I am on a quest to run a race in every state, and Massachusetts needed to be checked off. Since the BAA10K was held during our (very convenient) family vacation to Boston and New England, it was a no-brainer. Plus, I was all about scoring some unicorn bling.
OVERALL - There was a wonderful, uplifting vibe about the whole event. It was big (10,000) runners, but everyone was so upbeat and supportive.
T-SHIRTS/SWAG - All US runners received their bibs in the mail in advance of the race. Shirts needed to be picked up on race day. They were yellow, technical Adidas shirts - unisex, but a decent cut. I have nothing but love for the incredible unicorn head medals.
AID STATIONS - Due to the heat advisory issued days prior to the race, water was available at every mile. I didn't partake of any of it, but the volunteers were friendly and efficient and there seemed to be more than enough for everyone.
COURSE SCENERY - It was absolutely surreal getting to run in Boston, especially on some parts of the actual marathon course.
EXPO QUALITY - There was no actual expo, but the setup in the Boston Common was really nice. Everything was very clearly marked, from shirt pickup to gear check to athlete solutions, and there were several vendors out, handing out products.
ELEVATION DIFFICULTY - The course was not flat by Floridian standards, but the hills weren't too awful, either. My Garmin showed about 50 feet of elevation throughout the 6.2 miles, and I managed it perfectly fine.
PARKING/ACCESS - We opted for an Uber that dropped us off right at the venue on the morning of the race. That being said, there were several emails with very specific directions for available street and garage parking, as well as driving and train directions.
POST RACE - When the race was over, runners received their medals, water, and then were offered several types of Gatorade and their choice of bagels, bananas, granola bars and chips. It was a nice selection and again, very plentiful.
RACE MANAGEMENT - This was on point in pretty much every way. Organization was top notch. The course was marked at every km and mile, with plenty of aid along the way. Volunteers were at just about every intersection on the course, providing direction and encouragement. The self-seeding at the start went very smoothly. From what I saw, gear check went really well too (I had my husband holding on to my things, so I didn't need to make use of it). Plenty of portapotties (lines were never super long), and all amenities were five star.
Also, worth mentioning, my 11 year old took part in the free kids' races that morning while I was running. He only had to go about 400m, but it was cute and he got his own medal (rubber, but still cute).
It was a privilege to get to run in Boston, especially at a BAA event. I was really impressed by the community and the management. I don't know that the Boston Marathon will ever be a goal for me, so this was a great way to get a taste of it. l