Boston Marathon Week 2021 (BOS)

It’s been a long 18-ish months since the last time the Boston Marathon happened and you wouldn’t be alone if you were still both pinching yourself to see if it’s truly happening…and also mentally/emotionally preparing yourself for it to get cancelled sometime in this last week before it’s scheduled to run on October 11, 2021.

We’re optimistic that the race is indeed happening, and we’re gearing up with workouts, fitness gatherings, a social, and a hyped up cheer-station for the marathon itself. Read on for all the details of the events yet to come and if there are still questions that you have about what November Project Boston is doing for marathon week, please email novemberprojectbos@gmail.com to ask those questions (rather than commenting in this blog).

FRIDAY WORKOUT: Oct 8th 6:30am

Just like other Fridays, we’ve got not one, but two hill locations for you to choose from. One will be on Summit Ave in Brookline, which is the long-time traditional Friday hill location for our community. The other is Prospect Hill in Somerville, which is where we’ll be for 6 weeks as we continually rotate to other hills around the city. This is to make our hill workouts more accessible to more people around the city, to expand the connection of NP to a greater reach in Boston, and to simply remember that NP is not just a location, it’s about the community and the fitness that we all want & need!

Some things to note, especially for those coming from out of town: You can attend either hill, one is not better than the other! You might choose based on where you’re staying! Or if significance is your thing: Summit Ave is “traditional” and the hill is a monster, so if you want the “original NP experience” this is a good spot to visit. Prospect Hill has a special tag, so if getting a spray-paint-souvenir from NP Boston is important to you, that’s the spot to go!

(This is also the only tagging that we’ll be doing this weekend because we don’t have a city tag for #traverbalers — those visiting from other NP cities — we just use the “plain, old” original NOVEMBER PROJECT for Boston).

Breakfast after hills is typically a thing: after the Summit Ave workout, folks often go to Temptations on Beacon St. or to Tatte, a little farther down on Beacon St. And after the Prospect Hill workout, folks usually go to Union Square Donuts just down the hill or to the sit-down breakfast spot The Neighborhood Restaurant, which is across the street from Union Square Donuts.

SATURDAY SOCIAL: Oct 9th, 8:30am (run), 9am (walk), 10am (yard games & social)

You read it all there. The Saturday Social is our first NP social gathering outside of workouts in 2 years. We’re sad about that, so we’re really hoping that this combo of outdoor fun, ease of timing and location, and desire to connect with each other will bring out as many of you as possible. Here’s the plan:

WHERE: Charles River Reservation / Christian Herter Park – right next to the Charles River and very near the stadium. Plenty of parking (giant, free parking lot) and great outdoor park/picnic space.

WHEN & WHAT:

  • 8:30am Start of the run. This will be a fun & social run, around the loop between the Arsenal St Bxridge and the Eliot Bridge. You can run 1 loop (2.6 miles), 2 loops (5.2 miles), 3 loops (7.8 miles) …or technically as many loops as you want, but we’ll group up for distances. All speeds are welcome. Running, jogging, walking, all movement is welcome.
  • 9:00am Start of the walk. This is a walking-specific start, ideal for strollers and groups that want to walk & talk together. Also ideal for a single-loop distance to be covered in an hour.
  • 10:00am Start of the social. Of course, feel free to come any time earlier, but we’ll officially start the yard games, brunch/picnic, social at 10am. If you have any yard games (like corn hole, bocce, washer toss, giant jenga, horseshoes, ladder golf, or anything else like that…) please bring it to play and share!
  • 12:00pm Official end of the social. Feel free to hang around as long as you choose–it’s a public park, after all–but we’ll be wrapping it up at noon.

WHO: You, your friends & family, including your kids. Anyone who has been to NP before and everyone who has NOT been to NP before. This is an ideal event to introduce people who don’t want to get up for the regular 6:30am workouts but who would love the community, the fitness, and the fun. It helps them to understand why you’d be willing to get up that early anyway!

