• General

Hopkinton to Boylston

David Meeker is no stranger to the Boston Marathon. He’s heading into his 8th time running the historic race. But David will be the first to tell you it’s not usually his best. Boston provides plenty of race day jitters, an insane downhill start and plenty of heartbreak. We caught up with him on some pre-race, race day and post-race tips, and maybe a few things on what you shouldn’t do.

The day before race day:

  • Get to the expo early
  • Stay off your feet
  • Legs up the wall for 15 mins
  • Limit alcohol to 1 drink if any
  • Don’t try anything new

If it’s warm:

  • Hydrate with electrolytes
  • Wear very light clothes
  • Consider: sunglasses, hat, sunscreen

If it’s cool:

  • Throwaway sweats
  • Throwaway layers to start with
  • A hat to keep your head warm
  • Gloves

Early morning/bus ride:

  • Get to Boston Commons early so you don’t have to stand in line
  • Eat your pre-race meal on the bus
  • Don’t be convinced to try anything new by new folks you meet on the bus

Athletes Village:

  • Stay off your feet as much as possible
  • Plenty of bathrooms
  • Wait til they call your wave/corral
  • Don’t eat more than you did for your long training runs
  • Don’t drink too much

Getting to the start:

  • Plenty of time after your wave is called
  • Drop your gear bag in the matching bus
  • Another set of 100 or so port-o-johns near the start line
  • Within each wave there are several corrals, so no need to rush


First 4 miles:

  • Very steep decline for 4 miles
  • Don’t get caught up in the energy and go out fast
  • After a slow mile or two, get to the right pace or effort and just cruise.

Miles 4-16:

  • Get into cruise control
  • Controlled effort
  • Get in a pack and let them carry you.
  • If you feel good, do not pick it up

Miles 16-21:

  • If you feel good, these hills aren’t terrible
  • If you are struggling, these hills are terrible
  • Go by effort, not pace
  • If lots of people are passing you, don’t worry about it

Miles 21 to 25:

  • Hills are over
  • Decline starts again
  • Get back to your pace if you can
  • Enjoy the ride if you are fading

Mile 25 to the finish:

  • Course flattens out
  • Citgo sign
  • If you have energy left, let it out now
  • Right on Hereford
  • Left on Boylston
  • Try to enjoy the moment


Crossing the finish line:

  • Keep moving
  • If you need help, get it
  • Have a planned meeting place with friends and family
  • Signs will point you to get your bag
  • Get some electrolytes in your system
  • As you can, eat something

That afternoon post-race:

  • Try to get out and enjoy your accomplishment
  • Shop on Newbury St. (walk a little)
  • If you are into beer, check out Nightshift, Trillium, Lord Hobo, or Row 34
  • Get a good butter lobster roll


First week or two after the race (recovery):

  • Get out for a walk daily
  • Try not to run for a week, maybe two
  • Light elliptical or spinning is ok if you need to
  • Catch up with friends and family that were neglected during the marathon cycle

Running Boston? Shoot us a line + tell us about your experience. We are always looking for features for The Size Run. Email Brent @ brent@runologieraleigh.com.

The Size Run is curated by Alex Warren and Brent Francese, co-owner’s at Runologie.