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General Running • April 26, 2024

Our Boston Marathon 2024 Recap

boston marathon 2024 - recap feature

What You Need To Know


Boston, Massachusetts


The 128th Boston Marathon


April 12-15, 2024

boston marathon - finish

The finish line

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Our Boston hat giveaway

Event photos by Justin Hall for Believe in the Run

Our Weekend at the 128th Boston Marathon

As anyone who’s been, knows– the Boston Marathon weekend does not disappoint. I say the weekend, because we all know of the legendary status of the race itself and its perennial occurance on Patriots’ Day in April, always a Monday. But that abnormality means that ( 30,000 participants get a full weekend of run nirvana with people just like them.

If you’ve never been to Boston during marathon weekend, believe me when I say that Boston is literally taken over by runners from Friday to Monday, with the half-mile radius of Copley Square serving as the epicenter of it all. From the hotel lobbies to the restaurant dining rooms to the running paths along the Charles– it’s all runners, all day long, decked out in old and new Boston jackets or other unofficial uniforms, declaring their spot in the space.

For us at Believe in the Run, it’s a weekend of events and activations, of going to this place and that, from Boylston to Hopkinton and back again. Whether it was a group run, a meet and greet, or a general stop-and-chat on the sidewalk along Newbury, we were so lucky to meet so many of you and be a part of your own special weekend. Each year, our smiles grow in proportion to the crowds that show up to all our events, our smiles 

Here’s a roundup of all our favorite things from the 128th Boston Marathon.

new balance - solas sign

New Balance takeover of the pub

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New Balance SC Elite v4

New Balance Group Run From Solas Irish Pub

We got into Boston on Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel at the Westin Copley Square, changed clothes and headed straight to Solas Irish Pub. Upon arrival, we ran into Ali Feller (host of Ali on the Run podcast and race announcer for the Boston Marathon) and Keira D’Amato, so straight away we knew things were off to a good start.

The event featured a group run, post-run food and drinks, socks and trucker hat giveaways, and more. People got to test out the New Balance SC Elite v4, a carbon-plated marathon trainer that’s light and snappy underfoot. As runners streamed in through the doors, Thomas and Robbe gave directions on the route and a rundown of the order of events, and off we went.

new balance - thomas and robbe

Giving directions

new balance boston 2024 - solas

The crowd was ready

It was a bit stressful navigating the sidewalks of Boylston on a Friday evening as we made our way to the running path on the Charles, but we somehow managed to do it without losing anyone (we think). At the turnaround point, we took a group photo before heading back.

Afterwards, we caught up with all our friends, both new and old. All the stars showed up that night: Meb, Kofzuzi, Alex Hermanson, Ben Johnson, Connor from Running Warehouse, Laura Green, Ali Feller, Matt Choi, and on and on. The chicken tenders and wings were on point, the Guinness pours were perfect, and the vibes were so good that we never ended up doing trivia (sorry if anyone was stoked to do that). 

Then it was off to bed, because tomorrow was bound to be a big day.

The Megs know how to have fun

boston marathon - kofuzi

Yo what’s goin’ on everybody


Thomas, Robbe, Jarrett, and Karl ran the BAA 5K in the morning, and while it’s certainly a race for those who race it, we all treated it as another shakeout run. Can there ever be enough shaking out? The answer is no. It was a brisk morning, but once the sun was overheard and the crowds were gathered in the corrals, it started to warm up.

Speaking of corrals, if you ever run this race and are trying to do well, you better make sure as hell you’re up at the front. That’s because everyone piles in wherever they want without regard to actual pacing. We’re talking 14-minute milers in the first corral, up against sub-16 runners. As such, if you start anywhere in the middle, it is a nightmare of navigation if you’re trying to run fast. There are so many people and so many potholes that you have to be hyper aware of where you’re running.

That said, the fact that there’s so many people mean’s it’s a pretty good race vibe. And for a 5K, the spectator attendance is pretty legit. Highlights of the race included running down Boylston and through the finish line of the actual marathon, before finally finishing at Boston Commons, right where it starts. We got to see a bunch of friends along the way, including Charlie Watson (aka @runnerbeans) who ran with us for the last half of the race.

