BOSTON MARATHON WEEKEND
April 15th-18th, 2022
by Julia Hardy
For the first time since 2019, the Boston Marathon and its festivities took place on their regularly scheduled Patriot’s Day weekend. This year also marked the 50th year of women’s participation in the event.
The exposition at the Hynes Convention Center stretched from Friday to Sunday, providing runners with the opportunity to pick their race bibs up, and showing off several exhibitors, presentations, artifacts, and landmarks. Event-goers also enjoyed opportunities to meet some of the stars of the running world at the convention center and in Copley Square, such as Meb Keflezighi, Joan Benoit-Samuelson, Bill Rodgers, Katherine Switzer, Bobbi Gibb, race organizer Dave McGillivray, and the original eight women who ran the Boston Marathon in 1972.
In another return to tradition, the B.A.A. 5K occurred on April 16th, two days before Marathon Monday. The course begins at the Boston Common, follows Commonwealth Avenue as far as Charlesgate, U-turns underneath the “Boston Strong” overpass, continues back along the other side of Commonwealth Avenue, includes the famous “Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston” turns, and then crosses the marathon finish line before returning to the Common. Many runners use this 5K as a last shake-out before toeing the line in Hopkinton.
Most anticipated of all, however, is the Boston Marathon itself. Runners conquer all manner of terrain, from flats and declines to rolling hills and steep inclines, over the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, and Brookline to Boston. Also encountered along the route are landmarks and beloved spectators, such as Spencer the golden retriever at Ashland State Park, Wellesley College and its ever-motivational Scream Tunnel, the infamous Newton hills, the Boston College campus at the top of Heartbreak Hill, the Citgo sign at Fenway Park with one mile remaining, and of course, “Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston,” to the finish line.
Finishers were greeted by photographers on the scaffolding and volunteers who draped heat sheets over their bodies and medals around their necks. No greater joy exists than to cross the finish line of a marathon, especially the Boston Marathon, earning the medal, and having experienced amazing weather, supportive crowds, and Boston’s triumphant return.
A number of Striders participated this year; CLICK HERE to read recaps of their experiences! Well done to everyone who earned medals, and congratulations to track coach Sharon Johnson, who, in an MVS first, made it to the podium by placing third in her age group!