The 115th running of the Boston Marathon is on for Monday, April 18, 2011 and that's big news for Beantown. Every year, on the third Monday in April, at least 500,000 spectators turn up to watch more than 20,000 runners compete in the 26-mile race.
Here's a comprehensive guide on how to watch the race, who to look for on the course (top runners, celebrity runners, and other notable names), and loads of other details to help you make the most of Marathon Monday.
Where to find a good spot along the Boston Marathon running route (here's the course map):
The race course starts on Main Street in the rural New England town of Hopkinton and follows Route 135 through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley to where Route 135 joins Route 16. It continues along Route 16 through Newton Lower Falls, turning right at the fire station onto Commonwealth Avenue, which is Route 30. It follows Commonwealth through the Newton Hills, bearing right at the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Avenue to Cleveland Circle. The route then turns left onto Beacon Street continuing through Kenmore Square, and under Massachusetts Avenue. The course turns right onto Hereford Street (NOTE: against normal traffic flow) then left onto Boylston Street, finishing near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.
Watch it on television:
- In Boston, WBZ-TV (CBS affiliate, Channel 4) will broadcast from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.
- For the third year, Versus will provide complete, live, national coverage from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. A same-day, encore presentation of the Versus telecast will air from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.
Watch it online:
Get text updates:
To get real-time updates on your favorite runner(s), you can register for the marathon’s AT&T Athlete Alert by texting RUNNER to 345678. Then, on race day, you will receive an alert when the runner you're "following" passes the 10K, half-marathon, and 30K marks, and then when he or she hits the finish line.
Elite runners (and possible winners) to catch a glimpse of:
- Desiree Davila is the fourth fastest female marathon runner in the country.
- Ryan Hall will compete in his first marathon since leaving his training group and becoming his own coach.
- Defending champion Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia will defend her title on the women's side.
- Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (Kenya) is the defending champion on the men's side and will be aiming for his fifth win in the past six years
- Kara Goucher is a top contender, and this will be her first marathon since giving birth last fall.
Do you plan on watching the Boston Marathon on Monday?
Image via Elizabeth Lloyd/Flickr