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Event Information: Spectator Information

Learn what you need to know to watch your favorite runner

SPECTATOR TIP #1 - Follow your runners with the AT&T Athlete Alert!

Follow your runners with the AT&T Athlete Alert! By bringing its popular AT&T Athlete Alert Program to the B.A.A. Half Marathon for the first time, running fans who want to track the progress of their friends and family, or their favorite elite runner, can get updates sent to their mobile phone or email, in real-time. Signing up is easy. Simply text RUNNER to 345678 and sign-up to receive course updates for your runner at the five mile and ten mile marks and when your runner finishes.

SPECTATOR TIP #2 - Take the MBTA Orange Line to Forest Hills.

Take the MBTA Orange Line to Forest Hills. At the Forest Hills Rotary and again at the Shattuck Hospital, spectators will be able to see the race three times! From the exit of the Forest Hills Orange Line station, turn left on Washington St., and then right on the Arborway towards the Forest Hills Rotary. This is just before the one mile mark, and the participants will pass through there between 8:34 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. depending on their ability. (Wheelchair athletes will come through at 8:22 a.m.)

Further up Forest Hills Drive (by the Shattuck Hospital) is the nine mile mark, and the intersection with Circuit Drive. The leading men will pass through here at about 9:15 a.m., and again at about 9:25 a.m. at the 11 mile mark. The leading women will not be far behind.

For parking, the B.A.A. recommends spectators park in the Garage at 100 Clarendon in Boston's Back Bay. This is connected to the Back Bay stop on the MBTA Orange Line, and is approximately a 15-minute ride on the train. You can also attempt to park in the neighborhoods (a later post will detail neighborhood parking.)

As a pedestrian, please stay off the course at all times, and be mindful of vehicular traffic around the course. Please cooperate with law enforcement personnel if asked.

CASEY OVERPASS - SPECTATORS WILL BE ALLOWED TO GATHER NEAR THE FOREST HILLS ROTARY PARK, BUT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON THE CASEY OVERPASS.

SPECTATOR TIP #3 - Parking in the nearby neighborhood.

Parking in the nearby neighborhoods or near the course. Parking within Franklin Park is prohibited on race day. Parking in Boston is never easy. If you choose to park your car around the Franklin Park area please follow these four tips:

  • Pay close attention to the street signs.
  • The earlier you choose to park, then the better your odds are of finding a good spot.
  • Please ensure your car is not parked on any part of the race course.
  • Plan to park approximately .25 miles from the course and walk to the course.  Do not expect to be able to move your vehicle – for those spectators who do choose to drive – until after the last participant clears the course and the road is reopened to vehicular traffic.

SPECTATOR TIP #4 - Use the T!

Please note that the following MBTA stations (and the lines which they are on) are near the B.A.A. Half Marathon course:

  • 0.9 miles - Forest Hills (ORANGE LINE)
  • 3.5 miles - Heath Street (GREEN LINE E-LINE)
  • 3.75 miles - Riverway Station (GREEN LINE E-LINE)
  • 4.5 miles (Turn-around points) - Fenway Station (GREEN LINE D-LINE)
  • 5.0 miles - Longwood Station (GREEN LINE D-LINE)
  • 6.0 miles - Heath Street (GREEN LINE E-LINE), Riverway Station (GREEN LINE E-LINE)
  • 8.8 miles - Forest Hills (ORANGE LINE)

IN ALL CASES, PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION IF YOU INTENT TO CROSS THE COURSE.  PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS WILL BE ON-SITE AND ALONG THE RACE COURSE.  CROSSING THE COURSE MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE IN ALL LOCATIONS.

B.A.A. Moment 8

1996 - Centennial Boston Marathon

The historic centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 was monumental for many reasons. It was the not only the first time that the ChampionChip timing and scoring device was used in a major US Marathon, but it was the largest running event ever held at the time. 

The starting field of 38,708 stood for more than seven years as the largest in the history of the sport. Included among the finishers were 16 Boston champions.