BROOKLINE – When Boston Marathon runners enter Brookline, they know they are getting close to finishing one of the world’s hardest marathons. Located just west of Boston, Brookline is a seven square-mile town that is home to about 60,000 people. When Brookline was first founded in 1638, it was actually a hamlet of Boston. However, over the years, Brookline has developed its own distinct culture and feel.
The city of Brookline is proud to be on the marathon route and even has their own team. Team Brookline participants raise funds for municipal causes such as the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, the Brookline Teen Center, the Brookline Library Foundation and the Brookline Education Foundation. They use the Boston Marathon to enrich their community and grow town pride. The town hosts a number of fun events to raise money for Team Brookline before the marathon on April 21, including a Friends and Family Fun Run from Heartbreak Hill in Newton to the marathon’s finish line in downtown Boston. To learn more about Team Brookline’s events, visit their website. Even if you cannot contribute to Team Brookline financially, there are a number of volunteer opportunities available.
For those that are planning to watch the Boston Marathon in Brookline, it would be in your best interest to plan for an early start! There will be a number of street closings and many of the already-limited parking spots will be blocked off as well. Chestnut Hill Avenue from Commonwealth Avenue to Brookline Town Line (Ayr Road) will be closed all day. And Beacon Street from Chestnut Hill Ave to the Brookline Town Line at Cleveland Circle will also be closed. In addition, Beacon Street all the way through Brookline will be sectioned off, and St. Mary’s Street to Commonwealth Avenue will be closed. So make sure to think ahead before heading to the course.
Fortunately, Brookline is also accessible via public transportation, which may be a good option for many fans. Marathon spectators can take “C” or “D” trains on the MBTA’s green line to head out to Brookline. Getting to Brookline from downtown Boston takes 20 – 40 minutes via public transportation, depending on your start and end points. However, it is good to keep in mind that only about two miles of the marathon route go through Brookline, so the good watching spots are sure to be claimed fast – especially because the 2014 Boston Marathon is expected to draw more viewers than ever before – even more than the 1996 Marathon which marked the 100th anniversary of the race!
Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.