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Participant Information: Baggage Policy & Gear Check

Information on Baggage and Gear Check


The B.A.A. and public safety officials from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the eight cities and towns along the 26.2-mile course are asking official participants to comply with all security policies, including a no-bag policy. No bags will be allowed in certain areas at or near the start in Hopkinton, at or near the finish in Boston, or along the course. Bags will not be allowed on buses from Boston to Hopkinton, and bags will not be transported from Hopkinton back to Boston. To learn more about participant rules, including allowable and prohibited items on race day, click the button below:



There will be a “no bags” policy for the B.A.A. Boston Marathon. On race morning, participants may check gear at designated gear check tents on Boylston Street between Arlington and Berkeley Streets. This area is two blocks east of the finish line and one block west of the Boston Public Garden.  Signs on the gear check tents will be color coded by waves with numbers corresponding to participant bib numbers, indicating where to drop your bag. A pre-approved gear check bag will be included in your complimentary race packet provided at Number Pick-up by the B.A.A.  The clear drawstring bag measures 18” x 19” with a 5” gusseted bottom and is labeled on one side as your gear bag. No other bags will be accepted.

In your race packet, you will receive a pre-printed adhesive label with your bib number on it that should be used for gear check. You must affix the label to your approved gear bag before handing it to race personnel.  The drawstrings on the bag should be cinched and tied to ensure that your belongings do not fall out. You must leave your clear, plastic bag at the gear check area on Boylston Street prior to boarding the B.A.A. shuttle bus to the start in Hopkinton.

Additional Information

  • Do not check any valuables. Although we will do our best to ensure that your gear is waiting for you at the end of the race, we are not responsible for lost items and/or gear check bags.
  • Gear check bags may be checked on Boylston Street between 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 18. Gear check bags may be claimed from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 18.
  • Gear check bags not claimed by 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 18, will be transported to the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center at 40 Trinity Place, located at the corner of Stuart Street and Trinity Place. 
  • Gear check bags may be claimed on Tuesday, April 19, and Wednesday, April 20, between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
B.A.A. Moment 1

1920 - Ashland Start

The Boston Marathon began in Ashland, Massachusetts from 1897 through 1923 then moved to Hopkinton for the 1924 race. The course was lengthened to 26 miles, 385 yards to conform to the Olympic standard, and the starting line was moved west from Ashland to Hopkinton. Since then, the race has started in Hopkinton every year.