THE SWAG: The BAA has a variety of swag available for purchase before the race that showcases the four races they put on annually (5k, 10k, Half and of course the Boston Marathon). While the swag is a little pricey for a sweatshirt, it is high quality and is super cute. The race itself comes with a long sleeve dry-tech shirt in some combination of the BAA classic colors (Blue, Yellow, Gray etc.) and includes the famous and coveted unicorn emblem.
THE RACE: The day of this race in 2016 was freezing cold and pouring rain. Despite those obstacles however, the race still went on without a hitch. Parking for this race can be tricky, as official race parking is out in Copley Square, with BAA sponsored shuttles (school buses) to the starting line, about a 20 minute ride. Although not the most convenient, this option was very well organized and I arrived to the starting line with relatively no issues and with plenty of time. The course for this race is relatively flat with a few areas of rolling hills along the way. Although a majority of this race takes place along a not-so-scenic highway section, there are several parts of the race that weave in and out of Franklin park and include nice forest shade and views of Franklin Park and Boston's Willow Pond. The highlight of the race course for me was the last mile and a half which weaves in and out of the Franklin Park Zoo, offering views of the animals enclosures and exhibits.
THE BLING: All the BAA medals look relatively the same, the unicorn shield with the BAA race title and the year of completion in the top right corner. Something that might be good to know is that the medals increase in size based on the distance of the race, don't expect a Boston Marathon sized medal at this race! It is exciting however, to have a unicorn of any size in your collection. For those who complete the 1/2 marathon as part of the BAA Distance Medley you can expect to receive the distance medley completion medal along with your half marathon medal.
FINISH LINE: The BAA half marathon wraps up in White Stadium, a sporting venue within Franklin Park. What is cool about this finishing venue is the stadium seating it provides for spectators. Despite the pouring rain there were plenty of fans in the stands cheering on the finishers. Afterwards, the BAA sets up a large celebration with plenty of photo ops and snacks.