a spot in line just a few minutes after 11 am – just in time to see the men’s winner running down to the finish.  The crowds were crazy – there were 3 rows of people in front of me, and probably another 3 rows behind, but everyone was cheering, screaming, and cow belling.  It was seriously awesome.

As mentioned, Jim had a PR for this race.  It was also his 10th marathon.  I was so proud of him.  He worked so hard just to make it to Boston, and to PR at Boston….well what a day!  I’ll let him tell you all the details of his race in his post.

Me & Jim on the subway
Other things about the trip to note:

·     We arrived on Friday afternoon.  The weather was FREEZING!!!  We knew it would be chilly, but somehow it seemed to be a lot colder than we were expecting.  We got checked into the hotel, and headed out to find the subway.  After a little frustration we found our way to the Subway and headed to Fenway Park Baby!!  It was alive with activity.  We waited over an hour to eat at Boston Beer Works, and then headed to the game.  It was pretty cool, but did I mention it was FREEZING?  It was hard to enjoy the experience because we were so cold – in spite of 4 layers of clothing, 2 pair of socks, and a stocking cap.

·     If you are ever in Boston go to the North End (Italian District) – it’s lined with 100s of little Italian restaurants.  Giacomo’s and Mike’s Pastry are a MUST!

Mike's Pastry - Cannoli
·     Harvard was really cool.  It’s a very beautiful campus.  However, DO NOT assume that a 400 year old church is just open for visitors.  Jim and I saw a bunch of people going in this old church, so we thought hey you must be able to tour it.  We walked in and were offered palm leaves, a Bible and a program……oops Palm Sunday service.  We forgot it was Sunday.  One of our top 10 most embarrassing moments!
Harvard Gates
·    Boston is a beautiful City!!  You walk A LOT!!  I know I walked at least 6 or 7 miles a day while I was there.

·     Do not go to the bathroom in an airplane when there is turbulence or you will get to spend way too much time in the bathroom.  I was in the potty when some serious turbulence hit.  I started to come out and the flight attendant yelled – “Get back in the bathroom and sit down and hold on!”  I was stuck in the bathroom for about 10 minutes.  YUCK!

Lots more fun stuff to share, but I don’t want to make this post toooooo long.  All in all we had a great time.  Definitely worth the trip if you ever qualify for Boston or love someone who does!


  1. Looks like such a fun time! Glad you got to go and cheer Jim on. I know I wont ever be able to run fast enough to quilify, but I would LOVE to go watch...

  2. Funny story about the bathroom. Jim did awesome and it looks like you two had a lot of fun.

  3. Great pictures! I totally woudln't have thought about the stands being for VIP's either.

    Jim mentioned in his post that he wants to go to a MLB game in every stadium. If y'all ever decide to come to Houston and go to Minute Maid Field then maybe my boyfriend and I can meet up with y'all! We go to Astros games all the time!

  4. LOL you had me laughing numerous times...the bathroom, the stands to name a couple. What a great trip you had love the pics thanks for sharing!

  5. That sounds so fun. If I could ever get Travis to run more than a 5k maybe he could work up to Boston--ha! Maybe not. :) glad you enjoyed it.

  6. I love this post and all the pictures! I want to go one day! So happy for you that you got to go with Jim!!

  7. Those pics are amazing.

    I have to say it. "Leave the guns, take the cannoli"

    I'm glad you guys had a great time. I have a bathroom turbulance story as well! One of my least favorite things in the entire world.

  8. OMG, i could eat that whole plate of canolis!!! you guys crack me up with your "tourist" stories. glad you had a great trip. i just read jims race!!! awesome!!!

  9. Great pictures. I have never been to Boston, but this post makes me want to visit.

  10. Boston is a great place to visit and it looks like y'all enjoyed the experience! Forgetting it's Sunday while walking into a church - that was hilarious!

  11. Congrats to Jim again

    I loved this report, I loved the pictures, I love Boston, very cool place to vacation!!

  12. There are some CRAZY storms moving through MO! Hope everything is ok your way! They're headed this way tonight :(

  13. The Cannoli pic made my day a little more drooley (is that a word?...well I'm drooling right now).

    The airplane bathroom story - yuk!

    I'm glad you guys had such a good time.
    Gonna go read the man's view now :D

  14. What an awesome trip! I need to go back and spectate someday...maybe run the 5k. It's such a great city with awesome race fans!

  15. Michael! Wow what great pics!!!!!!! You got to take in the Boston marathon AND a Bo-Sox game at Fenway--I am beyond jealous. Was Jack excited to see you when he got home??

  16. I'm glad you enjoyed spectating!! The race would not be the same without all the spectators! AND so glad you got cannolis at Mikes....I LOVE THOSE THINGS!!!!