March 06, 2009

Boston Marathon: Tour de course

If that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger, I should be happy that this has been such a brutal winter for marathon training here in New England. Having battled snow, ice, bitter cold, biting wind, unplowed sidewalks, snowbank-sided roads and drivers eating, drinking, phoning and texting as they peer through dirty windshields and veer toward me despite my being decked out in numerous flourescent green and orange clothing articles, I will surely find the marathon itself easier to survive than all this, at least on some level.

Tomorrow, though, there will be no battling. Tomorrow will be a supreme, sunny joy. The weather report promises clear skies and 60 degrees, so I'm heading to the Boston Marathon course to run some of its more interesting segments. There will, no doubt, be hundreds of us out there, many running the Newton Hills, which include Heartbreak, the last in the series and the one that crests at Mile 21 opposite Boston College. (The next landmark you pass is a cemetery...)

It should be great fun out there tomorrow, with lots of bare flesh that hasn't seen sun in many moons. I just dug my sunblock out of the bathroom closet and put it in my gear bag. Yahoo!

I found a few sites that offer good virtual tours of the Boston Marathon course, including some YouTube tours of the route.

For a good Google Map-based course tour, try this site, which lets you zoom in on each Mile Marker and learn a bit about the communities on the route. If you set the map on hybrid and zoom way in, you can get a great feel for the whole 26-mile shebang from Hopkinton to Boston, helpful whether you're running, spectating, or just curious.