A note about dogs: The park is a public space and we ask that if you choose to bring your dog (we know you love your dogs as family members/fur babies!), that you keep them leashed at all times, clean up after them, and be very cognizant & respectful of others who may not want to interact with (or be very afraid of) your dog–this is a people-priority gathering, not a dog-park gathering.

WHY: Because a huge part of November Project is the community. And the last 18 months have been dominated by separation, disconnection, distancing, and challenges to making the community feel strong and together. So, it’s time to gather — we will ask everyone to maintain the same COVID safety protocols as we use during workouts — please plan to maintain physical distance from others and/or wear a mask. And as much as we wish we didn’t have to ask it, please do not hug others at this event, just as we ask you to refrain from hugging during workouts.

ONE MORE THING: We welcome you to bring food for picnicking and we are specifically not asking you to make it a pot-luck (bring food to share), but definitely bring food for yourself, if you choose to. And, if you would like to bring food to share, like if you just love baking and you can’t keep yourself from popping a batch of muffins in the oven at the thought of gathering with your NP friends, please only bring food that can be single-serve and is wrapped/packaged that way. (i.e., cookies, muffins). This is instead of bringing things that require serving tools and “family-style” presentation. (i.e., a bowl of fruit salad, big bag of chips)

MONDAY WORKOUT: Oct 11th 6:00am

Take note that this is earlier than the usual Monday workouts. 6:00am (not 6:30)

We will be meeting at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir right HERE, which is nearby the marathon course and will be easy access for those volunteering at the marathon to get to your posts on time after the workout. Plan to be active and do the workout, and to bring family, friends, out of town visitors and marathon spectators to enjoy the hype that is NP Boston on Marathon Monday. We will wrap up the workout about 6:45, so all volunteers can be on your way to the mile 18 hydration station by 7am.

THE MARATHON (WITH NP): any time after the workout until the last runners go by: MILE 18.

HYDRATION STATION: Be at mile 18 for everything awesome about November Project by volunteering or spectating like the positivity-radiating kindness-spreading humans we all are. Tons of NP-ers are volunteering at the mile 18 Hydration Station, and we couldn’t be prouder of the intense and awesome vibe that the volunteers there put out year after year.

CHEER STATION: Everyone, I mean everyone who isn’t a volunteer at the Hydration Station, can #justshowup to the CHEER STATION at mile 18. It’s in Newton (see the map photo above). If you’re not sure where to go–post about it in NP Boston Social (FB group) and link up with other people who are going. It will be like a party to play in all day long as we HYPE the hell out of the runners who are juuuuuust about to hit the wall. It’s no joke–people from around the world know to “stay left at mile 18” because November Project will turn your life around right there. Yelling, screaming, dancing, cheering, bell-ringing, drum-pounding, fist-pumping…and more. It’ll all be happening. So when someone asks you, “what are you doing for the marathon?” You tell them, “I’m going to the cheer station at mile 18 and I want you to come too!” And then #JustShowUp. You won’t regret it. It’ll be pretty epic, considering what this last year and a half has been like for everyone. And then we can all go home that day feeling so grateful for the energy we shared and how much better we made every single runner’s experience as they ran the legendary, world-class, race-of-a-lifetime: the Boston Marathon.

It’s going to be quite a few days and although we’re not beyond or in any way removed from this COVID pandemic–the Boston Marathon is happening, and if you’re familiar with Boston, you know that this is part of the DNA of the city. It’s part of the fabric that Bostonians are proud of, this ridiculous and wonderful point-to-point footrace that doesn’t even start in Boston but runs 26.2 miles from Hopkinton all the way to Boylston St. and we love it. We love to share it with so many visitors from around the world and to bring so much good, good energy to one place and one event. It won’t be the same this year, starting with it’s October and this race has always only been run in April. And it won’t be the same for so many other reasons…but we’re not going to forget how good it can feel to run, to move our bodies, to cheer and support, and to be together. It’s time for the Boston Marathon, and we hope to see you at a workout, the social, or the race.

Onward, Boston!

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