Boston Marathon Race Day FAQ

Boston Marathon Frequently Asked Race Day Questions. Topics:
  • Start and Finish Lines
  • Transportation
  • Athletes' Village
  • Corrals
  • Bag Check
  • Race Start
  • Headphone Policy
  • Course Support
  • Timing
  • After the Finish
  • Meeting Family and Friends
  • Athlete Tracking
  • Racing Photos
  • Merchandise
  • Spectating
  • Broadcast
For answers to these topics, courtesy, see below.

Everything else you want to know is here.

Start and Finish Lines

The Boston Marathon starting line is located in Hopkinton at the Doughboy statue on East Main Street (near Ash Street). The race finishes on Boylston Street in Boston, directly in front of the Boston Public Library (700 Boylston Street).


The ONLY guaranteed way to get to the start on race morning is by the official B.A.A. buses between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m. Bus loading will take place at the Tremont Street side of the Boston Common in Boston’s Back Bay area. In order to load all the buses efficiently, avoid delays and get to the start on time, we strongly recommend the following bus loading schedule:

6:00 a.m.–6:45 a.m. Bib #’s 1,000–13,999
6:45 a.m.–7:30 a.m. Bib #’s 14,000+

NOTE: Transportation to the start is for official runners only. Each runner must show his/her bib number upon boarding. We are not able to provide transportation to the start from Boston for family or friends.

Limited transportation from Boston to Hopkinton to both parking areas will be available after the race at no charge. Buses leave from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. from the corner of Stuart and Berkeley Streets. You must show your race number upon boarding.

Wheelchair participants will receive transportation information with their Number Pick-up Card.

Athletes’ Village

Poland Spring water, Gatorade, light refreshments, entertainment, tenting and portable toilets will be provided in the Village. Only official runners and volunteers will be allowed to enter the Village.

Corrals are assigned based on bib numbers. The first digit of your bib number (first two digits if your number is over 10,000) indicates your assigned corral. The first corral is located immediately after the elite starting corral. Bib number assignment is based on qualifying times. General (non elite) numbering begins with bib number 1001.

You may move BACK to a higher corral, but you can not more forward to a lower corral. This kind of movement should be kept to a minimum given the amount of space allocated to each corral.

You may move from Wave 1 to Wave 2, however you may not move from Wave 2 to Wave 1. Due to space constraints, runners from Wave 1 may not move into the first corral of Wave 2.

We anticipate it taking no longer than 10-minutes for the last runner of each wave to cross the starting line.

Bag Check

Warm-up clothing may be checked onto buses that will bring your baggage to the finish in Boston. Affix the baggage label provided to you in your race packet to the plastic bag you received at packet pick-up and give it to the attendant at the appropriate baggage bus on your way to the start area. Buses will be clearly marked according to your bib number.

Race Start

Mobility Impaired Division start time: 9:00 a.m.
Wheelchair Division start time: 9:22 a.m.
Elite Women's start time: 9:32 a.m.
Elite Men's and Wave 1 start time: 10:00 a.m.
Wave 2 start time: 10:30 a.m.

Headphone Policy

Although the B.A.A. discourages the use of iPods and headphones, they are allowed except for those athletes eligible for prize money.

Course Support

American Red Cross Aid Stations providing first aid/medical support are located approximately every mile along the race course, including one at the start. Two medical tents will be set up to provide medical support at the finish area.

Poland Spring Water and Gatorade Endurance Formula Sports Drink (lemon/lime flavor) are the official fluids provided approximately every mile along the course as well as the start and finish areas.

Port-a-johns will be located at each fluid and each first aid station. Stations are every mile beginning at mile two.

A PowerGel station is located at mile 17.


Clocks will be located at every mile and 5 km mark along the course (clocks will display the elapsed time from the 10 a.m. start only - Wave 2 runners simply need to deduct 30-minutes from the displayed time),

After the Finish

After you cross the finish line you will be directed toward the Poland Spring water and Gatorade, and you will receive a mylar blanket. After this you will receive your finisher’s medallion (in exchange for the black ChampionChip that was loaned to you).

After you receive your medal you will be directed to the baggage buses and changing facilities.

Members of the American Massage Therapy Association will offer complimentary post-race massages to official athletes in the Dorothy Quincy Suite in John Hancock hall, located on the corner of Stuart and Berkeley Streets.

Meeting Family and Friends

Arrange to meet your family in the Family Meeting Area. Large signs with all letters of the alphabet will be posted beginning on Stuart Street, along Clarendon and finishing along St. James Avenue. Or, you may wish to select a designated location far outside of the restricted area and away from the finish area facilities.

Athlete Tracking

The B.A.A. will broadcast every 5Km split to its website and family and friends can track your progress by logging in and entering your name or bib number. The "face" of the Boston Marathon website will change on race day and the process on how to enter the search will be clear.

The AT&T Athlete Alert program allows messages to be automatically delivered any US mobile phone, a pager, or any email address. Alerts will be broadcast when your runner crosses the starting line, reaches the 10K, half marathon and 30K marks, and from the finish line.

Runners or their family and friends can register in three ways:

1: Simply text RUNNER to 41234. You will then receive an SMS text message confirming how to complete registration.

2: You can also visit the AT&T Athlete Alert Sign-Up page at the race website,, and sign up there.

3. If you prefer to register in person or have questions, representatives will be available in the Bib Number Pick-up area at the John Hancock Sports &; Fitness Expo, Friday, April 17, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, from 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.


Official Boston Marathon Merchandise will be on sale at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, several Boston sporting goods stores, in Copley Square Park and at the Family Meeting Area after the race. For more information, go to

Before or after race weekend, merchandise may be ordered online or via mail-order directly from our licensees. Some of them may also have limited amounts of previous years’ merchandise available.

Racing Photos

Marathon Foto is the official photographer of the Boston Marathon and representatives will take photos along the course and finish. Proofs will be mailed to all participants shortly after the race, or photos may be ordered on-line at


Locations along the course that are close to MBTA subway stations are:

* Kenmore Square (Green lines B,C, and D): One-mile-to-go marker
* Woodland (Green line D): Mile 16.8 of the Marathon course
* Boston College (Green line B): Mile 21.4 of the Marathon course
* Cleveland Circle (Green line C): mile 22.4 of the Marathon course

The MBTA's Commuter Rail Line (Framingham/Worcester) also makes stops along the Route in Framingham, West Natick, Natick, Wellesley Square and Wellesley Hills.

For more information on watching the race, pick up a Spectator's Guuide at local hotels or the Marathon Information Kiosk in Copley Square Park on race weekend.


The race will be broadcast on television nationally on Universal Sports Television and locally on WBZ-TV. The race will also be broadcast on-line at