Over half a million spectators are expected to turn out somewhere along the 121st Boston Marathon route on Marathon Monday to cheer on racers.
Though the Boston Athletic Association says there’s ample room along each and every mile of the 26.2-mile course, it pointed out a few of the more famous spots to watch — Wellesley Scream Tunnel just before the halfway, Heartbreak Hill in Newton around Boston College and (of course) the final stretch on Boylston Street right leading up to the finish line.
Depending on whether you’re looking out for a specific runner or if you’re just there to watch, the BAA has a few tips to help make your race day experience one for the books.
Sign up for AT&T Athlete Alerts: This will help you spot runners you want to see on the course and give you updates throughout the day on where your favorite runners are, and when they may be approaching.
Plan ahead: The MBTA is a good way to get around the course on Marathon Monday, as the majority of roads will be closed all day along the Boston Marathon route. The T and commuter rail are also your best bets for seeing runners at multiple spots.
Know your numbers: Know your runner’s start wave, corral and bib number. This information will help you follow along with the projected time calculator.
Here’s a list of the best time and place to watch the Boston Marathon in each of the eight communities it runs through, according to the BAA:
Hopkinton: The starting line. Arrive early because 30,000 runners will be filtering through here.
Racers will be departing from the starting line beginning at 9:17 a.m. until the fourth wave heads out at 11:15 a.m.
Ashland: If you time it right, spectators can see their favorite runners pass by on Main Street. The best time to watch here is from 9:27 a.m. until 11:42 a.m.
Framingham: The best place to watch is at the train depot in the center of town from 9:37 a.m. through 12:12 p.m.
Natick: The most picturesque spot to watch here is along Lake Cochituate at the 9-mile mark between 9:49 a.m. and 12:43 p.m.
Wellesley: The best place to watch here is at Wellesley College at the Scream Tunnel. Most runners will be passing through between 9:59 a.m. and 1:10 p.m.
Newton: You’ll want to cheer from the infamous Heartbreak Hill to help runners over the hump. Most runners will be passing through between 10:25 a.m. and 2:19 p.m.
Brookline: Coolidge Corner is the signature spot to watch on Beacon Street. Most runners will be heading through between 10:35 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Boston: If you can get a spot along the final half mile leading up to the finish line, this is where you’ll see the magic happen. Runners will be passing by here between 10:41 a.m. and 3:04 p.m.