While at its core, a running race, the Boston Marathon more so than any other race in which I've participated, reflects the hopes and dreams of the watching world, its host community, and its determined participants. The crowds celebrate the runners for their perseverance in pursuing their goals and the runners salute the crowds with great performances.
The event itself features some logistical challenges due to its point-to-point course. I took a Fleet Feet Sports/Adidas Boston365 charter bus (at 5:45 am for a 10am start) to Hopkinton and was able to wait inside the bus (to stay warm) until I started walking to the start corrals.
I've never been to a race with as deep a field as the 2014 Boston Marathon. It took me 45 seconds to start the race after the gun! This also made some of the early aid stations hard to spot as there were so many runners around! This isn't really a caveat as much as an observation. If you're going to run in the low 2:40s, be prepared to run with a crowd!
Last note, if you've run smart, the Newton Hills aren't tough climbs, what will get you is the fact that both halves of the course have significant descents to deal with and over the course of 26 miles your body will take a beating!