BOSTON – From veteran participants to first timers, nearly every Boston Marathon runner craves a forum to ask questions, offer race day tips or even get help finding a restaurant for pre-marathon carbo-loading. Several years ago most of this information was shared via word-of-mouth, but in 2014, there’s plenty of ways to connect with the Boston Marathon community online.
Boston Marathon Facebook page
The Boston Athletic Association has its own website and app, but for runners looking for everything in one place, the Boston Marathon Facebook page is a great resource for B.A.A. news, videos, tips and profiles like this one:
“Irvina Flood of South Easton, Massachusetts has been a Boston Marathon volunteer since 1997, the year after she ran the 100th Boston Marathon. She is truly a seasoned volunteer, having worked many years at the race expo, runner registration, and her favorite location, Hydration Station 5.” – The Boston Marathon Facebook page.
While the Boston Marathon Facebook page doesn’t allow participants to write on its wall, runners can ask questions and share thoughts in the comments section below each B.A.A. post.
The main Runner’s World website has an excellent section on the Boston Marathon. But for participants who have specific questions, the site’s Boston Marathon forum is the place to be. Runners discuss almost every race day topic: weather, training, hotels, shoes, meeting spots. There’s even a thread about whether or not to carry a phone:
“I never run/race with my phone but I thought I should probably have it with me at Boston this year. I had planned on just checking it with my gear bag at the start line but we all know that won’t work this year.” – Runner’s World Forum
Runners with questions can post them and receive multiple replies from experienced Boston participants in less than a day.
Share Your Marathon Story
With 36,000 runners, every single one has a story to tell. Several online outlets, including John Hancock and CBSBoston.com, offer a way for each runner to share their story. Hancock’s #WeRunTogether digital mosaic allows runners to share photos, videos and stories for display online. Similarly, CBS Boston’s ‘My Marathon’ invites runners to share why they’re running.
Marathon Guide is one of the best sites to get statistics about the Boston Marathon. Marathon Guide features results, records, news, running calculators and training advice. There’s even a section on the marathons that have the highest percentage of Boston qualifiers:
“While there is no specific answer for each individual, and while different races may be easier or harder in any given year due to weather or other factors – following is a factual list of those marathons that have the highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in their field and those with the largest overall number of qualifiers.” – Marathon Guide.
Marathon Guide also features a bulletin board where participants can discuss the race, gear and training.
Participants and spectators looking for travel information about the Boston Marathon can find most of it on TripAdvisor. There’s a thread on the site titled “Boston Marathon Weekend 2014” with advice about the best places to stay in terms of access to the start or finish line:
There is also a general forum on the city of Boston that provides hotel and restaurant reviews from experienced travelers.
For up to the second details on the Boston Marathon, Twitter is tough to beat. All a runner needs to do is search the hash tag #BostonMarathon for a wealth of information about the race.
News outlets like CBSBoston.com, Runner’s World and Run Blog Run tweet live race day commentary. Twitter is also a great place for participants to share their excitement or ask questions. Some marathoners even tweet on race day while they’re out on the course.
Kimberly Bogin is an Emmy Award winning television producer who has been running marathons for 14 years. After her non-running friends banned her from talking about training, races and black toenails, Kimberly decided to write about it instead, working as the Running Examiner for the last four years. Examiner.com.