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 Boston: Hopkinton drop-off, or take the bus?
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Boston: Hopkinton drop-off, or take the bus? Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:16 am 

Has anyone ever tried getting dropped off in Hopkinton for the Boston Marathon, rather than taking the shuttle busses from downtown Boston? I'll be staying with a friend in Somerville, about a 30 minute walk and T ride from downtown Boston. I'm trying to decide how I should get to the start in Hopkinton on race morning.

If I want to take the busses, I'll need to leave my friend's house around 7AM or so to make it to Boston Common in time to meet the busses comfortably. That seems like awfully early for a noon race. I could also get a ride out to Hopkinton and get dropped off there, but I've heard that the traffic is murder, and you can't actually drive into town, so I'd have to walk from the outskirts of town to the Athlete's Village. It would give me more time to sleep in though, and have a more leisurely breakfast, etc.

Are there any Boston veterans out there who can offer advice one way or the other?


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Boston: Hopkinton drop-off, or take the bus? Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:12 pm 

I keep hearing this dilema is somewhat unavoidable and the number one negative about the Boston Marathon. I'm stayig with a friend downtown and am just planning to use the early shuttle bus i guess. i also worry about the noon start with nutrition, hydration, bathroom, etc. all i've ever run is early morning races... except new york and i did have issues there... and it was a full 2 hours earlier...

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Boston: Hopkinton drop-off, or take the bus? Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:12 pm 

Bricks wrote:
I keep hearing this dilema is somewhat unavoidable and the number one negative about the Boston Marathon.

Yeah. I think my approach will be to try not to get so @#*%#! uptight about every little detail, and just enjoy the experience of being there. Really, my goal (and I suspect yours too) was to qualify for Boston, and now I just want to enjoy that by running a solid race, but not necessarily obsessing over every second of my mile splits and the type of Gu at mile 12.4 or whatever.

So in that spirit, I'll probably just get up early and take the bus to the start, unless I hear some great argument why I shouldn't. After all, the bus and the athlete's village are certainly big parts of the race's flavor.


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Boston: Hopkinton drop-off, or take the bus? Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:49 am 

yep, that's pretty much my Exact take on the whole thing. I also plan to spend a little more time at an expo for once. Normally I rush through it so as not to spend the proverbial 'too much time on my feet'. i look at it as a 26.2 mile victory lap more than a goal marathon where i have to PR. Speaking of gu, i've even considered not using it for this unless i 'have to' as i find it one of the more unpleasant aspects of distance running.

ginger

Cambridge, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 46

Re: Boston: Hopkinton drop-off, or take the bus? Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:24 pm 

The two times I've run boston I've been dropped off in Hopkinton (my parents live at about the halfway point on the course and driving in to boston never seemed to make sense.) The first year I got dropped off at Hopkinton State Park, where they tell all the runners to be dropped off if you're not going to take the bus. Then you take a short bus from HSP to the athlete's village. You can arrive at HSP a little later than when you'd arrive in boston for the buses out to the start, but you still end up hanging around in hopkinton for awhile (at least I did.)

The second year I got dropped off at the corner of Elm St and 135 (Wood St). Some careful google maps work will show you how to get here WITHOUT going through hopkinton center (closed off) and without getting off 495 at rt 135 (also closed off). You have to take a lot of back roads. That corner is less than a mile from the start, and I jog/walked in from there.

That being said, both years I still ended up in hopkinton really early (like 8:30). I just worry about roads being closed and having to walk a long way, so I go early. I have always found a place to get off my feet and a porta-potty to use, but there is a lot of sitting around. The challenge for me is nutritional - if I have breakfast at 7am, I need to eat something else before a noon start. I bring a banana and a bar and eat one or both around 11.

If you're staying in boston, I'd recommend the buses. I think it's the easiest way to get to the start line with the least amount of walking.


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