Boston Marathon Course

The Boston Marathon follows a point-to-point course from Hopkinton, a sleepy suburb west of the city, into the heart of downtown Boston.  While featuring a net elevation loss of over 400 feet, the course known to be a difficult challenge.  The early downhill miles tempt runners to start too quickly and can wreak havoc on leg muscles.

The marathon start is situated on Main Street, with a generous downhill grade.  The excitement and adrenaline can tempt even runners to go out too fast, but seasoned marathoners advise against it. It's crucial to pace yourself and save your energy for the miles ahead. Maintain a controlled pace to conserve your legs for the rolling hills that await you.

Between miles 5-10, you'll encounter a number of rolling hills as you pass through the towns of Ashland, Framingham, and Natick. While these hills are not as notorious as the Newton hills, they can still sap your energy if you're not prepared. Maintain a steady pace and stay focused on your race plan during this section.

At around mile 12, you'll reach the famous Wellesley College, where enthusiastic students create the iconic "Scream Tunnel." The cheers and energy from the crowd are electrifying and can provide a much-needed boost to your spirits. Let yourself get caught up in the excitement and high-five some of the spectators.  Note that some of the spectators here are looking for more than just high fives...

As you pass the scream tunnel and head into Wellesley town center, you'll reach the halfway point of the race.  Wellesley's charming town center is a delightful sight, and the crowd support remains strong.  Passing through the center

Logo of the Heartbreak Hill Running Company

Arguably the most challenging part of the Boston Marathon, the Newton hills, including the notorious Heartbreak Hill (around mile 20), can test even the most experienced runners. It's essential to conserve energy and tackle these hills with determination. The cheers from spectators lining the hills can provide much-needed motivation to conquer this formidable section.

As you crest Heartbreak Hill, you'll encounter Boston College.  It's all downhill from here... mostly.  While there are some small short inclines to conquor at the very end of the race, miles 21-25 are mostly downhill giving you time to regroup and find a late-race rhythm before approaching the finish.  In this section you'll enter the charming neighborhood of Brookline. Keep an eye out for the iconic Citgo sign, which is a beacon of hope for many runners. It signals that you're approaching the final stretch of the race and getting closer to the coveted finish line.

Running past Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, and through Kenmore Square, you'll experience a surge of excitement and anticipation. The crowds here are enthusiastic and will push you toward the finish line.

Finally, after 26.2 miles of grit and determination, you'll make your way down Boylston Street towards the historic Boston Marathon finish line. The cheers from the spectators and the sense of accomplishment as you cross the finish line are indescribable.