There is plenty of runner’s guilt in Boston every year on this day, as the day after the Marathon is like New Year’s Day for amateur runners in New England. Deep down, we all want to run Boston like those guys and gals did yesterday.
Fortunately for all runners in the Hub, elite and far-from-elite, there are plenty of awesome areas in and around the city to get a run in. We spoke with Mark Lowenstein - author of Great Runs in Boston and founder of the website GreatRuns.com, about the best areas to run in throughout the city, some hidden gems, and how Boston stacks up to others as a running city.
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Top 3 places
These areas can get crowded, but it’s still so worth it.
“First, obviously, is the Charles River,” Lowenstein told Metro. “When people think of running in Boston, that’s it. The Emerald Necklace is No. 2. There’s almost a continuous path for miles and you see the state house. Third, and this one continues to change for the better, is the Harbor Walk along the water. You can now run from Charlestown to Quincy and it’s almost continuous all along the water. That’s a run in Boston that’s gotten way, way better – between Castle Island and UMass Boston – it’s really wonderful. There’s a pretty ocean view the whole way.”
Lowenstein mentioned Franklin Park and a path in Newton that goes all the way through an old aqueduct that you can run for continuous miles. In the suburbs there is a fabulous gravel road between Lexington and Concord that parallels Route 2A. But the most underrated place in this area has to be Deer Island.
“It’s the best run around a waste treatment plant in the entire world,” Lowenstein said with a laugh. “There are three mile ocean views the whole way. You would think that running near an airport wouldn’t be all that interesting but near the Hyatt there are just some fantastic views of the Boston sky line. Early in the morning or at sunset it’s just spectacular.”
How does Boston stack up?
Lowenstein says Boston is a great place to run, but stopped short of calling the Hub the best – mostly because for half of the year it is not an enjoyable place to run (i.e. snow).
“It definitely stacks up though because of the running culture,” Lowenstein said. “Between the Marathon and all the running apparel and shoe companies that all see it fit to call Boston home, this is a running city. It’s great because Boston is also compact and walkable – which translates in to a good running city.”
Lowenstein also added that the signage in Boston is not nearly as good as some other cities in the country. It’s – ya know – important to know where you are and where you’re going.
Best beach runs
Lowenstein likes Revere Beach as a good running beach due to it being wide and having compact sand. Nahant Beach and Crane’s Beach on the North Shore are also good running beaches due to the compact sand.
South of Boston, Lowenstein says Nantasket is a great running beach.