Pitts Stop: Boston Marathon’s ‘Ellis Island’ And Eliot Lounge Reborn

By Breana Pitts, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Runners looking for some Boston Marathon history can find it in two locations downtown.

ELIOT LOUNGE RETURNS

One of them, the Eliot Lounge, is being reborn more than 20 years after it closed.

“The real race was to finish the marathon and then get over to the Eliot, then you’d get a free beer,” says Tracksmith COO Brian Moore.

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Inside Tracksmith’s Eliot Lounge on Newbury Street. (WBZ-TV)

To recreate those good times, the Wellesley-based company is keeping things as authentic as possible by re-creating the lounge in its retail store on Newbury Street.

The flags of marathon champions hang from the ceiling and the world record for the long jump and high jump is painted on the floors and walls. Pictures that look straight out of a family album are proudly displayed throughout the lounge.

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Inside Tracksmith’s Eliot Lounge on Newbury Street. (WBZ-TV)

“The Eliot when it first came about was really a place where all runners could go. They would hang out and talk about racing but also talk about life, and just have a good time,” Moore told WBZ-TV.

“This is what the Eliot felt like when you went there back in the day. It was not just professionals up on the wall. It was everybody,” says Moore.

This Eliot Lounge will also be bringing back an old tradition, giving a free beer to the first Marathon finisher to run to the store after the race.

Tracksmith opens Thursday at noon.

‘ELLIS ISLAND’ OF BOSTON

Around the corner on Boylston Street, Boston Marathon Adidas Run Base uses famous memorabilia to tell the stories or marathon champions. The staff here will plan out a free run for anyone, anytime.

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Boston Marathon Adidas Run Base. (WBZ-TV)

“They can come here and be treated like a rock star in the middle of summer, fall, in the dead of winter,” says BAA official Jack Fleming.

Many people come by the 26 mile marker to check out 4 interactive screens.

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The runner search at Boston Marathon Adidas Run Base. (WBZ-TV)

“For the first time we assembled every finisher from 1897 to present. This may be an Ellis Island of sorts where people come through,” says Fleming.

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The runner search at Boston Marathon Adidas Run Base. (WBZ-TV)

Whether you’re looking for some new gear, a different running route or even nostalgia, these Boston stores have what you need.

“It”s so dorky but we want this to be a runners heaven you know. A place where you can leave feeling better about the sport than you did coming in,” says Moore.

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