After a quick shower at the hotel, we were off again.

new balance boston - sign

New Balance on Newbury

Meet and Greet at New Balance Store on Newbury

At 10 a.m. we showed up at the New Balance Store on Newbury Street, and were met with free bagels and coffee (which Jarrett spilled all over the floor inside of the store, of course). New Balance was offering free custom singlets and printing, and if you were lucky enough to be there, well– you were lucky. We didn’t even get a navy and gold singlet, but many of you did, with your name on it. Congratulations and thanks to all who stopped by and chatted with us for a bit.

new balance - store sign

Inside the store

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Custom singlet

Afterwards, Thomas and Robbe headed over the Charles River to shoot some content with Running Warehouse. Along the way, we ran into Emma Bates, Dom Scott, and Tori Gerlach as they were finishing up one of their final runs before the big day. We said ‘hi’, snapped a photo, then went on our way.

boston marathon - emma

Hangin’ with some legends

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Other legends as well

After that, the whole crew headed over to the expo to get our bibs. While Meg is an all-star runner, quite capable of qualifying for the Boston Marathon on her own, Thomas, Robbe, and Jarrett received race bibs courtesy of Adidas, the title sponsor of the race. The expo process was interesting, in that we were wound through what seemed like the entire convention center, walking through roped a roped off corral that must have gone at least a half-mile, even though there was no line. I get that it’s necessary for an initial surge of people, but it was a bit long and cumbersome on a weekend when you’re trying to save your legs. After walking for 10 minutes, we ended up back at the same place we came in; I thought I may have landed in an M.C. Escher drawing, and that it was never going to end.

The expo is pretty straightforward and seamless, we had no problem getting our bibs. Inside the hall there were plenty of photo opportunities, as well as the usual booths hawking therapy treatments, race travel packages, and gutter repair, a service that seems to be at every expo as one of our followers pointed out. I think it’s because marathoners spend so much time running and recovering that they have no time to fix things around the house. Fair and accurate. One interesting note– I was trying to find a place to buy gels for race day, but there were zero vendors inside the expo. No gel, no nutrition, no apparel, no shoes for sale. I’m assuming this is because Adidas and Maurten had full rights to the floor and boxed out any competitors. I ended up getting my nutrition from Marathon Sports the next day.

After the expo, we headed back to our hotel to change clothes before heading out for an evening event with Adidas. Kofuzi was hosting a panel discussion with Adidas athletes, followed by dinner at the hotel.

new balance - store sign

Inside the store

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Custom singlet

Asics Group Run & Custom Cap Giveaway

It was a sunny and beautiful morning on Sunday, with temps in the low 50F range. Last year’s event with Asics was pretty epic– it was our biggest run to date, so we had a feeling that this year was going to be even bigger. I mean, we had over one thousand RSVPs leading up to the event on Sunday. It helped that we were giving away some beautiful navy and gold corduroy caps with the Believe logo stitched onto the front. The catch: there were only 300 samples available. People started showing up to the event a half hour ahead of time to lock in their cap. By the time we were actually kicking off, they were pretty much gone.

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That’s… a lot of people (photo by Chase Fleming for Asics)

But hey, material things aren’t what make things special– it’s the people and experiences with them that count the most. Which is why it was awesome that we had hundreds of our favorite friends show up. After everyone got their test pairs of Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris, we headed out across the Charles River, probably annoying everyone in sight. I mean, it was an absurd amount of people. When we got to the other side, we were all surprised to see Clayton Young, Asics marathoner and U.S. Olympian for Paris 2024, standing alongside the run path, giving everyone high fives. Um… what?? Apparently he was passing by and just jumped out of his car to be an awesome dude. 

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The cap giveaway

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The runners

Once we got back, we had coffee and bagels (very good ones from Goldilox, we should add) and hung out for awhile. It was great meeting so many podcast listeners and YouTube followers, and hearing what episodes and random discussions resonated the most with you.

After the Asics run, a few of us headed to a Tracksmith brunch where we basically got sick trying to carb up on brioche French toast and croissants. Worth it.

boston marathon - asics run dude

It's a good hat

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Friends & Fam

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True Believer

For the rest of the day, we basically relaxed in our hotel rooms, resting up for the race ahead of us. Jarrett and Robbe grabbed a chicken parmesan pizza (a race eve tradition) and watched an entire season of “I Think You Should Leave” (another race eve tradition).

boston marathon - shakeout panorama

One more look at the people

The 128th Boston Marathon

Meaghan started with the fasties, so her bus was out bright and early. Thomas, Jarrett, and myself headed over to the bus loading area around 8:00, which was about a half-mile away from the Westin. It was a beautiful morning with bright blue skies, and as we walked through Boston Commons the sunlight reflected off the water with flowers in the foreground– a Seurat in real life minus the parasols. The downside of this, of course, is that beautiful weather is bad weather on race day. 

We loaded the buses and headed for the start in Hopkinton. Let me say here that the seamless organization of entire Boston Marathon by the Boston Athletic Association is a master class in logistics. Shuttling 30,000 runners to an entirely different town 45 minutes away is no small feat, and yet they do it without any hiccups. Everything makes sense, nobody is confused, porta-potties are plentiful, water and Gatorade and petroleum jelly and sunscreen abound.

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1

boston marathon - boston bois

Let’s do this

We were joined by friends Drew Whitcomb from Wear Testers and Ronnel Blackmon out of Atlanta, as well as our good friend Lin Zhuo, and lounged in the grass until our wave was ready to go. Some of us also went to the bathroom another ten times. Again, the weather was gorgeous. Again, gorgeous weather is terrible weather, and we were about to experience all of it. 

