What goes through a runner’s mind in that last mile of a marathon — when they’re at the brink of exhaustion, far past their limits? Thousands of runners find their answer every year at the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon. Since debuting in 1897, the Boston Marathon has become one of the most popular and prestigious races in the world, stretching 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Copley Square.
To celebrate this annual act of human achievement, here are our picks for 11 Boston-area events surrounding the 126th Boston Marathon. Whether you’re looking for some last-minute training, looking to entertain the kids, or just hoping to spectate from the sidelines, we’ve found something for everyone.
BOSTON MARATHON EXPO In addition to being the spot to pick up your Boston Marathon bib and T-shirt, this event features presentations from previous Boston Marathon winners, training and nutrition tips from local physicians and runners, and a marketplace of top fitness brands. April 16-17, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 900 Boylston St. baa.org
MARATHON DAFFODIL DASH 26.2 miles is a bit much for kids, but one mile lined with “Marathon Daffodils” may be perfect for your little one. Plus, the event includes a 50-yard dash, if you fancy. After the races, enjoy a complimentary bib and T-shirt, plus games and snacks at the Paddock. April 16, 9 a.m.-noon Free. 525 William F McClellan Highway. eventbrite.com
“BEAT THE T” RUN Let’s be honest, you’ve been waiting for this. After all those morning commutes it’s time to prove your superiority over our city’s esteemed public transportation system. Brooks athlete CJ Albertson will board the Green Line at Washington Square, and then your job is simple(ish): beat him to Copley. April 16, 3-4 p.m. Free. 1638 Beacon St., Brookline. eventbrite.com
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF WOMEN RUNNING BOSTON, OFFICIALLY Podcasters Cherie Turner of Strides Forward and Julie Sapper and Lisa Levin of Run Farther & Faster present a conversation with Marilyn Bevans, the first Black woman runner to run a sub-three-hour marathon, and 2022 Boston Marathon runner Maegan Krifchin, who recently placed sixth in the 2021 Chicago Marathon. April 16, 3:30-5 p.m. Free. 267 Western Ave. eventbrite.com
OMNIUM OUTDOORS RUNNING SERIES: MARATHON SUNDAY 5K WARM-UP Finish your marathon training with a 5K run through the Minuteman Bikeway, followed by a light meal at the Kickstand Café. No worries if you’re not in training, this event offers a shorter walking route, as well. April 17, 10-11:30 a.m. Free for members of the Omnium Outdoors Adventure Club, $15 for nonmembers. 99 Margaret St., Arlington. eventbrite.com
FREE ADMISSION ON PATRIOTS DAY If you’re not in a marathon mood, the Concord Museum is offering free admission Monday. Patriots Day features a “Minuteman Encampment” on the museum’s lawn, and an interactive “April 19, 1775″ exhibit, which includes Paul Revere’s lantern. April 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 53 Cambridge Turnpike. concordmuseum.org
HEATHER ABBOTT FOUNDATION BOSTON MARATHON WATCH PARTY The Heather Abbott Foundation, which helps to provide custom prostheses for individuals who have lost a limb under traumatic circumstances, is hosting a Boston Marathon watch party cheering on its own 11-person Team Limb-it-less as they take on the 26.2 miles. April 18, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $120. 900 Boylston St. heatherabbottfoundation.org
LAST CALL FOUNDATION’S 2022 MARATHON VIEWING PARTY Kathy Crosby-Bell formed the Last Call Foundation after her son, Michael Kennedy, died fighting a nine-alarm fire in 2014. The group works to ensure the safety of firefighters through funding academic research. This Monday, join their Boston Marathon viewing party to cheer on the runners, including their president, Crosby-Bell. April 18, 1-7 p.m. $80 for adults, $25 for children under 10, free for children under 2. 776 Boylston St. eventbrite.com
MILE 27 POST-RACE PARTY Those 26.2 miles are no small feat. To celebrate runners (and those cheering on the sidelines), Samuel Adams hosts a post-marathon party with live entertainment, concessions, and (weather-permitting) access to the warning track at Fenway Park. April 18, 6:30-10 p.m. Free for Boston Marathon runners, $15 for nonrunners, free for children under 12. Fenway Park. baa.org
BOSTON FINISHER MEDAL ENGRAVING After 26.2 miles, and months of rigorous training, runners can snag a free time-engraving by PR Medal Engravers for their Boston Marathon finisher medal. Engravings are on a first-come, first-served basis. April 19, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free. 671 Boylston St. eventbrite.com
BOSTON MARATHON RECOVERY SESSION WITH HOKA For runners on the mend, athletic brand HOKA will host a recovery day with refreshments from Night Shift Brewing, access to massage tools, and yoga. April 19, noon-4 p.m. Free. 87 Santilli Highway, Everett. events.hoka.com/bostonrecovery
Event times, locations, and guidelines are subject to change. Please check each event’s website for full COVID-19 safety guidelines (including mask requirements) and up-to-date details.
Sam Trottenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.