The walk to the start line is about a mile long, past houses and house parties and into the “downtown” area of Hopkinton. It’s a small town, the kind John Mellencamp might write about if he were campaigning for Bernie Sanders. We were in the last wave, and by the last wave, I mean– we looked behind us and there was nobody left. Good news in that we pretty much were just passing people, bad news in that we were just pretty much passing people. Between the weather and the crowds, the moral of the story is this: on race day, lots of bad news for runners is disguised as good news for others.

Before we get going, here were our race day shoes of choice: Adidas Adios Pro Evo 1 (Thomas), Adidas Adios Pro 3 (Robbe), Adidas Prime X 2 Strung (Jarrett)

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This is the modern day Hindenburg

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Ready to race

From there, it’s six miles of downhill running. Everyone says to not pound these hills because your quads will be destroyed in the late rmiles. They are right. Luckily for us, we were clocking close to a minute slower than race pace, so it basically turned into a long warm-up. And boy, did it warm up. While the leaves were already out on the trees in Maryland, it was still stick season in the New England. No wonder Noah Kahan is so sad. No leaves means no shade and starting close to noon meant that the high of the day was already upon us– a spicy 73 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperatures since the 2017 version of the race.

Needless to say, by mile 8 we all knew that our time goals were out the window. From then on it was a “stay strong, stay hydrated, and have a good day” mentality. Drinking water and dumping water at every aid station, taking ice from spectators and putting it in our hats. After a mild version due to wind and rain last year, the Wellesley scream tunnel was back in full effect. It was long and loud and kisses were available for anyone who wanted them (don’t worry babe, I kept moving along). 

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All was going relatively well until I rolled my ankle at mile 15 on the flattest part of pavement on the entire course, taking a full body slam onto the pavement in front of a hundred spectators. Luckily I was separated from runners at that point so I didn’t trip up anyone else. I pulled off to the side and waited for Thomas and Lin, joining them for the next six miles. Someone was handing out cherry popsicles and they were absolutely divine. Hugs were given to friends we saw along the way, notably Erin Azar and Alex Hermanson. Molly Seidel gave us a shout out in the Newton Hills, which was a nice pick-me-up.

We made it to the top of Heartbreak Hill feeling strong, and while Thomas and Lin went on their way, I knew my own time goals were long gone and decided to wait up for Jarrett. I pulled off to the side and waited for him and eventually saw him cresting over the hill. While he was looking okay at the moment, things went south shortly thereafter as he was still getting over a chest infection from a couple weeks before.

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Meg finishing her race

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Helen finishing her race

At this point, Meaghan was already done with her race. She knew early on that her goal wasn’t happening and basically hit a wall around the halfway point, jogging the rest in at a minute slower than race pace. Of course, she’s an incredible athlete so still managed to finish sub-3. 

Thomas cruised it in with Lin to finish in under four hours, feeling good about his day despite the setbacks brought on by the heat.

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Right down Boylston

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Thomas and Lin

For the last four miles, Jarrett and I ended up doing a walk/run, which was actually kind of fun. Taking in everything around us, seeing the carnage and struggles and breakthroughs from the back-of-packers. No matter how hard the day was, there was no way we weren’t running the right onto Hereford and the left onto Boylston. We did just that and ended the race, knowing we did what we could on a day that didn’t give back. 

As we crossed the finish line, we were searching for the voice of Ali Feller over the loudspeaker. Instead, we heard her right beside us, as she was waiting there with open arms to congratulate us in person for finishing the race. It was a great finish to a rewarding day.

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We did it

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Ali on the fun

Afterwards, we went back to our rooms to shower before going out to dinner and recapping out individual days out on the course. 

Boston is beautiful, for what it means to runners everywhere, but also for the community that it unites over the course of a few days in April.

We are honored to be a part of it and incredibly grateful that we got to spend it with so many of you. 

Thanks to Adidas for giving us the opportunity to run the race, and for New Balance and Asics for organizing events where we could meet our followers and give away some great swag. We hope your weekend was just as memorable, and if we missed you this time around, know that we will be back again. If not here, then somewhere.

Finisher’s medal

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Espresso martinis


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Doug Beyerlein says:

    Enjoyed your summary of the marathon weekend. This was my 13th time running Boston and I (and my wife) were severely disappointed with the Expo. As you mentioned, it was basically just a big Adidas store with none of the other shoe companies in attendance. You could buy hair extensions but you couldn’t buy a non-Adidas shoe. The Expo used to be the best running expo anywhere in the country. My wife (who wanted to talk to the many shoe company reps who we expected to find at the expo) and I were in and out of the expo in 15 minutes or less and we bought nothing. What a waste. I sent comments to the BAA about the expo about our disappointment. I hope that they listen.

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Robbe Reddinger
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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

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